More big news about the Trump administration's plans to #MAGA is out this morning...from Blackstone.
According to a press release on the Blackstone website (and nowhere to be found on the Trump transition website or anywhere else that we can see), the President-Elect and Steve Schwarzman have put together a "Who's Who"/"Who?!" list of prominent CEOs to create what is being called the "President’s Strategic and Policy Forum." Per the language in the release, Trump is the driving force behind the team but one look at who is on this thing and it's clear that The Schwarz did most of the dialing.
Let's look at this roster:
Stephen A. Schwarzman (Forum Chairman), Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone;
Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, Former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission;
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors;
Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic;
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co;
Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock;
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company;
Rich Lesser, President and CEO, Boston Consulting Group;
Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.;
Jim McNerney, Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Boeing;
Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners;
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM;
Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System;
Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY;
Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric;
Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit;
While some of these names are longtime GOPers (Steve, Cosgrove, Warsh, McMillon and of course Welch), a bunch are people that are way more politically prone to send calls from Trump straight to voicemail (Fink, Iger, Barra) and one name in particular grabs our eye as it's someone that Trump has let it be known he doesn't really respect all that much.
Seeing Jamie Dimon on this list is obviously a bittersweet agony for us. While our heart is gladdened to see that The Schwarz was clearly a secret member of the #DraftDimon movement all along, we are troubled that Jamie's voice will be limited to a chorus in which he will have to share time with 80's relic Jack Welch. And judging from the press release, it's nearly impossible to anticipate what this band of billionaires will even be singing about.
Here's the explanation:
Members of the Forum will be charged with providing their individual views to the President – informed by their unique vantage points in the private sector – on how government policy impacts economic growth, job creation, and productivity. The Forum is designed to provide direct input to the President from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic, and non-partisan manner.
“This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth,” said President-elect Trump. “My administration is committed to drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America.”
The first meeting of the Forum will be held at The White House during the first week of February.
Okay, sure. So Welch and Warsh will call for slashing of all government interference in the private sector while Fink rolls his eyes, Atkins explains how to crush regulation while Trump stares dolefully at Jamie and everyone else in the room just repeats "At least they didn't invite Icahn" under their breath like a mantra of mental self-preservation.