Double-edged sword: With so many of its former employees manning posts in the Trump administration, Goldman Sachs would appear to have a "unique and influential edge," the New York Times writes. And certainly the company's stock – as well as that of other banks, to be sure – has benefited from Trump's election. "Yet the Trump connection may actually be more of a liability, people close to the firm contend." One reason: "The constant scrutiny a company naturally falls under when five of its former executives are named to prominent government positions."
But Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein says his former colleagues now in government service "bend over backward to avoid any perception of favoritism." In his annual letter to shareholders, Blankfein defended the many prominent alumni who have held senior positions in the government, both past and present. Speaking of Gary Cohn, Goldman's former president and now Trump's National Economic Director, Blankfein wrote: "Gary was not the first person from Goldman Sachs to join the government, and we hope and expect that he will not be the last. Five of my most recent predecessors went into government service, and that has not been by happenstance."