Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein just finished speaking at the Dealbook Conference at One World Trade Center with Andrew Ross Sorkin.
He’s talked about a number of topics from the US economy, oil, China and 2016. He also cracked a few jokes, too.
As he walked out on stage, Sorkin pointed out that he’s grown a beard (He’s actually had that beard for a long time now).
“I thought you said ‘since then you’ve grown,'” Blankfein joked.
The conversation began with the US economy.
“I say in the US it feels like the economy is in good shape. The markets may be more supported than warranted…because we are in a situation where we have trend or above trend growth and money policy…that’s a good combination.”
Lower oil prices:
Sorkin asked him if lower oil prices can be bad.
“Well you can make a short term or sector bad call, ah bad aspect to it. So for example, a big percentage of capital investment in the US is in the oil sector, if they withdraw that, that in the short term is a negative.”
You can also look at lower oil prices as a “blessing” and think of it like a tax cut.
Sorkin pointed out that China appears to be slowing down. He asked Blankfein if he believes the econ numbers coming out of China.
“Do I believe the numbers? I believe there are numbers,” Blankfein said.
“I would say that it’s very hard to gage,” he said. “I’m not sure what they’re measuring. I think it’s a less sophisticated capital allocation system. I’m not sure that they are collecting the data we would…”
“You don’t think they’re manipulating the numbers?,” Sorkin asked.
“I don’t know. How do you I know?… I’d say my overall view of China is that over the long term they are going to do very well. I’ve said this other times before. This could very well be the Chinese century the way the 20th Century was the American century.”
“Their economy is going to be bigger than our economy even though they are going to be poorer on a per capita basis.”
Sorkin said he heard that Senator Rand Paul will be visiting Goldman’s offices next week.
Blankfein explained that they have a speaker program and recently had former Yankees player Derek Jeter and Cardinal Timothy Dolan at the 200 West headquarters.
Sorkin asked him who he is supporting.
Blankfein joked that he’s supporting Jeter.
Sorkin pointed out he has been a strong supporter of Democrats in the past.
Blankfein did say that he’s “always been a fan of Hillary Clinton.” What’s more is Blankfein said he doesn’t see Clinton’s relationship with Wall Street as a liability.
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