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Photo: Goldman Sachs

Monday was the first day back in the office for Goldman Sachs employees in New York.

Why it matters: The move brings an influx of office workers into lower Manhattan, the second-largest central business district in the country. It also marks a clear inflection point for the finance industry.

What they're saying: Bloomberg's Jennifer Surane was on the scene:

"Early this morning, employees high-fived and hugged each other as they streamed into Goldman’s Manhattan office in the drizzling rain. They’ll be greeted by free food in the cafeteria and an array of food trucks with music blaring all week"

This is all an attempt to get bankers to start physically encountering each other again — a way to kick-start the kind of serendipitous conversations that proponents of working-from-the-office, including Goldman CEO David Solomon, love to extol.

The intrigue: Goldman's decision to reopen sets up a natural experiment vs. Citigroup, which has largely kept its offices closed.

What to watch: Will the office energy give Goldman a competitive advantage? Or will the freedom of work-from-home make Citi the employer of choice for parents, remote workers and people who don't love schlepping to lower Manhattan every day?

Of note: The surprisingly long walk from Goldman's elevators to the food trucks will also force employees to reacquaint themselves with Mural, the 80-foot-long painting by Julie Mehretu that dominates the view of the Goldman lobby from the street.

  • The multilayered work includes architectural drawings of banks and mercantile exchanges, as well as references to trade routes, the growth of cities and other indicia of the way in which Goldman sits at the center of the world's most complex financial web.
  • The New Yorker's Calvin Tompkins called it "the most ambitious painting I’ve seen in a dozen years." Now it is a symbol of the way in which Goldman is weaving back together its disparate employee base.

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - World

North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2018. Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

Why it matters: The resumption of the hotline on Tuesday comes despite stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the denuclearization of North Korea, which broke down after a second summit between then-President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal in 2019.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins 1st U.S. women's Olympic gold in Tokyo

Lydia Jacoby of Team USA wins gold in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Team USA's 17-year-old swimmer Lydia Jacoby has won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games, completing the race with a time of 1:04.95.

Of note: The Alaskan beat defending Olympic champion and fellow American Lilly King, who won bronze. Tatjana Shoenmaker from South Africa took home the silver medal.

4 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Pelosi’s new COVID plans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enters the Rose Garden on Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to extend proxy voting through the fall — and potentially until the end of the year — Democratic lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The spread of the Delta variant has alarmed both members and staffers anxious about interacting with the unvaccinated. Pelosi’s anticipated move — continuing an emergency COVID-19 measure enacted last year so lawmakers could vote remotely — is aimed at allaying those concerns.

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