Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Senate Confirms Former Goldman Man to Head CFTC

Imagine my surprise.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Gensler spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs. His last position there was as co-head of finance. He also was involved in adding a layer of bureaucracy to corporate America when he acted as a Senior Adviser to Senator Paul Sarbanes, one of the authors of legislation that eventually became the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Gensler received his MBA from the Wharton School. A friend who attended Wharton with Gensler tells me he was the smartest student in the class. When Goldman visited the campus the year Gensler graduated, Gensler was the only student that they wanted to talk to.


  1. Wenzel,

    The last comment is interesting. I have been wondering recently how kids (that's what college students are, kids... they're incredibly immature and impressionable, most of them) go from being kids to taking on the trappings of the egotistical powermongers that make up the ruling class. I've been wondering what process is involved that takes someone whose basic thought from day-to-day is "I need to get drunk and hook up with someone" to plotting to rip-off, screw-over and otherwise usurp wealth and power from others... you know, for our own good.

    So, somehow Goldman-Sachs got the tip off that this one kid was someone they wanted to talk to... so they must be talking to the faculty or even have former Goldman players on the faculty that act as "feelers" who figure out who to send up the ranks? And is this an organic process? Do these professors and faculty take notice on their own or do they have their own feelers in the public and private schools? Does it start even earlier than that?

    This puzzles and interests me, I'd love to hear more if you have an idea or are similarly interested.

  2. @Taylor

    Interesting questions. I would say the insiders have "bird dogs" out there that are very good at spotting the type of talent they are looking for, much the way major league baseball teams have scouts beating the bushes.

    I chose to go in a different direction, but I was approached by Rockefeller people during my senior year in college. And twice early on in my business career I was approached by other similar groups. They have their eyes out.

  3. Wenzel,

    Three more questions then:
    1.) What do you think you had that they were looking for?
    2.) HOW did they approach you? What was the process, who found you for them, what kind of offer or enticement did they make?
    3.) Why, ultimately, did you choose another path?

    Thanks for the response