by Patricia Sellers
Lloyd Blankfein hasn't loved buddying up to Washington this past year. After accepting--and repaying--$10 billion in TARP funds to help rescue the global financial system, the Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO has had to raise his presence in D.C., as well as in the press, to defend the firm's record profits and opulent pay. "We went from a bankrupt model to 'too big to fail,'" said Blankfein, referring to Goldman's scuffed image, in an interview this morning with Fortune managing editor managing editor Andy Serwer.
Blankfein, you would think, would want little more to do with D.C. But apparently he's thinking otherwise. When asked if he is planning to take a job in Washington after Goldman, the CEO responded with a story about advice he received when he made managing partner at the firm 21 years ago. "A majordomo told me, 'You should think of your career this way. If someone writes a nine-paragraph obituary, make sure that no more than two paragraphs are about Goldman Sachs."
The "majordomo" was Jon Cohen, who is now an advisory director at Goldman and back then was a right-hand man to the late John Weinberg.
Without mentioning "Government Sachs,"--the nickname used by people who contend that Goldman has gotten favorable treatment from regulators--Blankfein went on to tick off a list of former Goldman colleagues who have gone on to big government positions: former Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and Steve Friedman and John Whitehead. "All had second, if not third acts, in their careers," Blankfein noted.
Not that the Goldman chief is going anywhere soon. He just turned 55 and probably has at least left five years running Wall Street's mightiest firm. But given that he supported Hillary Clinton and then Barack Obama for President, it's conceivable if the Democrats hold power: Blankfein for Treasury Secretary in 2016?
Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein was one of the few men in attendance Monday night for the opening of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. He had a special role to play: Presenting $25,000 to each of the two recipients of this year's Goldman Sachs-Fortune Global Women Leaders Award.
The award recognizes women from developing countries for making a difference in their own communities, using the skills, knowledge and experience MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Sep 18, 2009 4:08 PM ET
"I saw it as gonzo, over-the-top writing that some people might find fun to read. I was shocked that others saw it as being supporting evidence that Goldman Sachs had burned down the Reichstag, shot the Archduke Ferdinand and fired on Fort Sumter."
- Goldman Sachs (GS) chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein in "The Rage Over Goldman Sachs" in this week's Time magazine. Blankfein is talking about last month's damning story MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 24, 2009 7:28 PM ET
Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs (GS), phoned from Madrid a few weeks ago to share "The Best Advice I Ever Got." This is the cover package in the current issue of Fortune. And you can read wisdom from Blankfein and lots of other power players --Bill Gates, Tiger Woods, Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt--in the issue and online.
Beyond Blankfein's "Best Advice" that appears in the issue, he told MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jul 1, 2009 12:11 PM ET
"I think we can be reasonably confident that that's going to end within the next few months and that you'll no longer have that sense of free fall."
--White House economic adviser Larry Summers, at the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday. Summers compared the economic crisis to a ball falling off the table. Let's hope for a soft landing.
As Summers spoke, a banner unfurled behind him: "We Want Our $$$ MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Apr 10, 2009 7:04 PM ET
"We will hold ourselves accountable for what we do, and that starts with me."
-- Citigroup (C) CEO Vikram Pandit testifying before Congress on Wednesday. The heads of eight of the nation's top banks, which have collectively received $165 billion in government rescue funds, appeared together before the House Financial Services Committee to explain what they've done with the money so far.
The CEOs—including Goldman Sach's (GS) Lloyd Blankfein, Wells Fargo's (WFC) MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Feb 11, 2009 7:06 PM ET
When chaos and crisis are in the air, it's easy to shelve programs that are about building for the long-term future. That's why I'm particularly proud that Fortune and Goldman Sachs (GS) recently partnered to create the Goldman Sachs-Fortune Global Women Leaders Award.
This annual award is a product of the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership, which brings rising-star women from developing countries to the U.S. every May MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 10, 2008 12:35 PM ET
This morning, I read about the potential merger of General Motors (GM) and Chrysler. Then I read about the benign rivalry of two divas of the blog world, Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown. Two stories that have nothing to do with each other? You would think. But actually, they do. They point to a new reality of the business world: Competition isn't what it used to be. Competition becomes coopetition. MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 27, 2008 5:14 PM ET
Amidst the chaos in the markets, it's difficult to find time to breathe, much less pore over 2,500 pictures from our Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in early October. But I finally made it through our trove and want to share part of it with you.
If you've been reading Postcards, you know that we had Warren Buffett with us for three days. What a treat. More than that, the Berkshire MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Oct 24, 2008 3:11 PM ET
Where did America's richest man and one of Wall Street's most powerful CEOs meet face to face for the first time after their $5 billion deal? The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, a three-day, invitation-only gathering of the world's most prominent women leaders.
So who let the guys in? Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) and Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein were two of just three men invited this year; MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 16, 2008 3:16 PM ET
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