Dakin Campbell and Hugh Son write for Bloomberg about how Goldman Sachs, an iconic company of transnational American capitalism if ever there was one, has come out against the visa ban. The upcoming shifts in American politics, as old allies break apart, will be interesting to watch.
In a sharply worded message to staff, Lloyd Blankfein, the bank’s long-time head, broke with the Trump administration over its controversial attempt to crack down on immigration. The voicemail, sent Sunday to the firm’s 34,400 employees, pits Blankfein against an administration stocked with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. veterans, including his former No. 2, Gary Cohn, and key Trump adviser Steven Bannon.
Blankfein told employees that President Donald Trump’s executive order, parts of which were blocked by federal courts, is at odds with the firm’s long-held policies on workforce diversity and could disrupt Goldman Sachs’s business. “This is not a policy we support,” the chief executive officer said.
Blankfein joined a growing chorus of executives, notably from the technology industry, expressing displeasure about the order halting immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries. Google Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai slammed Trump’s move in a note to employees Friday, while Microsoft Inc. on Sunday described the order as “misguided and a fundamental step backward.”
Blankfein’s comments put Goldman Sachs, one of Wall Street’s most influential firms, in the unusual position of standing against a signature effort of the new administration. Since former Chairman Sidney Weinberg served in Washington during both World War II and the Korean War, the firm has sent executives into government service, earning it the Government Sachs moniker. It seldom takes a public stand against a sitting president.