Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein reacted to Eric Cantor’s stunning loss with shock and disappointment.
Responding to questions about Cantor’s loss to Tea Party backed Dave Brat in the Virginia primary race on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Blankfein called last night’s results “stunning.”
Of course, Blankfein was stunned because Goldman Sachs made a huge political investment in Cantor and his re-election. According to Open Secrets, Goldman Sachs PAC and employees gave Cantor $26,000 in political donations during the 2013-2014 cycle.
More enlightening than his comments about Cantor was Blankfein’s overall perspective on politics.
Blankfein wants compromise on all issues and hopes Cantor’s loss:
“…doesn’t mean it will be impossible from the point forward to compromise on issues like the budget, on immigration policy or any of the issues racking the country. At the end of the day, I don’t look forward to a time when every legislator goes to Washington absolutely committed to an extreme point of view and can you never resolve anything, can you never move forward.”
Translation: he hates principled politicians and prefers those he can manipulate with money.
While he appropriately defends Goldman’s right to participate in the political process, Blankfein lied about the company’s impact, saying:
…our influence, obviously, is limited, obviously, look at the last five years and the stresses we have been under.
During the financial crisis Goldman’s political connections, including having its former CEO Hank Paulson as Treasury Secretary who engineered the $85 billion bailout of AIG, prevented huge losses for the company and prevented its possible bankruptcy.
Of interest, at the height of the crisis Blankfein attended a meeting with his former Goldman boss where the AIG rescue was discussed.
That’s not limited influence, that’s direct access.
Finally, Blankfein seems confused about the role of our elected officials:
“I think people have to understand, elected representatives are sent to Washington to compromise.” not to never compromise and that’s, you know, we have to go through this cycle to get to the other side or else we’ll diminish as a nation, frankly.”
Blankfein is not a friend of the Tea Party. As a Harvard trained lawyer and Wall Street stock trader, he views the political world through a prism of deal making and horse trading and not our founding principles.
In reality, the real threat to our future are not principled representatives but politicians such as Cantor who dance to the tune by corporate heads like Blankfein who seeks to profit from the growth and manipulation of government.
Video courtesy of CNBC