Lloyd Blankfein may step down as chief executive of Goldman Sachs as early as this summer; and president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn is the lead candidate to replace him, according to a Goldman executive and a source close to the firm. A Goldman spokesman declined to comment. To be sure, anything can happen over the course of the next few months and the departure of Blankfein, 57, is not certain. It is still up in the air whether Blankfein wants to step down. It would also not be unheard of for Blankfein to share the role of CEO, as so many others at Goldman have in the past. Former co-heads include John Weinberg and John Whitehead; Robert Rubin and Stephen Friedman; and Jon Corzine and Henry Paulson. … It seems increasingly certain that Gary Cohn would replace Blankfein. [Fortune, earlier, earlier]
Goldman Employees May Only Have A Few Months Left To Enjoy The Lloyd Face / Get Used To The Gary ThighBy Matt Levine
Cohn, 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, can be intimidating, two former colleagues said. He would sometimes hike up one leg, plant his foot on a trader’s desk, his thigh close to the employee’s face, and ask how markets were doing, they said. [Bloomberg, earlier]
If Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn Is Not Responding To Your Voicemails, IMs And Lunch Invites, You Know What You DidBy Bess Levin
Cohn recently told a colleague he can’t remember the last person he yelled at, and when upset with someone he now gives the silent treatment, the colleague said. [Bloomberg]
Hedge Fund Managers Less Than Thrilled With Goldman Sachs President’s Interpretation Of Who Caused The Financial Crisis, Why Banks Don’t Need Increased RegulationBy Bess Levin
At a panel yesterday in Davos, Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn, perhaps testing out a few new jokes he’s hoping to use at the Laugh Factory‘s open mic night next week, made several interesting statements. The first was his reason for why banks shouldn’t be subject to greater regulation.
Mr. Cohn warned that greater regulation of banks would push risky activities into the “shadow banking sector” which he said was “less regulated” and “opaque.”
Mind you, we have no reason to assume Gary was saying any of this out of self-interest. He’ll have you know Goldman Sachs LOVES regulation. The more the better. He’s just doesn’t want Goldman and the other banks to be selfish and take more than they need when there are others who could really benefit from increased supervision, like the “unregulated” businesses that apparently caused the last financial crisis and might cause another, if we’re not careful.
“What I most worry about,” said Mr Cohn, “is that in the next cycle, as the regulatory pendulum swings, we are going to have to use taxpayer money to bail out unregulated businesses that, unlike the banks in the last crisis, may not be able to repay them.”
He continued. Read more »
And in case you were wondering, the answer is yes. Facilitate does translate loosely to “reach-around.” Read more »
Time was, if you were, say, a hedge fund client of Goldman Sachs, you knew not to expect much in the way of bedside manner. No coddling, no hand holding, no Shmoopy Talk. You could try getting them on the phone, but that was generally futile, as all client calls were automatically rerouted to the Rejection Line. Oh, you felt like you weren’t getting enough attention? You wondered if maybe there was a chance they were sometimes screwing you? Too bad. The way GS saw it, you were lucky if they didn’t nut in your eye. Your only recourse was to roll over and take it, or GTFO. Since the whole “SEC fraud charge,” however, things have changed. Read more »