The past few years have not been the best of times, professionally speaking, for Lloyd Blankfein. As CEO of Goldman Sachs, the shit storm of the financial crisis landed on his head and with it, angry protesters, 75-100 pieces of hate mail each day, lawsuits, investigations, hearings before the Congressional brain trust, calls for him to be fired and/or jailed, the title of “Worst Person in the World,” executive MBA students who think they know how to run a bank better than he does, and half man/half horse semen aficionado Matt Taibbi.
While Lloyd is much loved within 200 West and among those who can’t resist the Lloyd Face, the hate from the outside has been difficult to take. Though he’s fully aware that “there’s a little bit of ‘for better or worse’” about a gig like his, and that “you can’t be the CEO without having to do what the CEOs have to do in distressed moments,” as Blankfein’s college roommate puts it, not having coveted “a public persona,” the “vilification makes him sad.” He’s not planning on leaving the firm any time soon but it’s clear LB needs a pick me up. Sitting down with New York recently for some real talk, he floated a few wants/wishes that, if you care at about him at all, should do your part to help grant. Read more »
At the annual Allen & Company conference here, DealBook asked Mr. Buffett whether he thought Mr. Blankfein might resign from Goldman in the coming months. The Oracle of Omaha didn’t mince words. “I don’t think he is. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that myself, and I don’t want him to,” he said enthusiastically. “I want him to stay!” [Dealbook]
As evidenced by an absurd debate he had last night at Chelsea Piers. Read more »
On the condition GS works for free. Read more »
Earlier this week, Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote that after speaking with executives at Goldman Sachs and officials in Washington, and “poring through” the Levin Report, he’d come to the conclusion that “Lloyd Blankfein wasn’t lying” when he testified last year that Goldman “didn’t have a massive short against the housing market.” Matt Taibbi read the column and he did not like it. In fact, it made him so angry-stinkin mad, in fact- that he was forced to lift his ARS fast (“I’ve been trying not to say anything bad about Andrew Ross Sorkin,” he said last night). As Taibbi scholars, please guess at this time what the defense of Goldman made MT want to do:
a) Throw scalding hot coffee in Sorkin’s face
b) Bake some of the horse semen he’d been storing in his fridge into a pie and smash it into Sorkin’s face
c) Run through the Times newsroom smashing sno-globes and flipping desks over
d) all of the above
e) none of the above
f) other Read more »
When the Sanford Bernstein analyst closes his eyes, he pictures Lloyd and Co going out of their way to get on Carl Levin’s good side, possibly going so far as to praise his work. Read more »
If you’ve been keeping up with your HBO original programming schedule, you know that Too Big To Fail, the movie based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s 2009 book, airs next Monday evening. Last night was the premiere at the Museum of Modern Art and while the trailers looked promising, in order to make sure none of you wasted any of your precious time or DVR space in the event it wasn’t worth it, I attended to see how things turned out and report back. Warren Buffett did the same, though was initially met with some opposition at the door, in an encounter that went like this:
Door girls: Do you have your ticket?
Door girls: You need your tickets.
Buffett: Oh, uh…we were invited..
[One of Buffett's dates]: This is Warren Buffett.
[The group is seated]
Other people in attendance who did have their tickets, included but were not limited to: George Soros (with a entourage of lady friends), Meredith Whitney in a white pinstriped suit, Becky Quick, Rodgin Cohen, Regis Philbin, Michael Douglas and all the actors from the flick (William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, Billy Crudup, James Woods, Bill Pullman, Evan Handler, Tony Shalhoub, Matthew Modine, Ed Asner), though not all the real life people they portray (Jamie Dimon was getting ready for today’s JPM shareholder meeting in Ohio, Fuld was probably busy plotting his comeback).
The movie condenses Sorkin’s 539 page book into about 90 minutes and traces the slightly tense moments that were 2008 just after Bear Stearns was bought to the day Paulson locked the top bank CEO’s in a room and and forced them to accept his capital injections. William Hurt does a pretty badass Hank– who gets the most screen time by far– having spent a few days fishing with him in preparation for the role (during which one would hope HP described what it was like threatening to send Ken Lewis home in a body bag if he backed out of the Merrill Lynch deal). I liked it, you probably will too.** Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Read more »
We have no idea but apparently he’s been spotted “cruising around the trading floor with a bunch of senior guys this afternoon, shaking hands, etc, with hair that looks like it hasn’t been cut in months.” Wild speculation encouraged at this time. Read more »
Goldman Sachs Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said he is not stepping down, despite media reports that he has plans to resign. Blankfein spoke to reporters after Goldman’s annual meeting in Jersey City, N.J., on Friday…One well known shareholder, Evelyn Y. Davis, suggested at the start of the meeting that Blankfein should step down once the session was over. When asked by reporters why he wanted to stay, Blankfein quipped, “And give up all this?” [Reuters]
As you may have heard, Goldman Sachs will hold its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow. Unlike the past 12 years, in which the event has been held in New York, Friday’s meeting will go down in the Garden State. The bank has not explained the move, and while it does have a building across the river, one would hope you’re not falling for that. Read more »