Lloyd Blankfein delivers commencement address


Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein continues to pave the way for a transition from the pre-eminent financial services executive to whatever comes next. Many people were convinced that he was primed for a move into public service, but the environment to tap big bank execs for such jobs remains unfavorable and Blankfein would appear to be a victim.

Still, he has been in statesman mode, staking out very reasonable positions on regulatory affairs, positioning his bank as a gay rights activist, and generally running clear of anything controversial. The good-guy campaign stepped up again when he delivered a commencement address at a local community college.

DealBook notes that Goldman Sachs chose LaGuardia in 2010 as a partner in the firm's 10,000 Small Businesses program, which aims to train entrepreneurs. The president of LaGuardia called Mr. Blankfein a "stalwart supporter of small businesses and community colleges."

Blankfein's address will not go down as one of the great commencement speeches in the manner of a Conan O'Brien's speech at Harvard a few years ago. Still, he told his own tale of success against the odds, one that will likely be deemed inspiring.

"What are the chances that a kid from the projects would run one of the great financial institutions in the world?" Blankfein was quoted. "You just never know."

As of now, we don't know what's next for Blankfein, but the window is wide open for a graceful move.  

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