Yesterday we pointed out Charlie Gasparino's report about the push to have a co-presidency under incoming-CEO
Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman. One thing that struck us as particularly notable was that this wasn't just coming from the investment bankers who will be working under Blankfein but from outgoing-CEO Hank Paulson as well.
After we posted, Gasparino posted his reporting on SquawkBlog.
It’s interesting to note that while Paulson has distanced himself from all business related activities as he awaits official confirmation, he is heavily involved in the succession process, and has been a main proponent of having a co president to serve with Cohn from the investment-banking division.
A bit of DealBreaker analysis after the jump.
A few things are striking about this. First, it's surprising that Paulson is the "main proponent" of this, rather than just an ally of the guys who will still be at Goldman after Paulson moves to the Treasury. Or maybe that's not surprising. Getting involved in a power struggle is risky--if you lose, you might end up having to work for the people whose power you tried to check or overturn. Paulson, already on his way out, has less to lose, and thus makes the perfect frontman for the investment bankers.
Second, we're still trying to figure out what Paulson's interest is in this. He's on his way out, and the future of Goldman Sachs no longer directly involves him. (Unless he somehow manages to hold on to his Goldman shares.) Perhaps, like so many politicians, he is worried about his legacy. Or is it personal loyalty to some high level friends who came up through Goldman's investment banking with him?
One more question. Is it really appropriate for Paulson to get involved in this? Shouldn't he be boning up on "How to Be Treasury Secretary?" And isn't it a bit unfair to people taking a rival position at Goldman? If you were negotiating the future structure of Goldman's leadership, would you really want to have it out with the next Treasury Secretary?
Okay. That was three more questions.
Replacing Blankfein [SquawkBlog]