The CEO of Goldman Sachs thinks the economy isn’t doing enough to benefit those at the lowest end of the income spectrum. Lloyd Blankfein, in an interview with CBS, said that income inequality is “destabilizing” and “responsible for the divisions in the country.” Calling it a “very big issue … that has to be dealt with,” Blankfein said that whether or not the economy grows faster, “too much of the GDP over the last generation has gone to too few of the people.”
Blankfein himself is firmly a beneficiary of one of the drivers of the yawning gap between the richest and everyone else: high executive compensation. Blankfein earned $23 million for his service as Goldman’s CEO and chairman in 2013, making him the highest paid chief executive at any U.S. megabank. In a securities filing, the compensation committee of Goldman’s board said that Blankfein “continued to demonstrate impressive leadership,” and “successfully navigated the competitive landscape this past year, driving our commercial performance.”
Blankfein’s more than eight-minute-long interview is just the latest public appearance for the Goldman CEO. When Michael Bloomberg joined the advisory board of 10,000 Small Businesses, which provides financing and education for small business owners, Blankfein and Bloomberg gave a long interview for Bloomberg TV. When assessing his performance and justifying his compensation, Goldman’s board also said that Blankfein “had served effectively as the external face of the firm.”
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