Goldman Sachs President to Play Key Role in Setting Trump's Economic Policy

By Lawler, Joseph | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, December 9, 2016 | Go to article overview

Goldman Sachs President to Play Key Role in Setting Trump's Economic Policy


Lawler, Joseph, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Gary Cohn, president of Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs, will play a key role in shaping President-elect Trump's economic policies, as the announced pick to direct the National Economic Council.

The selection of the 56-year-old Cohn, announced Monday, again elevates the influence of Goldman Sachs' alumni within the incoming Trump administration. Steven Mnuchin, Trump's choice for treasury secretary, and Steve Bannon, his pick for top political strategist, also worked at the bank.

Although Trump promoted anti-establishment and anti-Wall Street rhetoric during the campaign, he has stocked his White House with insiders such as Cohn, who has worked for Goldman Sachs for 25 years.

As is typical for top industry figures, Cohn has supported both major political parties. In the 2016 campaign, he backed Clinton rather than Trump, but over the years he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to both Democrats and Republicans.

"As my top economic advisor, Gary Cohn is going to put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people," Trump said in a statement Monday. "He will help craft economic policies that will grow wages for our workers, stop the exodus of jobs overseas and create many great new opportunities for Americans who have been struggling. He fully understands the economy and will use all of his vast knowledge and experience to make sure the American people start winning again."

Cohn has long been rumored as a potential successor to Lloyd Blankfein as the head of Goldman Sachs, but instead he will take up a career in government. In doing, so he will follow in the footsteps of other notable bankers.

The first director of the National Economic Council was also a longtime banker and former chairman at Goldman Sachs: Robert Rubin, who would go on to be treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton. …

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