In an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday, Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, said that Bernie Sanders’ popularity, and his attacks on the “billionaire class,” “has the potential to be a dangerous moment.”
Basically, he’s worried that Sanders’ rhetoric is stirring up resentment. “It has the potential to personalize it, it has the potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street not just for the people who are particularly targeted but for anybody who is a little bit out of line,” Blankfein said.
“It’s a liability to say I’m going to compromise I’m going to get one millimeter off the extreme position I have and if you do you have to back track and swear to people that you’ll never compromise. It’s just incredible. It’s a moment in history.”
In 2013, according to financial disclosures, Hillary Clinton received a total of $675,000 from Goldman Sachs for three speeches she made to the bank. (Bill Clinton was paid $200,000 for one speech in the same year.) Asked at the Democratic Town Hall on Wednesday why she took such enormous fees, Clinton said, “That’s what they offered.” Well, maybe—but in 2013, Politico Magazine reported, the candidate’s minimum fee for paid remarks was $200,000.
On Thursday, Clinton added, “They’re not giving me very much money now.” Again, this is also only sort of true. Laura Blankfein, the CEO’s wife, gave Hillary For America the maximum individual donation, $2,700. In FEC reports, her occupation is listed as “philanthropist” and her employer as “Goldman Sachs.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg Business reports that analysts at the investment bank are unclear whether corporate profit margins, which are pretty high right now, will eventually revert to the mean, as they historically have, or whether they will remain elevated.
“We are always wary of guiding for mean reversion. But, if we are wrong and high margins manage to endure for the next few years (particularly when global demand growth is below trend), there are broader questions to be asked about the efficacy of capitalism,” the analysts concluded.
The car is on fire, and there’s no driver at the wheel.