Some grouse that Goldman is not just one of the biggest players on Wall Street – it also sets the rules of the game with the zillion-watt manpower it routinely shunts to Washington. Since the days when CEO Sidney Weinberg played éminence grise to Roosevelt and Truman, it’s given the US three treasury secretaries (Henry Fowler, Robert Rubin and now Hank Paulson), an undersecretary and several deputy secretaries of state (Robert Hormats, John Whitehead, Robert Zoellick), two chairmen of the National Economic Council (Rubin and Stephen Friedman), a chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Stephen Friedman), a chief of staff (Joshua Bolten), a CEO of the New York Stock Exchange (John Thain), a president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Gerald Corrigan and Whitehead).
Then there’s also a New Jersey governor, a US senator, a chairman of the BBC, several major hedge-fund managers, the chairmen of the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey, a governor of the Bank of Italy, the head of the US Export-Import Bank, two US trade representatives – a veritable Burke’s peerage of national and international finance. To all this, add Goldman’s investment banking business, which – though it accounts for only 5% of revenues – has a Rolodex crammed with the financial elite.
~ Lila Rajiva, "Why it's time to sell Goldman," Money Week, June 30, 2006