This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Five Bold 2010 Predictions for Financial Stocks

What if Goldman Sachs' CEO Lloyd Blankfein Steps Down?

After facing extinction last year until being rescued by the government and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) Chairman Warren Buffett (view Buffett's portfolio), Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) is back to making more money than anyone can imagine. Why in the world would the boss of such a place hang it up now?

Well, Lloyd Blankfein has made plenty of money, and isn't he tired? And lately, the attacks from the public, the press, regulators and members of Congress are unrelenting. It's gotten so bad that Goldman is going so far as to pay the 2009 bonuses for its entire 30-person management committee in restricted stock instead of the usual cold, hard cash.

At 55 years old, Blankfein is far from retirement age, though he is two years older than his JPMorgan Chase counterpart Jamie Dimon, and talk that Dimon may be bored in his job has been going on for months, forcing Dimon to eventually shuffle top management in order to groom Jes Staley as his potential successor. Also, Blankfein, like Dimon, seems like he could function outside finance -- probably not in politics, since everyone now hates Goldman, but maybe as a stand-up comic.

The obvious candidate to replace Blankfein would be Gary Cohn, the bank's president who, like Blankfein, came up through Goldman's commodities trading unit, J.Aron. But maybe the board would use a Blankfein resignation to try and change the company's image, described in a recent Vanity Fair article as obsessed "with making money first and foremost," instead of thinking about client relationships, as the old Goldman apparently did.

That might argue for putting one of Goldman's top-ranked "relationship" bankers in charge, like David Solomon or John Weinberg, the co-heads of investment banking. Neither, though, seems to have the legendary client skills that have characterized the best Goldman dealmakers over the years. Star M&A banker Gene Sykes fits that description, but who knows if he would be interested. Also, anyone who did not meet with the Federal Reserve and the Treasury during the depths of the crisis last year, or were at least closer to those discussions as Cohn surely was, would probably be seen as lacking the experience of those who did.

Or maybe such speculation is a useless exercise. William Cohan, who wrote "House of Cards," about Bear Stearns' collapse and is now at work on a Goldman book, tells me via email that the idea of a Blankfein resignation is "Bold, brash but [it] ain't gonna happen anytime soon."

Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Next: What if Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Keeps His Job?>>>
2 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AIG $61.00 0.00%
BAC $16.36 0.00%
C $53.28 0.00%
GS $187.75 0.00%
JPM $64.13 0.00%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 +1.21 0.06%
NASDAQ 4,828.3250 +15.6170 0.32%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs