Goldman Sachs CEO hires defense attorney

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Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has not been personally charged with any crimes. And until just recently, it didn't appear--at least to the untrained layman's eye--that he would be.

So why has Blankfein has hired a top defense attorney?

According to Reuters, the embattled CEO has hired Reid Weingarten, a well-known Washington attorney whose past clients include former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers, who went to prison for various white collar crimes, a former Enron accounting officer and the film director Roman Polanski.

Why would Blankfein do this? The obvious answer is that he needs an attorney to deal with prosecutors who seem to be making progress on a case. It might signal that charges are imminent or, more broadly, that the investigations--for perjury perhaps--are starting to hit close enough to home that he needs to lawyer up. There has been no confirmation that a subpoena had been issued for information from the CEO.

For whatever reasons, it seems like his interests are starting to diverge a bit with the company's interests. This is often the case in high-profile prosecutions. I'm not sure what Weingarten's portfolio includes, but Blankfein may have just wanted a hard-nosed type to represent him if a rift occurs with the board. In any case, the news certainly has the industry buzzing.

For more:
- here's the article  
 -here's a profile of Weingarten

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