Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon on coronavirus crisis

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CNBC transcript: Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” today on coronavirus crisis

WHEN: Today, Thursday, April 2, 2020

WHERE: CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street

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DAVID FABER: So, very happy, as well, that this morning we are now joined by David Solomon, of course, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who joins us from the company’s headquarters, where I would assume it’s a fairly lonely place. David, it’s great to have you this morning. Thank you for being with us.

DAVID SOLOMON: Good morning, guys. And thank you. Thank you for having me. And it is relatively quiet here at 200 West. We have about 98% of our employees working from home, working remotely. But there are some people that do have to be in the building to move money and for processes. And so, I have been making my center of operations from here. There are other people in the building. I feel like I should be here. And it’s certainly a very, very safe place to operate with so few people in the building.

DAVID FABER: Yeah. We are following similar protocols at CNBC. David, so much to ask you about. But let me just start off, broadly speaking, in terms of how you’re viewing risk right now at Goldman Sachs? A company that has been known, of course, for managing risk better than perhaps any of your peers. What is, right now, a real focus for you at Goldman Sachs in terms of what represents the biggest risk? Is it perhaps the CNBS market and real estate, is it private equity? I don’t know, but I’m curious as to where your focus is.

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: When you have a change, when you have a change in the economic environment, and especially one that’s happening as swiftly as this change has happened, it creates a real change in the perception of the risks that we all hold across all asset classes. And so, one of the things that we have been trying to with our clients across banking, market clients, asset management clients, is be in a position to talk to them about how they can manage, pare risks, think about risks on an ongoing basis. And I think one of the things that makes this difficult is the uncertainty that exists. It’s very easy to think about the direction of things when it’s easier to plot a course.

And obviously here, the uncertainty is very high, so we have been advising clients, and we’ve thought about this ourselves, you have got to be very, very prudent and thoughtful about the risks you’re taking. And try to weight and evaluate and understand how confidence will reoccur and how we’ll ultimately get the economy going again.

DAVID FABER: Yeah, I would assume one thing you’re advising, as I hear from so many other bankers, is if you have an opportunity to raise cash, you probably should do it. Do you agree with that? Are you seeing a lot of your companies trying to increase the liquidity, certainly those that are investment grade, hitting the capital markets, if possible?

DAVID SOLOMON: I think there’s no question, if you’re running a company, and in my discussions with CEOs running companies, one of the risk management perspectives at every company, every business, even small businesses, has to focus on is do I have enough liquidity to weather the economic environment we’re faced with. And so certainly, if you have an opportunity to increase your liquidity, to access the markets, to work with banks, to access liquidity, it’s very important that you re-underwrite your plan and have adequate liquidity to weather through this. We will get to the other side of this, but you have to be in a position where you have adequate liquidity and make sure you can manage through.

We’re spending a lot of time with clients helping them. As you referenced, David, the investment grade market opened up quite strong over the course of the last two weeks. I think you have heard this from a number of guests. Record issuance last week, record issuance for the month, record issuance for the quarter.

And so, high-grade companies have had access. But one of the things now that’s going to be important is to try to provide opportunities for other companies that are below investment grade, for smaller businesses to have access for capital, and that’s something we’re very, very focused on.

DAVID FABER: You know, David, you mentioned, of course, getting to the other side of this. Goldman has always been fairly good at adapting to changing positions. I can recall in 2009 after the financial crisis, the company had I think what still stands as your record year, $13.4 billion in profits. What are you doing right now to position the company for what you believe will be certainly a changed environment once we are past the coronavirus?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: Well, I think there’s going to be a lot of discussion coming out of this crisis, as there is coming out of any crisis, as to what has to change, what adapts in society, how we change in society, so more people can participate, how things can be better, what can we learn from this? There will be a lot of that. For us, at the moment, we’re extremely focused in a different environment where people are working from home, how do we serve our clients?

How do we make sure that we can show up for our clients and help them at this difficult time? And also, because this is such a humanitarian crisis, how can we as an organization be helping those in need? How can we find ways to support those that are vulnerable and underserved? And so, at the moment, we’re focused on our people, we’re focused on our clients, and we’re focused on helping those that need. I think there’s plenty to do on those three things. And there will be plenty of time when we come out of this to focus on the way we and all other businesses will need to evolve.

DAVID FABER: David, I know you have had people there, of course, giving the ability you have to analyze things, analyzing the virus, trying to understand the progression, the spread. What are your best guesses in terms of when we will get to the other side of this? We’re obviously in the midst right now of unprecedented conditions. This unemployment claims number we got an hour or so ago was truly just shocking in so many ways, and many are preparing for what they believe will be a very deep recession. What are your views on that and on how quickly we’re going to come out of this?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: So, I’m obviously not a medical expert, although I find myself, you know, talking to lots of medical experts, and I think it’s important, you know, to listen and to try to learn and try to understand. But things are still very uncertain. And so, I think it’s very hard to predict. I do personally think we will move forward as we continue to build more confidence around our health care resources, and so I think it’s very, very important that the focus that’s now on improving our health care resources throughout the country, so that we can help people in need right now, it’s super important.

Testing is very, very important. There are a lot of advances in testing that are coming very, very quickly, but creating better access to testing, which creates better information and better data. These are the things, kind of the underpinning of the health care services we’re providing, that will allow us to build confidence and then, ultimately as that confidence is built and we have a better understanding of the trajectory of the virus, it will give us the opportunity to start to slowly open up parts of the economy to find ways to have people back participating safely so that we start to get things going again.

You know, there’s no question, David, that we were late to this. We were slow to adapt. But I really see now lots of focus. I see focus from government. I see enormous focus from the private sector. And I know with the resources we have, the ingenuity we have, the creativity, I’m very optimistic that we’ll make progress. It’s hard to predict, but I’m optimistic we’ll make progress and start to plot a path forward in the coming weeks.

JIM CRAMER: David, it’s Jim.


JIM CRAMER: How are you doing?


JIM CRAMER: Last time I saw you was Super Bowl weekend, I think it was the last weekend in this country—the last weekend we’ll ever remember –

DAVID SOLOMON: It seems like a long time ago. And I’m glad you can see me because I can’t see you.

JIM CRAMER: I wanted to ask you, I mean, look, full disclosure, I worked at Goldman and it’s a huge position in my travel trust. You announced a stunningly big dividend hike last summer. Can you tell me whether that’s now under reevaluation or can you reaffirm your commitment to the dividend?

DAVID SOLOMON: Sure. Sure, Jim. When we announced our dividend hike last summer, you know this and you’ll recognize this, we were in a place where our dividend, as a portion of our return of capital, was out of sync with where the rest of the industry was. We were much lower. And we had always relied very, very heavily, almost entirely, on share repurchases, our form of capital return. And we thought there needed to be more of a balance.

So, we brought our dividend up so it was closer to, but not quite where the rest of our peer group would be. You know, I think the discussion about dividend right now is a discussion about capital return, and one of the things I know you saw because as an industry, the banking industry wants to be in a position to lend, to provide liquidity, to support our clients.

The group of large banks made a collective decision to stop our capital return through buybacks right now, which is a significant portion of our capital return. I know dividends are getting a lot of attention because over in Europe there’s been quite a bit of attention, and European banks are in a different place than U.S. banks. And European banks also have dividend, which is paid once a year, as a vast majority of their capital return, and a very, very significant part of their earnings. You know, here in the United States, it’s a much smaller part of capital return. We’ve already, as an industry, stopped the significant part of capital return so we’re in a position to lend to our clients. But it’s my expectation we’ll continue to pay our dividend.

JIM CRAMER: Okay. And the Goldman I know, it’s still the same Goldman I believe. There was only 900 people when I was there—know everyone’s name. But the commitment to the employees was always extraordinary. Can you take a pledge that you won’t lay anybody off in the next three months?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: I have been very, very clear to our people that during our crisis, people’s jobs are safe. We’re incredibly focused, Jim, on our employees and our community. We’re trying to find ways to add support that we’re giving. We made an announcement earlier this week that we’re increasing the amount of emergency home leave to two weeks that people can take. People have parents or family members, they need emergency home leave. So, we have increased that. You know, I have been personally focused on the fact there are all sorts of people in our Goldman community that might need support.

We have people that are security guards that work for us that work in the cafeteria and food service, that work in cleaning, these are people that are Goldman employees but they’re part of the Goldman family and community, and we’re working with the vendors and the unions to make sure that because of what’s going on, their incomes have been affected, we’re making up the difference. So, we care deeply about our employees, and we’re very, very focused on their safety, their security, and their wellbeing during this crisis.

CARL QUINTANILLA: Hey, David, it’s Carl.


CARL QUINTANILLA: You rolled out this morning a plan–good to see you—a plan to give aid to small business. $300 million, act as a complement to the federal program. There’s a report out of Reuters that some banks are nervous in participating in the program for fear of legal risk, financial risk. What are you telling small businesses about the opportunity to get loans and how to navigate what is going to be an enormous amount of red tape?

DAVID SOLOMON: Sure. First, we have been very focused on small businesses at Goldman Sachs for quite some time because we think small businesses are such an important part of the overall economy. I think you’re all aware of our 10,000 small business program, which has given us great insight into small businesses for a number of years, over the course of the last decade. I participated earlier this week in what I call a town hall session where we had 1500 of those small businesses on a conference call with myself and Senators Cardin and Rubio, who as I think you know, lead the small business subcommittee that was very, very involved in the small business provisions that are in this bill.

This bill obviously provides $350 billion, which I know we all want to get quickly into small businesses that need help, that need support. And we’re committed to do that. A lot of small businesses will access that through their existing banks. They’ll go to their existing banks where they have checking or they have got a relationship. We have always been focused on community development financial institutions, which are kind of a layer below banks, that in particular serve small businesses that might not have the same access to the banking system in more vulnerable communities, we have supported these CDFIS for a long, long time.

And so as a part of our effort to participate in this and get capital to these smaller businesses quickly, especially in these more vulnerable areas where they might not be as connected to the banking system, we pledged in that pledge $25 million that will go to supporting the infrastructure around CDFIS, to give CDFIS the opportunity to ramp up quickly and get more money deployed. And in addition, we pledged $250 million of our balance sheet that can be deployed through these CDFIS to small businesses.

So, from our perspective, we’re excited to play our role in helping get our capital and our balance sheet deployed out to these small businesses that are in such need right now. And so that’s a focus, and we have been working hard at that.

DAVID FABER: David, you also have insight into the consumer now that I think you might not have had as an institution not that long ago, given your efforts in retail. Of Marcus is a name we know at this point that is a part of that. What are you seeing on that front in terms of balances, in terms of need on the credit side, and what are your expectations there for that business given this economic turmoil?

DAVID SOLOMON: Sure. We obviously are focused on our Marcus platform and our consumer business. You know, I would start by saying, and I know you all recognize this, it’s still a relatively small business when you think about the big consumer businesses that are out there. But I think for one, on the deposit side, we offer a very, very attractive offering. Right now, an overnight government guaranteed deposit on Marcus is 1.7%. A twelve-month CD is higher than that – I think 1.8 or 1.85.

What we’re seeing, because people are raising cash and they have cash, we’ve actually seen during the course of the last few weeks, people coming to Marcus at an increased pace. And so we’ve seen our deposit flows have increased in Marcus, because we think we have a compelling offering.

On the lending side of Marcus and our credit card business, we’re certainly seeing change in behavior very quickly. Through the credit card, we have insight. And as you would expect, spending particularly around travel and leisure and restaurants and you know, being out and entertainment has plummeted. But you’ve seen some pick up in spending on staples, food services, those kinds of things. Obviously given the pressure that’s on everyday individuals, because of this crisis, you know, there will be pressure on those businesses. And one of the things we’re very focused on is helping consumers.

We have a program where people can opt in to defer their interest payments on their Marcus loans or their credit card loans and it’s simple. You just text to Marcus or just text into Apple Card and you can defer your interest at this point in time, your interest in payments. And so, we’re very small in that space, but we’re trying to do our part. And we’re watching it quickly. It’s very early to see big, big patterns with our small data set.

DAVID FABER: You know, speaking of numbers and data, David, you mentioned the top of the interview, 98% of your employees are not working from your headquarters or are working remotely or from home. Once we get through this, is that going to become more the norm? Are you expecting significant changes in sort of work behavior? And how would you approach it at Goldman Sachs?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: So, the first thing I have to say is I’m so proud of our people at Goldman Sachs. If you had told me, David, you know, even a couple months ago that we would have 98% of our employees working remotely and we’d be able to serve our clients, take care of our people, participate in the economic system, play our role as smoothly as it’s going, and I won’t say it’s perfect, there’s certainly bumps in the road.

But their commitment, their flexibility, it’s really been awesome. And I’m so, so proud of our team and what they’re doing. Now, obviously when you go through something like this, you know, it forces you to ask questions and think about things differently. We’ve certainly had certain parts of our business where people travel and they work remotely regularly. But I think what’s interesting is it creates a new lens to think about things that can continue to make this a very attractive place for people to work. It can change the way we have our real estate footprint over time. But I think those are longer-term things. I’m not at this point a big believer that the shakeup or the change once we get to the other side will be swift and dramatic.

But it will be gradual. And, you know, it will, I assume, increase the amount of video conferencing. It will make us more comfortable with tools like that. It will make us more comfortable in providing more flexibility to employees which, by the way, makes this a more attractive place for people to work. We’re trying to act on those things. But I think those, David, are more down the road things to think about. Right now, again, focused on our people, their safety, their health. How do we help in communities? And how do we help people in need? How do we serve our clients? There will be lots of time when we get through this to the other side to think about those other things.

DAVID FABER: Yeah. And we hope there’s going to be time between for you to join us again, David, as we continue to obviously watch an unfolding -- well, very difficult time here in the United States and around the world. But thank you for taking some time. David, the CEO of Goldman Sachs joining us.

DAVID SOLOMON: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me guys. Please stay safe, stay healthy. And I appreciate you having me today.

Goldman Sachs CEO: No IPO Without “Diverse” Board

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CNBC Transcript: Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) CEO David Solomon Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” From Davos Today

WHEN: Today, Thursday, January 23, 2020

WHERE: CNBC’s “Squawk Box” – Live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F 6AM-9AM) live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today, Thursday, January 23rd. Following is a link to video from the interview on

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Watch CNBC’s full Davos interview with Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon

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ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: All this week in Davos, we’ve speaking to the heads of America’s biggest banks. And joining us right now is perhaps one of the biggest.


ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: We’re trying to figure out how to say that right. Goldman Sachs’ Chairman and CEO David Solomon is here. Thank you for being with us.

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: Great to see you guys. Absolutely. Thank you.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: one of the great barometers, if you will, of CEO confidence and market confidence in the world, in part because you get to spend so much time with so many different clients. And here, I know you have -- how many meetings all in, do you think?


ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: A bunch? A bunch.

DAVID SOLOMON: Yeah, probably 30, 35.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Okay. So, what was the big take away from those meetings in terms of that confidence?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: Sure. Well, it’s nice to be here. And one of the things I really enjoy about Davos is just the opportunity to interact with people and get a soundbite for how people are feeling, what’s on their mind. You know, certainly, I would say from an economic perspective, and just kind of looking forward to 2020, you know, people are relatively confident that global growth will sustain through 2020. The chance of an economic slowdown, barring some sort of an exogenous event that’s not defined for us, is relatively low.

In the U.S. in particular, the underlying strength of the consumer continues to be very, very strong. That’s making up or carrying the economy through some weakness on the manufacturing side, where capital investment has been a little bit slower than we would like to see. But there’s no question that things feel relatively good. And I think we saw at the end of the year, a little bit of an acceleration. And so, we head into this year with some optimism.

But I do think as we look forward we had earnings acceleration last year. My guess is as we get into this year, we’ll have a little less earnings growth in the U.S., which obviously could weigh on investors. And we obviously had a very strong year in the market last year. So, we will have to watch and see.

BECKY QUICK: Is this going to be the year that we actually see additional capital expenditure put to work?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: You know, I don’t know if this is the year. I think over time we will see some progress. I think the Phase One China Deal is a positive, just in terms of confidence. But there’s no question that the manufacturing sector is still a little soft.

BECKY QUICK: How much do you worry that Davos is a contraindicator?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: It’s one of the things I’ve observed. I’ve come here for over a decade every year. And, you know, there are certainly years where I would observe that the consensus, when you look back with a view of hindsight tends to kind of miss the mark. And last year I think was an interesting example. Because I do think that participants here have a tendency to look through the rear-view mirror at the most recent experience

. If we remember a year ago, December was tough. But I also remember being on your show last year and saying I know everybody is so pessimistic because of December. But when I listen to the meetings I’m having with people, the businesses are performing pretty well. That’s not synching up for me. I wasn’t predicting but I wasn’t hearing it. This year we obviously are coming from, you know, a period that would breed more confidence.

But still, as I get around and talk to people, people feel relatively good but they’re worried about the length of the cycle. And you know, I think people are watching very closely.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: We just talked to Stacey Cunningham from the New York Stock Exchange and Adena Friedman earlier from the Nasdaq. When you look at the public markets, you’ve been involved in a lot of IPOs. You were on the panel as well that we talked about these IPOs. Are you as confident as perhaps they were or they are about next year?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO: Well, IPO performance last year was good. And you know, we had the discussion that we had about a handful of IPOs or potential IPOs that didn’t work. But when you look at the overall performance of IPOs last year, the basket was up 34%, which is strong performance versus obviously excellent market performance. The market is still open and receptive. I think there’s a little bit more focus on earnings and long-term business models and profitability, the sustainability of profitability in businesses and little bit less focus on growth. I actually think that’s healthy. But I would expect to see, if the environment stayed as benign as it is, I would expect to see a relatively robust IPO market this year.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: You sold out of Uber.



GOLDMAN SACHS CEO: We made an investment in Uber very, very early stage. We had met the company when it was very young. We made a small investment and turned into a very large balance sheet investment. So, for the first time since we made that investment we had an opportunity to monetize it. And as we do with any public equity that winds up on our balance sheet, because we would rather not have the market to market in that we reduce those because they’re financial investments as we move. But that speaks nothing.

You know, I spent time with Dara yesterday, you know, listening to him talk about his view of the company. It’s no comment at all on our view of the company. But it’s an investment we put a few million dollars in six, seven years ago and it turned into a very successful financial investment.

JOE KERNEN: There are some videos making the round of -- on planes in China, certain provinces and people actually being tested--reportedly being tested on planes for this virus, this coronavirus. Is that on the radar screen?

DAVID SOLOMON: It’s definitely on the radar screen.

JOE KERNEN: Who do you go to with that? Do you have people to talk to about that type of risk as well?

DAVID SOLOMON: We have people that monitor risks like that inside the organization. Obviously, our team in Asia, you know, is focused on it. We have a large number of people in Hong Kong and Beijing and in Shanghai. So, obviously first and foremost, we’re concerned with our people, as everyone should be with their people. We’re monitoring it very closely. It’s an example of the kind of thing that if it did progress in a negative way, it’s one of those exogenous events -- confidence. And we remember, as I’m sure you do—


DAVID SOLOMON: --SARS, and the impact it had on risk assets, and the impact it had on the markets. And I think it’s too early to call that or expect that, so my hope is it will get resolved in a positive way.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: I want to ask you about the other big theme here, which is stakeholder capitalism and governance and the role of all these things. I’m curious, what you think the role of banks should be in all of this. Which is to say, do you have a greater responsibility to actually use your own influence to put pressure on companies to make changes?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: So, look, I think this topic of stakeholder -- you know, I think it’s an interesting topic, broadly. I don’t think we have a greater responsibility. I think we all have a responsibility. We all have a responsibility in the context of our platforms and our businesses to serve our stakeholders well. You know, our first-priority is to serve our shareholders, to drive long-term returns for our shareholders. But I’m a big believer that unless you take care of your stakeholders more broadly in the medium and long-term, you won’t deliver outstanding returns. So, I think it’s very, very important. We think a lot about, you know, our platforms and things we do, and we try to contribute in ways that we think improve market structure and the capital markets broadly.

In fact, I mentioned something that we’ve been thinking about that we’re going to roll out here publicly, which speaks to our, you know, kind of using our platform and our position. I think from a governance perspective, diversity on boards is a very, very important issue. And we have been very, very focused on it. So, we’re trying to find ways to encourage that. And I come from a position of my own experience where I look at the Goldman Sachs board. We have four women out of 11.

We have a black lead director. I really value the diverse perspectives, you know, I’m getting which are helping me run the company. I look back at IPOs over the last four years and the performance of IPOs where there’s been a woman on the board in the U.S. is significantly better than the performance of IPOs where there hasn’t been a woman on the board. So, starting on July 1st in the U.S. and Europe, we’re not going to take a company public unless there’s one diverse board candidate with a focus on women and we’re going to move toward 2021 requesting two.

And we realize that this is a small step but it’s a step in a direction of saying, you know what, we think this is right, we think it’s the right advice. We’re in a position also because of our network to help our clients if they need help placing women on boards. So, this is an example of our saying how can we do something that we think, you know, is right and helps move the market forward?

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: That’s a big move. And that’s a breaking piece of news right here.

BECKY QUICK: Is that what you were talking about last year when you said you would tell us one thing we didn’t know?

DAVID SOLOMON: Well, actually, you said to me, ‘Will you tell us one thing we didn’t know?’ I said,

‘Okay, I’ll tell you one thing you don’t know.’ So, I wasn’t planning on it but when you prompted that last night, it sounded like a good thing to move forward.

BECKY QUICK: I like it.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Let me ask you. When you said you’re going to move towards requesting--

DAVID SOLOMON: No, no. We’re going to start--when you look at this, there’s a process to something like this. So, July 1st, one. In 2021, two. And we are going to start the dialogue with our clients. And look, we might lose some business. But in the long run this I think is the best advice for companies that want to drive premium returns for the shareholders over time.

BECKY QUICK: You mentioned that you can help, that you have networks and you know a lot of people, so you can help some of these boards if they can’t find diverse candidates. Is that something you do for a lot of companies you take private now? Or take public?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO: We do help companies. People come to us often asking for help with respect to placing board members. We’re going to continue, you know, to do that. We have tried to put more of a formal process around identifying strong pipeline and perspective candidates. One of the things that we’re trying to do, and I think this has been a constraint to more diversity on boards, there’s been a bias toward if you’re going to put somebody on a board, they have to be a CEO or CFO or they have to have had public board experience.

And so, just looking to gender, for example if you put that hurdle there, then you’re eliminating an enormous number of women with decades of experience that can really make a perspective--you can bring a positive or diverse perspective to the governance of companies. And so, one of the things we’re trying to figure out is how to broaden that aperture and also, to accelerate a much broader appetite for the kind of diverse candidates that can make a difference.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: How much of this is being driven by the experience of WeWork? Can I ask--and the reason I mention that is you were one of the underwriters of that company. Obviously, it came out with that S1 originally without any diverse board members at all and they added a woman very quickly when it became clear that there was going to be pressure for that. Is that what drove some of this?

DAVID SOLOMON: To be perfectly honest, WeWork is one of many data points that have led us over a number of months to talk about this. But it wasn’t specific, and to be honest, it never really -- until yesterday, you reminded me of the fact that that’s the way the S1 filing -- it wasn’t in the thought process as we debated it. What was in the thought process is over the last couple years in the U.S. and Europe, there were 60 companies that went public without a diverse broad member. And when you think about where we are today and what we’re trying to accomplish and what the right advice is, and this is rooted in what we strongly believe is the right advice for our clients, we thought it was time to find a way to contribute more aggressively to that.

BECKY QUICK: You’re just over a year in. I guess it’s been a year and three months that you have really taken over the helm. And you have made changes. You’re changing the way the company reports earnings. You’re making it less opaque, giving more kind of clarity to investors. What’s the feedback that you got after just doing this for the first time this past week? And what did you hear back from investors?

DAVID SOLOMON: Well, the feedback we’re getting particularly on transparency is positive. I think you know we have our first Investor day ever next Wednesday. And so, obviously we’ll take a bunch of feedback, you know, after that Investor day.

But, you know, I’ve tried, as I started to transition into running the company, to really think about certain principles that I think are important for us to deliver for our shareholders and also, drive the organization forward. And, I think transparency is important in business. I think it matters. And I think for us to be giving that advice to our clients and not be a role model in the context of that, you know, doesn’t make sense.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: How pleased are you with the relationship with Apple right now? And the Apple credit card business?

DAVID SOLOMON: Very, very pleased. We have a long history with Apple over a long period of time. Interestingly, we did not take Apple public in 1980. But we -- our relationship with Apple really started in the mid-90s when Apple got into a little bit trouble and needed capital. And actually, the time we did the first-ever overnight convertible bond that was ever done for Apple in the ’90s and that started our relationship. Over a long period of time it’s been a good partnership. And I think because of that partnership that it allowed us to expand the partnership to do the card. And it’s--we’re very pleased with how it’s going.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: The reason I ask, though—

JOE KERNEN: Was Jobs back yet? Who was the CEO then? Gil Amelio? Or John Sculley?

DAVID SOLOMON: It was right when Jobs came back –

JOE KERNEN: Right when he came back.

DAVID SOLOMON: After Sculley. Right when he came back. It would have been around -- don’t quote me on exactly, but I think it would be right when Jobs came back around ’97 or something like that.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: The reason I ask is I think there was an expectation that Apple was going to promote this product in the same way, for example, they’re promoting the Apple Plus TV products. You would see billboards. You would see -- it would be on your phone -- everybody was going to have to get one of these credit cards. And I don’t think we have seen that kind of marketing at this point.

DAVID SOLOMON: So, there are a couple of things I think to think about with that. First of all, we’re five minutes into this. This started four months ago. And when you actually look, we haven’t disclosed the number of cards, but as I said to you once before when we had this conversation, the take up in cards is multiples, multiples what any co-branded card has ever had in the early days. We’re building a platform for us, from a risk management perspective, I actually--it’s growing plenty fast. And it’s going to continue to grow plenty fast.

BECKY QUICK: You don’t want the heavy branding just yet.

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: We want to make sure that we’re delivering for the customer first of all, and the customer is getting great experience. That from credit risk management perspective. We’re doing the right things. And I think they’re supporting it in exactly the way they should be. And I’m very optimistic about the long-term partnership.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Final question, Bernie Sanders went after a guest who was sitting right here just yesterday, Jamie Dimon. He took a shot at him, said he likes corporate socialism because of the amount of money that the banks took during the financial crisis. I don’t know if you saw this. He claimed that the bank had taken $416 billion. What do you make of that?

DAVID SOLOMON: You know, what did Jamie make of it?

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: I don’t think he made much of it.

DAVID SOLOMON: Yeah. I don’t -- I’m watching the political process like everybody else. And I’m staying focused -- I’m staying focused –

JOE KERNEN: In terms of the conflict between you and Bernie, I hate to see this. First Hillary said something about Bernie. Now you’re in a spat defending Dimon. You guys have to get along if you think you’re getting anywhere.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: The other side, you’re saying.

JOE KERNEN: You guys don’t need a lot of dissension if you have to go up against Trump. If I were you --


JOE KERNEN: Have you spun here?

DAVID SOLOMON: No. I’m focused on my day job here. Very focused.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: No spinning. There’s a lot of parties. How many -- have you got any invites to spin here?

DAVID SOLOMON: I’m very focused on my day job here. I’m focused on my day job here.

JOE KERNEN: But at the Super Bowl, you’ll be there, right?

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: I was lucky enough to be invited to play at a party at the Super Bowl. And what’s nice about it, is to make a very, very significant contribution to a charity I support, Shadowproof, which is terrific organization that helps people and families with big addiction opportunities. And so, the opportunity—I was going to be down at the Super Bowl, to play for an hour and make a nice charitable donation, I think is really terrific.

JOE KERNEN: I was thinking about getting into do this, this business. If I were to spin some like Jethro Tull, or Blood, Sweat and Tears. Do you do the music I know?


JOE KERNEN: What do you spin? What are you spinning? Do you know new music?

BECKY QUICK: Yes, he does. He’s deep into it.

JOE KERNEN: Can I do that?

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Give me what’s the hottest new artist out there that you love.

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO DAVID SOLOMON: Lots of artists out there I love. I’m working on a track that’s going to be out with a new British singer whose name is Hayley May who has put a few things out.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Can you find it yet?

DAVID SOLOMON: You cannot find it yet because it’s not up. But it will be up soon.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Very cool. Appreciate it. Great to see you.

DAVID SOLOMON: Very nice to see you.

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