Money is everywhere in politics, and perhaps no single private company manages to make its money work better than the homeboys and b-girls over at Goldman Sachs.
So deeply ingrained are the accusations of pay-to-play that Goldman is almost synonymous with the revolving door between Wall Street and Capitol Hill (all those Treasury Secretaries). But this election has gotten out of hand and what with everything looking too weird to even fully comprehend, Goldman is apparently going to do something that it's probably wanted to do for awhile now; tamp down all that state and local political giving coming from the biggest names at Goldman Sachs.
According to a sweet little scoop from Politico's Ben White:
Per Goldman Sachs email that went out last week: “[E]ffective Thursday, September 1, all partners across the firm are considered ‘Restricted Persons’ as defined by the firm’s Policy on Personal Political Activities in the US. As outlined below, Restricted Persons are prohibited from engaging in political activities and/or making campaign contributions to candidates running for state and local offices, as well as sitting state and local officials running for federal office.
And Goldman's not just doing it to protect Goldman, it's also doing it to protect all of the future Treasury Secretaries who are currently working at Goldman.
"The policy change is meant to prevent inadvertently violating pay-to-play rules, particularly the look-back provision, when partners transition into roles covered by these rules. The penalties for failing to comply with these rules can be severe and include fines and a ban on the firm from doing business with government clients in a particular jurisdiction for a period of at least two years”
So Lloyd and Gary are going to come around the c-suites now and lock up your checkbooks. If you want them back for an emergency (and Hamptons fundraisers won't work now that we've entered September, kids) lay out your case and you can have them back for a few moments. But don't even think about trying to write a check from home...
“The policy change is also meant to minimize potential reputational damage caused by any false perception that the firm is attempting to circumvent pay-to-play rules, particularly given partners' seniority and visibility. All failures to pre-clear political activities as outlined below are taken seriously and violations may result in disciplinary action.”
So sit back, Goldman Sachs partners, your money isn't good here. But your underlings should now prepare themselves to max out on house races.
SCOOP: GOLDMAN EXPANDS POLITIAL RESTRICTIONS [Politico Morning Money]