Well, now we have smoking gun evidence that this is indeed the case. A very brave lawyer named Carmen Segarra made a series of audio recordings while she was working for the New York Fed. The 46 hours of meetings and conversations that she recorded are being called "the Ray Rice video for the financial sector" because of the explosive content that they contain. What these recordings reveal are regulators that are deeply afraid to do anything that may harm or embarrass Goldman Sachs. And it is quite understandable why Segarra's colleagues at the New York Fed would feel this way. As a recent Bloomberg article explained, it has become "common practice" for regulators to leave "their government jobs for much higher paying jobs at the very banks they were once meant to regulate." If you think that there is going to be a cushy, high paying banking job for you at the end of the rainbow, you are unlikely to do anything that will mess that up.
To say that the culture at the New York Fed is "deferential" to big banks such as Goldman Sachs would be a massive understatement.