Few things have fascinated us more during the first year of the Trump Administration than the way it managed to create the first ever "Short Bus Government Sachs."
Failed Goldmanite Steve Bannon stoked the anti-Wall Street fervor that put Goldman legacy baby and noted moron Steve Mnuchin in charge of the Treasury Department. When their popularity inevitably dipped, they brought in a guy that Goldman fired twice to recreate their relationship with the press. After discussing auto-fellatio and trying to bring a little Scorsese magic to the White House press shop, Anthony Scaramucci was fired 11 days after he got hired. Trump's biggest Goldman prize (literally and figuratively) was of course Gary Cohn, who the president managed to reward for joining him with a plethora of public shamings that reduced a once-powerful man to an impotent public joke.
All in all, Trump's Goldmanites have been about as useful as Deutsche Bankers.
But then there is Dina Powell.
We've heard from more than a few people inside 200 West Street that Lloyd's most heartfelt goodbye in recent months was Dina's. She is by almost every account a respected and smooth operator who played well with others and was thought to be a potential asset to the Trump White House. Powell was known to be close to Ivanka and her broken mannequin husband. She speaks Arabic and had actual White House experience. She's also an Egyptian-born Texan...and a Christian. And perhaps most importantly to any woman working in the hidebound gender prison that is Donald Trump's professional orbit, Dina Powell is a physically attractive person.
She is also very very smart. Smart enough to have steered clear of the Russia investigation, white power flirtations, hot microphones, or embarrassing appearances in the briefing room. Essentially, Dina Powell is the only Goldman Sachs alum in this White House who is acting like she came from Goldman fucking Sachs.
Dina Powell, who resigned last week as President Trump’s deputy national security adviser and almost immediately began reaching out to her old friends and former colleagues at Goldman Sachs, the big Wall Street firm where she worked before joining the Trump administration in 2017. It’s unclear exactly what was communicated by Powell during these interactions, other than touching base with her old firm that she was leaving the administration, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Of course Dina is "touching base" with Goldman. She's probably telling whoever that she needs a lunch with Lloyd to relay some info. We assume that she was vague and professional, something along the lines of "Get me on the little guy's calendar fucking ASAP. He's not gonna believe this shit."
And unlike the rest of the rogues gallery that joined up with this idiot carnival of a presidency, Dina Powell is an easy person to reincorporate into your organization. She's flown low enough under the radar to not be infamous while still being privy to some high-level discussions in the West Wing. Lloyd and Co. can bring her back late winter or early spring when yet another Trump crisis dominates the news cycle. Dina Powell is, somehow, still an asset.
We wish the same could be said for poor old "Solomon Grundle"...
It’s also a question looming for another Goldman Sachs alum, Gary Cohn, the former No. 2 of the big Wall Street firm who is currently director of the White House’s National Economic Council, one of the president’s top economic advisers. Cohn has recently indicated to his Wall Street contacts that he too will be leaving the administration sometime in 2018, after he finishes his work spearheading the president’s tax-cut plan, according to people with direct knowledge of those conversations.
Yeah, but also it's not a question at all. This time last year Gary Cohn was the hulking and feared second-in-command at the world's most formidable financial services company. Today, Gary is the guy who lost out on running The Fed by having the temerity to speak out against Nazis, giggles on live television like someone who mistook Zoloft for breath mints and tried to sell a tax plan using a pathetic one-page outline, and magical math.
And speaking of the tax plan, if Gary Cohn thinks he's going to get a parade down Maiden Lane for delivering a massive corporate tax cut, he's once again not thinking very clearly. Wall Street of course loves the idea of paying almost no taxes but this legislation and Gary's behavior have become so blatant that even the financial sector is realizing that it has to act somewhat disgusted by it. As is his wont, Gary seems to have favored the hammer over the scalpel and has therefore made it pretty impossible for a large bank or fund to bring him aboard in the very near future.
We're not saying that Gary Cohn is a total pariah (yet), we're merely saying that he seems to have spent the last 12 months forgetting the cardinal rule of being a Goldmanite: "Always act with greed, but never ACT GREEDY."
And if Gary is still confused by this, he should ask Dina Powell. She gets it.