Support same-sex marriage, or focus on keeping clients worth $41 billion happy?
In November of 2011 two banks, while under investigation by the Ohio Attorney General for defrauding four Ohio pension systems, decided to sign on in support of eliminating the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman).
Can massive financial institutions multitask? Sure, but when they have an unhappy client worth $41 billion why are they getting involved in a culture war over marriage?
The cost for Bank of New York Mellon is a $16 million lawsuit by the State of Ohio over their alleged manipulation of exchange rates. For State Street Bank the cost is defending against multiple state lawsuits and the federal government.
Perhaps, like Goldman Sachs, they could use a little more focus on their corporate culture and do a little less worrying about marriage.
-- Jonathan Baker is the Director of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project