Lloyd Blankfein Is More Self-Involved Than Liz Smith

Lloyd
Photo: Patrick McMullan

The other night at the Time 100 banquet, the New Yorker's Lauren Collins went around testing an NYU professor's theory that powerful people are more self-involved than normal people. To prove it, she asked several guests and honorees to draw the letter E on a Post-it and slap it on their foreheads. The powerful people, the theory held, would draw the letter facing the wrong way, so that only they could read it. The less powerful would helpfully draw it facing out. SNL's Kristen Wiig and Amy Poehler were un-fun and wouldn't play the game. Jared Kushner, Liz Smith, and Paul Wolfowitz unselfishly drew the letter facing outward. Then she got to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Blankfein proved to be an outlier — the sole member of the sample group to yield a potent, self-oriented “E.” “I have a big platform,” he said, sportingly, as he smacked the Post-it on the front of his bald head.

Aw, big ego, but so self-deprecating! The results caused Collins to pretty much conclude the theory is bogus. But we beg to differ! This research was clearly skewed. Putting the CEO of Goldman Sachs on the same plane as a desiccated gossip columnist and an out-of-work bureaucrat is like saying that Tiffani Amber Theissen and Helen Mirren are the same because they are both actors. The NYU professor also called bullshit, saying Collins never should have used blue Post-its. "If you had used red," he told her, "it would have gotten at their more spontaneous inclinations." Yeah. Come to think of it, the letter "E" doesn't really seem very effective, either. We suggest they try it again. Only this time with an "L."

Power Hour [NYer]