Now, we find out Goldman Sachs’ (GS) real feelings about Charlie Gasparino during the financial crisis.
While Wall Street was in disarray last year, Goldman called CNBC’s Gasparino to thank him for his reporting.
“I praised them as the best of the bunch,” Gasparino told us.
According to Gasparino, Goldman said he was one of the few reporters to accurately characterise the relative strength of the bank in the frantic period that brought down Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.
But internally, CEO Lloyd Blankfein was calling Gasparino a rumour-monger.
Vanity Fair has an excerpt from Andrew Ross Sorkin’s new book, Too Big To Fail, which contains this nugget:
VF: Desperate for an ally, Mack contacted his most serious rival, Lloyd Blankfein, of Goldman. “Lloyd, you guys are in the same boat as I am.” He asked Blankfein to appear on CNBC with him, as a show of force.
While the 53-year-old Goldman C.E.O. kept a television in his office, he was so disgusted with what he believed was CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino’s “rumour-mongering” that he had turned it off in protest. “That’s not my thing,” he told Mack. “I don’t do TV.”
We asked Goldman if the quote is real. They confirmed that the story is accurate, but spokesperson Isobel Spicer said that “rumour-mongering” is not a direct quote. We’re not sure whether that means that Blankfein thought Gasparino was a gossip or just did not like hearing the drumbeat of negative news coming over the CNBC airwaves.
Gasparino was surprised at the accusation. He noted that Sorkin’s story didn’t point to any rumour or false story that Gasparino alllegedly spread.
“At the same time, [Goldman spokesman Lucas] Van Praag was calling me up every day. We went out of the way to be cogniscent of the issue with Morgan Stanley and Goldman,” Gasparino said. “Whatever Blankfein was saying, Lucas Van Praag wasn’t saying anything like that. I had zero calls asking me to go easy on them. Maybe they just don’t like hearing bad news.”