This story in the Daily Telegraph (London) recounts the growing success of Goldman Sachs, the investment banking firm, in Salt Lake City.
(Goldman) initially focused on support staff, but in recent years it has added asset managers, research analysts and investment bankers. Goldman now has nearly 2,000 employees in Salt Lake — almost 5pc of its global workforce — making the city its second-largest operation in America, and its fourth largest worldwide.
Far from balking at the investment banking giant on their doorstep, Salt Lake City residents are grateful for the jobs Goldman has brought, and are perplexed by the hostility the bank faces in other parts of America. The unemployment rate in Utah is 4.9pc, compared with a 7.6pc national average.
I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, Goldman Sachs is a classic crony capitalist company. Goldman makes the vast majority of its money because of its cozy relationship with the government. Without Fed money-printing and influence-peddling in Washington, Goldman would either not exist or it would be a tiny company with very little influence. Goldman regularly sends bankers to Washington, where they promote big government, and then they return to Wall Street to make more millions. Goldman is, in my opinion, the classic case of a secret combination on a national scale.
On the other hand, I am certain that the vast majority of people at Goldman are good people. They simply want a job. Before we go condemning them, we should consider: is working for the gambling industry in Las Vegas any better? How about working for a tobacco company or at Starbucks? Isn’t it a good thing when companies come to Utah seeking Mormon employees? Aren’t people who condemn others for their choices in employment self-righteous?
Before you answer consider this prophecy from Heber Kimball:
After a while the Gentiles will gather by the thousands to this place, and Salt Lake City will be classed among the wicked cities of the world. A spirit of speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints, and the results will be financial bondage.
Persecution comes next and all true Latter-day Saints will be tested to the limit. Many will apostatize and others will be still not knowing what to do. Darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people. The judgments of God will be poured out on the wicked to the extent that our Elders from far and near will be called home, or in other words the gospel will be taken from the Gentiles and later on carried to the Jews.
The western boundary of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that as President Young tells us, when you return to that place, there will not be left so much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.
Before that day comes, however, the Saints will be put to a test that will try the integrity of the best of them. The pressure will become so great that the more righteous among them will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes.
—Heber C. Kimball, First Counselor in the First Presidency, May 1868, in Deseret News, 23 May 1931; see also Conference Report, Oct. 1930, p. 58-59