Billionaire Lloyd Blankfein joked as he announced his 2018 retirement as Goldman Sachs CEO that he looked forward to “unrestrained tweeting” in the years ahead. But the Twitter life apparently bored the billionaire, and his twitter account went silent for three months — until last week when Senator Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary. Sanders, a Blankfein tweet ranted will “ruin our economy.” As a nominee, Blankfein says, he’d be the Russian pick “to best screw up the US.”
Blankfein seems to be engaging in some Trumpian projection here. Few Americans, a just-released Better Markets report details, have done more to “ruin the economy” in real time than Blankfein in his 12 years as Goldman’s top exec. The bank reached ”new heights of lawlessness” in the run-up to the 2008 financial crash, Better Markets notes, and then “continued to violate the law in the post-crash era.” The new report may be the best evidence yet that Wall Street, as a certain senator from Vermont charges, has only one essential business model: “fraud.” Chuck Collins, Inequality.org 2/17/20)
My take: I won’t edge into party politics and comment on Bernie – it is inappropriate. However, Blankfein is an example of a small number of people who have successfully manipulated both the economy and society to engineer a situation where capitalism, as it has developed, is working for them but not for ordinary people, either in the US or anywhere else. Billionaires like Blankfein can buy anything they want and have special privileges when they want the ear of a politician. Meanwhile they pay little or no tax, and in some cases give little to charity. If I were Blankfein I would keep rather quiet.