Lloyd Blankfein a sound choice for public service


Many of you likely read--or at least saw--Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein's editorial published in the Wall Street Journal.

It was a reasonable, clear-eyed call to sound economic policies in order to work cooperatively to deal with the fiscal cliff, deal with the budget deficit, keep marginal tax rates low while broadening the base and develop sound domestic energy policies.

So, what's the real import of the editorial?

It seems inescapable that Blankfein is laying the groundwork for life after Goldman Sachs. As of now, one could argue that he has left the ship in decent shape, one that will sail once the economy picks up. Much of what he has been done lately could be seen as positioning for a transition, from his reasonable words on regulation, to his work to help Hurricane Sandy victims, to this editorial. My sense is that he has put out lots of feelers and is doing what has to be done to secure a Cabinet-level public service job.

Will he follow in the steps of another ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulson, and become Treasury Secretary? He's not generally mentioned as a leading candidate, but some have suggested that the next secretary should have some banking experience. He would excel in this job once people got over the "optics" of appointing the CEO of such a controversial bank.

Frankly, Blankfein seems like a more plausible candidate than Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, who has been mentioned in the discussion. Another option for Blankfein could be Commerce Secretary.

For more:
- here's the editorial

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