Despite Criticism, Goldman Named Most Prestigious Bank

Apparently there’s a “gold standard” for banks that most consumers don’t know about, but a new study shows that some really are more elite than others, and names some names to make its case. At the top of that list is one of America’s top “bailout’ banks.

The data comes from's “2011 Banking Prestige Rankings” report. In it, one of Wall Street’s biggest targets of criticism for its role in precipitating the current economic downturn, Goldman Sachs (Stock Quote: GS), garners the number one ranking.

It’s not like a lightning strike, one-time shot for Goldman Sachs – it’s won the Vault survey for 11 years in a row.

Additionally, some familiar big-name banks appear high on the Vault list, including J.P. Morgan Chase (Stock Quote: JPM) and Morgan Stanley (Stock Quote: MS)  many of whom faced negative publicity after taking taxpayer-funded bailouts in the aftermath of the Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers' collapses in 2008 (Lehman was the fourth-largest investment bank in the U.S. when it folded, sending 25,000 employees to the unemployment line).

Here’s a complete list of the top ten “prestigious” banks on the list:

1.    Goldman Sachs (Stock Quote: GS)
2.    The Blackstone Group (Stock Quote: BX)           
3.    J. P. Morgan Investment Bank (Stock Quote: JPM)           
4.    Morgan Stanley (Stock Quote: MS)
5.    Credit Suisse (Stock Quote: CS)      
6.    Lazard (Stock Quote: LAZ)                  
7.    Deutsche Bank AG (Stock Quote: DB)          
8.    Barclays Capital (Stock Quote: BCS)
9.    Greenhill & Co.  (Stock Quote: GHL)         
10.  UBS Investment Bank (Stock Quote: UBS)

How could Goldman Sachs survive all that negative publicity and still come out on top?

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