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Goldman CEO Tells BBC Worst of Financial Crisis is Over

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein is optimistic that the worst of the financial crisis is over, according to an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp.

“The moment of crisis is over,” Blankfein told the BBC. “I find a lot of things to be optimistic about, including the worst expected or worrisome problems that everyone talked about last year are off the table,” he said.

Blankfein, who became CEO in 2006, has overseen the New York-based firm’s highest profits and biggest losses as a public company. He also warned about the potential for a credit crisis during a June 2007 conference, 15 months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

“Problems related to the financial crisis have been chewed through,” he told the BBC. “Net, net I’m optimistic. That is my predictive self.”

Blankfein said the firm’s deliberations over whether to defer the payment of incentive compensation due to U.K. employees until after the top rate of income tax drops April weren’t linked to “tax evasion or tax avoidance.”

Goldman Sachs won’t delay its distribution of U.K. bonuses to help minimize employees’ tax rates, a person with direct knowledge of the decision said earlier this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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