Goldman Sachs’ President Gary Cohn Says Goldman Should Stay Out Of The Limelight (on TV)

Also, hedges on hedging.

gary cohn goldman sachs Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn Says Goldman Should Stay Out Of The Limelight (on TV)Goldman Sachs president and COO Gary Cohn—who many consider to be next in line for Lloyd Blankfein’s job, assuming he isn’t immortal—has a novel idea about Goldman Sach’s place in the press: To stay out of it. Which he said on television this morning.

When asked by Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker on this morning’s Market Makers whether or not Goldman was benefiting from the negative press JP Morgan has recently received, Cohn explained that he “watched it a little bit” and “wouldn’t call it enjoyment, but I was interested.” Which sounds the kind of thing someone busted watched a snuff film would say.

He continued:

“I don’t think it is good for anyone to be in the public light for negative reasons. [...] Overall, the best thing for all of us is to be in an industry that is well-respected, well-regarded and well thought of. If one of us has a problem reputationally, the other may have the problem and they will end up getting similar questions and their clients will question them. The best thing for all of us is to do our job, provide to our clients what they need to be provided and stay out of the limelight.

Besides the irony inherent in Cohn explaining this on television, it’s not the most savvy thing he could’ve come up with: The best thing of all would be for Goldman to promise to (ostensibly) work towards a greater standard of transparency for both their clients and the public at-large. Not that it’s likely, and not that Cohn should be encouraged to lie, but it’s the simply the press line Goldman, Dimon, and the embattled banking industry should probably be propagating right now.

Instead, well, this:

If you’ve got a hedge that is making enormous amounts of profit, you should go back and look at the correlation or the relationship between your hedge and the underlying event that you are trying to hedge, or you should look at the size and magnitude of that. This gets down to another one of these points that we’ve made numerous times. Size does matter in the financial industry.

Hindsight is crazy, yo.

Finally, Cohn explained that he’d be happy to pry Blankfein from his gig, but was smart enough to hedge his desire for it on the likely chance that Blankfein does indeed live to 117.

“Of course I would like to be CEO of Goldman Sachs, but I am very happy in the role and job I’m in now and I’ve a great job and a great opportunity in front of me. I am very happy doing what I am doing.”

Hey, that makes two of you.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek