Ex-Goldman talent have had influence at the highest reaches of government

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goldman alumnus find their way to political power

A glance at the roster of top Goldman Sachs talent that has found its way to Washington’s halls of power illustrates why the financial giant has become known as the New York Yankees of Wall Street.

Over the years, Goldman’s golden boys have made the leap from Manhattan, the capital of finance, to Washington, the capital of political influence. That high-finance to high-government corridor has at times raised eyebrows about whether one firm has unduly influenced national policies.

A roster of some Goldman alumni:

—Robert Rubin: Former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton. Rubin was co-chairman of the firm from 1990 to 1992.

—Jon Corzine: New Jersey governor and former New Jersey senator. Corzine was the firm’s chairman and chief executive officer, from 1994 to 1999. He joined the firm in 1975 as a bond trader and became a partner in 1980.

—Henry Paulson: President George W. Bush’s last Treasury secretary and the architect of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bailout fund used to inject capital into financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs. He served as chairman and chief executive from 1999 to 2006, was co-senior partner from 1998 to 1999 and president and chief operating officer from 1994 to 1998.

—Neel Kashkari: Until last month, Kashkari headed TARP. Until 2006, Kashkari had worked at Goldman Sachs and had headed the firm’s information technology security investment banking practice in San Francisco.

—Josh Bolten: White House chief of staff under President George W. Bush. From 1994 to 1999, Bolten served as executive director for legal and governmental affairs at Goldman Sachs International in London.

—Stephen Friedman: Until May, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s board of directors. Friedman, a retired Goldman Sachs co-chairman, resigned amid questions over his continued ties to the firm. Friedman has said he had received a waiver to remain on the company’s board after Goldman Sachs became a bank holding company.

—John Whitehead: Former chairman of the Federal Reserve of New York. Former deputy secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. He was a Goldman co-chairman and a senior partner from 1976 to 1984.

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