Six years ago, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman-Sachs, got a Twitter account @lloydblankfein. And he’s never tweeted a single chirp. Until today. And what did he use his very first tweet to do? To slam Donald Trump’s pullout of the Paris agreement! Fantastic! Need I say more? Well, yes, but not about Blankfein’s tweet or Trump’s asinine decision. Rather, I’ve chosen to go to my own writing archives and pull out an unpublished story I wrote about Blankfein at the beginning of the 2009 Christmas shopping season.
The press has been poking fun recently at the way Goldman Sachs current CEO and Chairman and Lloyd Blankfein dresses. I’ve always had my own ‘disappointment’ with Blankfein: I sent him one of my Hedgehog ties, which he never seems to wear in public; yet, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, wears his all the time. In fact, Blankfein’s predecessor at Goldman, Hank Paulson, wears my Birdwatching tie all the time, too. Despite these disclosures, I believe I can write an objective blog post.
Online website Dealbreaker insists that Blankfein once dressed inappropriately or ostentatiously, yet they did not offer any visual proof. I looked for old pictures of Blankfein using Google images but found only head shots.
Lloyd Blankfein high school yearbook
So one is only left to assume that a not-so-regular guy like Lloyd, who smoked two to three packs of cigarettes a day and had a love of gambling in Las Vegas, may have once shopped at a store like Syms and looked like new money.
Dealbreaker credits Blankfein today as a manifestation of sobriety, wearing grey or dark two-button, single breasted suits, medium-width lapels, no trendy touches – and silk ties with small geometric patterns. That being the case, I can suggest to Blankfein that he shop at Lee Allison and buy their discreet Dot In a Box White woven tie–named after the famous and less discreet Saturday Night Live short.
Let’s assume that Blankfein, the Jewish kid born in the Bronx and raised in Brooklyn’s Linden Houses, received little sartorial influence from his father who clerked with the Postal Service in Manhattan. Let’s also assume that Blankfein fared no better with mentors he developed at J. Aron when he was a mere precious metals salesman in their London office.
I am speculating that while in London, Blankfein began to at least window shop on Seville Row (bespoke suits) and Jermyn Street (bespoke shirts and shoes), but he never inhaled. Now he could easily buy companies like Gieves & Hawkes and Turnbull & Asser and even the Royal Warrants they hold, assuming they can be bought.
I learned from the OSHedge Blog* that newspapers like the Financial Times are spilling lots of ink on Blankfein’s appearance these days. Why not? Give the man star treatment – he has become much trimmer – and dissect his appearance and what it means about the firm and Wall Street as a whole, even on a busy news day if one so chooses.
As the OSHedge Blog put it, the clothes Blankfein wears today say “I have nice stuff but it is a background to the real substance of my life.” As long as Blankfein remains at the helm of the Great American Bubble Machine, all those highly compensated Moonies will keep the doors of landmark stores on 5th Avenue and the like open for at least one more Christmas season.