Monday, June 26, 2017

The Incredible Influence the Dyslexic, Content-Lite Goldman Sachs Team Has on President Trump

William Cohan writes:
One photograph makes it abundantly clear just how present a small group of Goldman Sachs alumni has become in Donald Trump’s White House. From April 6, it shows a stone-faced Trump and his advisers in a “sensitive, compartmented information facility” at Mar-a-Lago, just after the president had given the order to launch cruise missiles at a Syrian-government airbase. In the closely cropped picture, released by Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Twitter, 14 men and one woman are crowded tightly around a small table, their eyes glued to a closed-circuit-television screen. Three of the people in the picture—Gary Cohn, the head of the National Economic Council and Trump’s chief economic adviser; Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary; and Dina Powell, a deputy national-security adviser—are former Goldman Sachs partners, one of the most coveted perches on Wall Street. A fourth, Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, was a Goldman Sachs vice president in the late 1980s, before he left the firm to start his own investment-banking business.
“I find it validating,” says Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chairman and C.E.O., from his Battery Park City, Manhattan, office, 41 floors above the Hudson River, “that as he was looking for good people it happens that a lot of them had Goldman Sachs affiliations. It makes me feel good that he sees in those people the same thing I see in those people.”
It should also be noted that  Powell is also a top adviser to Ivanka, who, of course, has major influence on her father,

According to Cohan:
Blankfein says he told Trump about [Powell]: “You’re going to find she’s going to be a very big, positive surprise to you. You’re going to find out that you end up counting on her for much more than you could imagine.”
And indeed shortly after Powell joined the administration to work with Ivanka Trump on women’s economic-empowerment issues, H. R. McMaster, the national-security adviser, plucked her to work with him as one of his deputies. Vogue recently called her Trump’s “right-hand woman.”
It’s a trajectory that leaves many current and former Goldman rank-and-file bankers scratching their heads. Powell, one Goldman executive tells me, was always thought of around the firm as “content lite”... 
It is also interesting that Cohn is confirmed dyslexic (which Trump probably is also).

Cohan writes that Robert Steel, also a former Goldman partner, says of Cohn, "He’s never read a five-page memo in his life, but when he asks you to describe something to him he pays incredible attention and remembers every word.”

I am told Trump is also a careful listener.

In the end, this an Administration that appears to be a combination that either can't read or is "content-lite" but certainly knows how to do crony deals---and Goldman Sachs people are over the place in the can't read, content-lite department to stick handle the deals in front of the likely dyslexic Trump who doesn't like to read either.



  1. This is still a tough one for me.

    As odious as these cronies are, I could see them serving as a sort of bulwark against the populist craziness of the average Trump supporter. At least they might have enough sense not to kill their golden goose by wrecking trade and immigration (Bannon aside.)

  2. Researchers point to a possible link between dyslexia and business success