Which is not to say that we’d expect Goldman to assign the role of chief financial officer to an executive lacking in lovable qualities, only that Harvey Schwartz is going to have a hard enough time living up to the standard set by the firm’s current CFO David Viniar, to say noting of all the nice things people are saying and writing about him.
The outpouring began last month, when Goldman announced that Mr. Schwartz would succeed Mr. Viniar at the beginning of next year. Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt told The Journal that the Federal Reserve would love Mr. Schwartz’s “no-nonsense demeanor and sense of humor.“ The Times called him “affable and brawny.”
That sort of measured praise was mere appetizer to the meal Bloomberg served today, in which one former colleague said Mr. Schwartz would “put the firm first” but not to the “detriment of the firm’s clients,” and another noticed “whenever we were in a situation where things were either tough or difficult,” Mr. Schwartz was lending a hand, and a host of other sources who noted that:
Mr. Schwartz was a lackluster high school student whose facility with numbers led him to finance; borrowed money to get through Rutgers and later donated $1.5 million to fund financial aid at the university; plays mediocre but enthusiastic golf; bicycles; was apparently a voice of reason when Goldman was selling mortgage investors shitty deals; lives with one Annei Hubbard, a hero of a 2002 incident at an East Village bar, during which she was shot in the leg while helping to apprehend a deranged gunman; wrote a $10,000 check to help a stranger (Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert) buy a house for another (Indonesian) stranger.
Well, sounds swell! A quality which will note doubt serve him as he seeks to push the firm’s share price above 2005 levels.