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Lloyd Blankfein

Lloyd Blankfein

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Lloyd Craig Blankfein is an American business executive. He is currently the CEO
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 and Chairman of Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

. He has been in this position since the May 31, 2006 nomination of former CEO Henry Paulson
Henry Paulson
Henry Merritt "Hank" Paulson, Jr. is an American banker who served as the 74th United States Secretary of the Treasury. He previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs.-Early life and family:...

 as Secretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....


Life and career

Blankfein was born in the Bronx borough of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, raised Jewish and reared in Brooklyn's Linden Houses, part of the New York City Housing Authority
New York City Housing Authority
The New York City Housing Authority provides public housing for low- and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs of New York City. NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments...

. His father was a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service branch in the Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 borough of New York City and his mother was a receptionist. As a boy, he worked as a concession vendor at Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium was a stadium located in The Bronx in New York City, New York. It was the home ballpark of the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1973 and from 1976 to 2008. The stadium hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It was also the former home of the New York...

. He received primary and secondary education in the public schools of the New York City Department of Education
New York City Department of Education
The New York City Department of Education is the branch of municipal government in New York City that manages the city's public school system. It is the largest school system in the United States, with over 1.1 million students taught in more than 1,700 separate schools...

, and was the valedictorian
Valedictorian is an academic title conferred upon the student who delivers the closing or farewell statement at a graduation ceremony. Usually, the valedictorian is the highest ranked student among those graduating from an educational institution...

 at Thomas Jefferson High School
Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn, New York)
Thomas Jefferson High School is a former high school in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. The New York City Department of Education closed the school and broke it into several different schools in 2007, owing to low graduation rates....

 in 1971. He attended Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

, where he lived in Winthrop House
Winthrop House
John Winthrop House is one of twelve undergraduate residences at Harvard College and home to slightly under 400 students.Commonly referred to as Winthrop House, it consists of two buildings, Standish Hall and Gore Hall. Both were built in 1912 as separate freshman dormitories...

, and earned his A.B. in 1975. In 1978, Blankfein received a J.D.
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 degree from Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...


Blankfein worked as a corporate tax lawyer for the law firm Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine
Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine
Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine was a white-shoe New York law firm. It was founded in 1929 by General William "Wild Bill" Donovan, often called the Father of the CIA. The firm dissolved in 1998. Its notable antitrust cases include a series of lawsuits involving American Cyanamid in the 1960s...

. In 1981, he joined Goldman's commodities trading arm, J. Aron & Co., as a precious metals salesman in its London office.

He is the Gala Chairman of the Rockefeller family
Rockefeller family
The Rockefeller family , the Cleveland family of John D. Rockefeller and his brother William Rockefeller , is an American industrial, banking, and political family of German origin that made one of the world's largest private fortunes in the oil business during the late 19th and early 20th...

's Asia Society
Asia Society
The Asia Society is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating the world about Asia. It has several centers in the United States and around the world Hong Kong, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, and Melbourne...

 in New York. He serves on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation
Robin Hood Foundation
The Robin Hood Foundation is a charitable organization, which attempts to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York, United States.-History:Founded in 1988, Robin Hood was the brainchild of hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones...

, a charitable organization seeking to alleviate poverty in New York, as well as on the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College.

Goldman CEO

Blankfein earned a total of $54.4 million in 2006 as one of the highest paid executives on Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

. His bonus reflected the performance of Goldman Sachs, which reported record net earnings of $9.5 billion. The compensation included a cash bonus of $27.3 million, with the rest paid in stock and options
Option (finance)
In finance, an option is a derivative financial instrument that specifies a contract between two parties for a future transaction on an asset at a reference price. The buyer of the option gains the right, but not the obligation, to engage in that transaction, while the seller incurs the...

. While CEO of Goldman Sachs Group in 2007, Blankfein earned a total compensation of $53,965,418, which included a base salary of $600,000, a cash bonus of $26,985,474, stocks granted of $15,542,756 and options granted of $10,453,031.

Blankfein was named as one of "The Most Outrageous CEOs of 2009" by Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

magazine. Taking a different position, Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

, which named Blankfein as its "2009 Person of the Year," stated: "His bank has stuck to its strengths, unashamedly taken advantage of the low interest rates and diminished competition resulting from the crisis to make big trading profits." Critics of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street have taken issue with those practices.

On January 13, 2010, Blankfein testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
The Commission reported its findings in January 2011. It concluded that "the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure to stem the...

, that he considered Goldman Sachs's role as primarily a market maker
Market maker
A market maker is a company, or an individual, that quotes both a buy and a sell price in a financial instrument or commodity held in inventory, hoping to make a profit on the bid-offer spread, or turn. From a market microstructure theory standpoint, market makers are net sellers of an option to be...

, not a creator of the product (i.e., subprime mortgage-related securities). Goldman Sachs was sued on April 16, 2010 by the SEC for the fraudulent selling of a Synthetic CDO
Synthetic CDO
A Synthetic CDO is a complex financial security used to speculate or manage the risk that an obligation will not be paid...

 tied to subprime mortgages, a product which Goldman Sachs had created.

With Blankfein at the helm Goldman has also been criticized "by lawmakers and pundits for issues from its pay practices to its role in helping Greece mask the size of its debts." Blankfein testified before Congress in April 2010 at a hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He said that Goldman Sachs had no moral or legal obligation to inform its clients it was betting against the products which they were buying from Goldman Sachs because it was not acting in a fiduciary role.

In August 2011, Goldman confirmed that Blankfein had hired high-profile lawyer Reid Weingarten. Weingarten has represented executives including former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers
Bernard Ebbers
Bernard John "Bernie" Ebbers is a Canadian-born businessman. He co-founded the telecommunications company WorldCom and is a former chief executive officer of that company....

 and former Enron
Enron Corporation was an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas. Before its bankruptcy on December 2, 2001, Enron employed approximately 22,000 staff and was one of the world's leading electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper companies, with...

 accounting officer Richard Causey
Richard Causey
Richard Alan Causey is one of the prominent figures in the Enron accounting scandal. Causey was Enron's Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer....



Blankfein is a contributor to mostly Democratic party candidates and donated $4,600 to Democratic Party candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...

 in 2007. Goldman employees and their relatives contributed almost a million dollars to Barack Obama's presidential campaign — making it "the company from which Obama raised the most money in 2008" — and Blankfein has visited the White House ten times as of February 2011. Former Goldman executives who hold senior positions in the Obama administration include Gary Gensler
Gary Gensler
Gary Gensler is the chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Barack Obama.Gensler was Undersecretary of the Treasury and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the United States. Barack Obama selected him to lead the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which has...

, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Mark Patterson, a former Goldman lobbyist who is chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; and Robert Hormats
Robert Hormats
Robert D. 'Bob' Hormats was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs on September 23, 2009. Hormats was formerly Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs . He joined Goldman Sachs in 1982...

, the undersecretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs.

On April 7, 2009, Blankfein recommended guidelines to overhaul executive compensation. According to The New York Times, he said that lessons from the global financial crisis included the need to "apply basic standards to how we compensate people in our industry."

In November 2009, he declared in an interview, as a banker: "I'm doing God's work." Several days later he indicated that he regretted that remark and said he had intended it as a joke. He also apologized on behalf of Goldman Sachs to the public for unspecified "things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret" and which contributed to the financial and economic crisis. The firm announced a 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, committing $500 million to aid American small businesses.

External links

  • Profile at Goldman Sachs
    Goldman Sachs
    The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

  • Profile at Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Profile at Forbes
    Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

  • Lloyd Blankfein collected news and commentary at International Business Times
    International Business Times
    The International Business Times is an online global business newspaper, published in 17 editions in 10 languages across 13 countries. The publication, sometimes called IBTimes, offers news, analysis and editorial commentary on business and business related stories...

  • The Man Goldman Is Banking On 2004 profile from BusinessWeek magazine