It’s really wonderful to be here with you all today. And I must say, the view from here is extraordinary. It’s always a treat to catch up with my old friend Lloyd Blankfein, and you, Michelle, and the whole terrific team here at Goldman Sachs, who I know are working hard to increase shareholder value in many wonderful ways. Thanks, sincerely, for having me.
My remarks today will be about the regulatory work we’re doing in Washington, particularly as it impacts the work that you all do — work, may I say, that is very important and I’m not one, as you all know, to demonize the things that go on here on Wall Street. As some of you know — well, maybe some of you older folks here! This crowd gets younger and younger each time I speak here at Goldman, which is now about, what? Monthly? Could be more often if you’d like. We can talk about that offline.
Anyway, where was I? Right: As some of you know, I’m no Wall Street basher. I respect the work and the artistry of the financial sector — and as some of you know, I myself dabbled in commodity investing rather successfully — some thought too successfully, for a woman. They didn’t add that last part — for a woman — but you always knew that’s what they meant. When a man invests $20,000 of borrowed money into risky cattle futures and makes over $100,000 in a week or so with no trading slips to back up the transactional record, they say, Hey! What a great investor! When a woman does it, they call in CSI: Wall Street!
Am I right? That’s a topical reference! Hope you all enjoyed that!
Oh, right: The work you guys do — particularly you, Adebayo, and you, too, Deborah — and may I just pause for a moment to ask this question: Which one of you is responsible for my check today? I don’t mean in general, I’m just trying to get granular here and find out who it is I need to see when I complete these remarks to collect payment? Is it you, Mark? Just raise your hand if you would. Yes? Mark? Great.
I’m wondering, Mark — and here we can maybe take a moment and reflect, silently, to ourselves on what I’ve already said — I’m wondering, Mark, if it would be possible for you to give me the check right now, during my remarks? Is that possible? I know it’s unorthodox, but then one of the things I admire about Goldman is its willingness to take risks, to be entrepreneurial. Is that something you can do? Yes? Thanks! Come on up here with the check and we can continue with the presentation.
As Mark makes his way to the front, let me also thank you for the scrumptious dinner you’ve been so kind as to prepare. As you know, I ate very little of it, so I’m wondering if some of it might be packed up for me to take along with me, on my way to JPMorgan Chase. Is that possible? Whatever you’ve got is fine — my plate and/or anyone else’s, frankly, I can put the leftovers to good use in the office fridge, so don’t be shy.
Thanks, Mark. Did you all know that some of the radical changes in banking laws — which I assure you I will be reviewing as president, I mean, what I’m trying to do here is establish a dialogue between the regulatory structure and you guys. It doesn’t have to be adversarial. You have a nice little bank here. Be a shame if something happened to it. Wasn’t that a fun reference? I’m a fun person!
Anyway, let me demonstrate some of the wonderful new exciting changes that I support in the new banking and finance environment. As you can see, I’m taking out my smartphone right now and photographing this check — wow, still not used to all of those zeroes! — and that photograph somehow — don’t ask me how! I’m not a tech nerd like, well, like you probably are, Lakshmi! — but the photo from my phone becomes a deposit slip of a kind, and right now — wait, let me just press send — right now, at this very moment, the check is being deposited to my account and will probably be converted into cash by the time I finish this little talk.
So please don’t let anyone tell you I’m anti-bank! I love banks!
There! Did you hear that beep? Isn’t that great? That’s the sound of your check clearing my account. Which means I can spend this money right now, if I wish.
Thank you, sincerely, for your time. I really enjoy visiting with all of the Goldman Sachs team and hope I can do it more often.
I’m happy to answer questions as I walk to the elevator. But first, I have a question for you all: These chairs, in the conference room — what are they, leather? Can I have one? Wait, two? Can I have two? And the flower arrangements — you’re done with those, right? Can I just –