As the Goldman CEO told Charlie Rose last year, Lloyd Blankfein was “stunned” by the SEC’s charges.Months later, he found himself defending Goldman’s stake against its clients to the Senate’s sub-committee on the causes of the crisis. Today, the Senate’s accusations that Goldman helped cause the crisis linger, and Blankfein still has to win the trust of Goldman’s clients back.
How does he feel about it?
An extract from William D. Cohan’s new book, Money And Power: How Goldman Sachs Came To Rule The World, quotes Blankfein:
“I want clients to be proud of the fact that they’re working with Goldman Sachs, not to explain it. I feel the weight of that, I do. I have a sense of duty about these things, and so I’m in.”
All in? “Look, I have to be,” he concluded.
It’s understandable that he’s not exactly chomping at the bit to complete the onerous task. Nor does he feel safe yet, from all of the crazed Goldman haters. He moves throughout Goldman Sachs in a secret passage-way, according to the book.
With that, Blankfein put on his suit jacket and a beefy security guard escorted him, via a hidden staircase, to the firm’s private dining area one floor above to meet with an unnamed dignitary, whom, he said, “I can’t be late for”. And then he was gone and the secret door closed behind him.