An interview with the ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Craig Blankfein. In this interview, Lloyd reflects on his long career in finance and at Goldman Sachs, including the lessons he has learnt and advice he would give to young people. Lloyd also talks about how to act in different market cycles.
Lloyd Craig Blankfein: Lessons And Advice To Succeed In Finance
The first thing I think everybody really wants to know is you have done so many different things in your life and that may be different but you know you're still very young I say exactly. But in those few short years I'm searching you're searching even from Brooklyn to Harvard. You've been at JRM and Goldman Sachs you have had many different jobs at Goldman Sachs. What have you learned through transitions or what were some of the more exciting ones that you've managed your way through. First of all.
Look everything is everything has always always evolves. Everything changes. Not as much as people think when the change is happening but it's always changing. I started out as a lawyer my first career was as a lawyer. And I was doing litigation and in 19. You know in nineteen eighty. We were arguing about things that happened in 1969 and if I was writing a brief for doing something and I put my pen down at 11 o'clock at night I'd come in the next morning and eight thirty in the morning I get there and it was just where I left it. I had a pick up where I left off and it was always the same fellow. In this industry in this business. Whatever you're doing at the end of the of a day when you come in the next day your priorities are reordered because something's happened overnight somebody said something a number came out. Something happened in the corporate world or news or geopolitical that affects everything. So. Things are you know things are always cycling through and so you try to project. What you know what can be different. Now people are talking about disruption in tech and you know I'm sure if I'm talking about it you've already moved on to something else. But when I was when I was here the New New Thing was globalization by the way globalization at that time was in somebody. Something about which people were ambivalent. Globalization was a good thing. You know there was you know there were exchange rates that were. Blocked and Goldman Sachs couldn't. At that time didn't have a seat on the London Stock Exchange because all the markets were protected. Or the Japanese Big Bang happened at the end of the 80s and you know globalization then you know you go into various forms of integration and various forms you know technology and so long that you see goes the other way. Now people think gee you can't merge all these different companies in Europe which was the whole reason why the EU was supposed to prosper. People are and again as I said ambivalent about globalization is protection. So you see these cycles and you'll see all this stuff and a lot of things that I can think of now because they haven't happened yet and you always get surprised. But that's the you know that's the mystery and the wonder of life is that you just don't know.
Here are two things you just said I think are so interesting for this audience in particular because it is an industry that's full of surprises. It's an industry where you definitely can wake up the next morning and find out. The world has changed and you have to change with it. It's also an industry where it sort of belies something that that seems generational and this audience can tell us better whether it's true that you really have to keep changing jobs or changing places or or have change to learn this. To me as always seemed to be a place where you could spend your whole life at Goldman Sachs and you'll have as many jobs as you can imagine.
Certainly some do and some people have to figure out what they want to do and people you know we have a lot of illustrious alumni that are doing other things in there maybe they're not institutional maybe they want to be by themselves maybe they know they buckle under the weight of having to be in a team and some people like and some people don't and people sort themselves out. I do think and look this is where a skewed group were skewed. Focus group you and I because we stayed in this institution and in a lot of friends along the way and people I work with that went out and did other things and some are happy about it some regret it Some people you know wonder what you are you don't know you've been a tremendous supporter of interns enjoying this.