If there is a bloody struggle for succession roiling the halls of Goldman Sachs, then it is not getting to CEO Lloyd Blankfein. He is letting his hair down. And also rubbing it on you.
The most important parts of this very important Bloomberg story about Blankfein and his wife attending a recent Hurricane Sandy charity event are all about Blankfein's behavior. The most critical piece of information is right up front, as it should be: Blankfein is running around rubbing his beard on ladies' faces:
Lloyd C. Blankfein nuzzled his beard against the cheeks of two ladies last night, Dina Powell, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of corporate engagement, and Liz Robbins, a Democratic lobbyist.
“I was proving to women everywhere that it’s really soft, not coarse,” said Blankfein, 58, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets.
You hear that, ladies? Don't be afraid of Lloyd Blankfein's beard. It will treat you right.
The obvious question here is: What is the meaning of this? Could it be that Blankfein, despite claiming he wants to stick around Goldman as CEO for a long time, actually has one foot out the door, to the extent that he is now just growing facial hair and stone-cold rubbing it on ladies? As if he just doesn't care? Is this perhaps why Goldman is a churning snakepit of palace intrigue over who will take Blankfein's place, as the clean-shaven Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business Network reports?
Or maybe I'm overthinking this.