The New York Stock Exchange pulled together five of Wall Street’s biggest power brokers — Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, and Silver Lake co-founder Glenn Hutchins — for a panel that seems to have devolved into a kind of Sex and the City–ish bitch sesh, per the WSJ’s Deal Journal.
“What we’re hearing from the candidates is politics as usual. I think Secretary Paulson is doing everything he can, and the government is actually working with” — subtle sarcasm creeps into his voice — “the ‘Evil Empire’ [of Wall Street] to fix it. After Nov. 4, the rhetoric will abate. It is just rhetoric.” He notes, “as an industry we had cover stories on how good we are, and now we have cover stories on how bad we are.”
Schwarzman, too, is tired of the haters.
“The anger is substantial and it has legs,” he says.He rounds out the pro-Street chorus: “I don’t see corruption in this room….every bad actor in this drama has washed away. There’s no one left in place.” Does this mean that all the corruption was at Lehman and Bear Stearns and Fannie and Freddie and AIG? He says Wall Street has to do a better job of marketing. “TARP wasn’t a bailout for fat cats; it was a stabilization fund for the country. We’re using rescue techniques that may turn a profit for society.”
Then, afterward, they all went out for Cosmos and hugged and told each other how thin they were.
Stewards of Capital Gather at NYSE. What Happens Next? Who Knows? [Deal Journal/WSJ]