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Everyone--well, at least one other person who is not me--seems to be reading Charles Ellis's brand-new history of Goldman Sachs: The Partnership.

One of the most bewildering things is how Goldman Sachs as an institution survived both the Goldman Sachs Trading Company and the Penn Central bankruptcy--either of those should have simply caused the firm as an institution to dry up and blow away. Why didn't it?

Here is part of the answer. From Charles Ellis, The Partnership, p. 376:

"Frank, could I see you for a minute?" [Bob] Rubin had followed partner Frank Brosens out of a management committee meeting. The meeting had been a triumph. Brosens had presented a compelling case for a bold commitment to arbitraging Japanese equity warrants.... Brosens had made the entire presentation but, as a learning experience, he had invited Zachary Kubrinick to sit in on the meeting as an observer. Brosens... could hardly believe Rubin had been so impressed that he would leave the meeting to compliment him immediately. Brosens was right; Rubin was not rushing to compliment him....

"Fran," said Rubin in his soft, relaxed voice, "you and I both know that, as young as he is, Kubrinick knows all that you know about Japanese warrants and he could have made the case equally well. You really should have let him make the case--and get the experience of coming before the management committee. By not taking the credit, you become more effective. If you do right by people, they win and you win. Frank, always go out of your way to share credit"...

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