Politico reports that the head of Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday that Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy “has the potential to be a dangerous moment.” Lloyd Blankfein, who is chairman and CEO of the bank, was speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” In January, Sanders was asked by Bloomberg Politics to list an example of corporate greed, and he listed Blankfein.
“It has the potential to be a dangerous moment, not just for Wall Street not just for the people who are particularly targeted but for anybody who is a little bit out of line,” Blankfein said. “It’s a liability to say I’m going to compromise I’m going to get one millimeter off the extreme position I have and if you do you have to back track and swear to people that you’ll never compromise. It’s just incredible. It’s a moment in history.”
Blankfein and Goldman Sachs have strong ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and have been heavy donors to the Clinton’s Foundation.
Sanders responded that it was “beyond comprehension” that Blankfein would lecture him after the huge bailouts Wall Street received for “their greed and recklessness caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and homes. His arrogance has no end”
In January, Sanders criticized Clinton’s Goldman Sachs ties, referring four times to tax returns released by her campaign showing she received a total of $675,000 for three speeches to the bank in 2013. “Goldman Sachs is not going to bring forth a secretary of the Treasury for a Sanders administration,” he said.
While CEO of Goldman Sachs Group in 2007, Blankfein earned a total compensation of $53 million. His 2014 compensation was $24 million. As the largest individual owner of Goldman Sachs stock, he has a stake in the company worth almost $500 million. Real estate and an investment portfolio seeded by cash bonuses and distributions from the bank’s private-equity funds add more than $600 million.
Republicans are hoping Sanders succeeds as they think he will be easy to beat in the election. Bloomberg reported how American Crossroads, a group co-founded by Karl Rove, aired an ad in Iowa bolstering a core tenet of Sanders’s case against Clinton: that she has received large sums of campaign contributions from Wall Street, and therefore can’t be trusted to crack down on big banks. “Hillary rewarded Wall Street with a $700 billion bailout, then Wall Street made her a multi-millionaire,” a narrator in the ad said. “Does Iowa really want Wall Street in the White House?”
Republican candidate John Kasich indicated in a debate last week that he’d love to face Sanders. “We’re going to win every state,” he said, “if Bernie Sanders is the nominee.”