Evelyn Y. Davis, the activist shareholder known for hijacking the annual meetings of corporations with her complaints, promised "an Academy Award–winning performance" at this morning's Goldman Sachs shareholder meeting, and she delivered. But while Davis predicted she would be the "star of the show" today, she had competition in Lloyd Blankfein. Always quick with a quip (sometimes too quick), the good-humored Goldman CEO met Davis shot for shot, playing the droll foil to her screeching hysteric.Together, they were like the Nick and Nora Charles, the Lucy and Desi, the Archie and Edith of high finance. Below, the best of their banter.
Evelyn Davis: "You're not as smart as you look."
Lloyd Blankfein:"That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me."
E.D.: "I asked you to resign last year. You could have gone graciously. It's a very tough job. You tried your best, Lloyd. You'll get over it. You get over a lot of things in life. You know, I've been married and divorced four times."
L.B.: "Well, I bet they're all very regretful."
E.D.: [Finishing up with comments on Resolution No. 1.] "Okay. Thank you."
L.B.: [Long beat.] "Evelyn, you're still at the podium."
E.D.: "I refer to Lloyd in my newsletter as 'Lord Goldmine ... '"
L.B.: "Just Lloyd is fine."
E.D.: "Just retire. Laura would appreciate it. Is your wife here? I've never had the pleasure of meeting her."
L.B.: "I am sure now that you have asked for her she will regret not being here. You would admire her patience."
E.D.: "It looks bad to the outside, when you hire your friends."
L.B.: "Where am I going to find someone who's not my friend?"