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Professor Buffett Tutors Goldman

In order to fund the initiative, Goldman has pledged to contribute $500 million to the cause. Blankfein, Buffett, and Dr. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School will be on the advisory council which is responsible for the development, execution and evaluation of the program.

While, it appears to be a sign of goodwill, Both Buffett and GS will likely see a boost from the program.

Buffett, who has consistently remained bullish on the U.S. economy, sees small business owners as a necessary component of growth. Domestic growth will lead to big gains for Berkshire Hathaway and its affiliates.

For Goldman, the program couldn't have come at a better time. Although Blankfein insisted that the decision to launch "10,000 Small Businesses" was not motivated by the controversy surrounding Goldman Sachs, one can't help but look at the timing. With anti-Goldman sentiment mounting and CIT in the throes of bankruptcy, Goldman has a golden opportunity to improve its public image while branching off into the world of small business lending.

Whether the program is profit driven or not is still up for debate. However, for Goldman's sake, it would be in their best interest to ignore the bottom line for a while and focus on helping the people who helped them. The $500 million and Buffett's blessing are a good start, but it's going to take results, rather than an apology, a pile of cash, and a press release, to regain the public's respect.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

At the time of publication, Dion did have any positions in the equities mentioned.

Don Dion is president and founder of Dion Money Management, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.

Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.

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