the ceo whisperer

Andrew Ross Sorkin Detects a Note of Regret

You can say what you will, public, and the Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin knows you’re going to, but just so you know, at least two of the Wall Street CEOs who failed to make it to yesterday’s meeting at the White House because of “inclement weather” — John Mack of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs’s Lloyd Blankfein — weren’t just bullshitting.

They really tried to be there. The only reason they missed it was because they tried to fly commercial like you want them to. Just because they didn’t think to try Amtrak or hire a car service or ask JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon if they could catch a lift on his private jet — the use of which he did not take any heat for, by the way, not that anyone’s pointing that out — doesn’t mean they didn’t want to be there. They did. Sorkin knows. He heard it in their voices.

From his column today:

In fairness, there is little question that they wanted to be there and seemed genuinely disappointed they couldn’t make it. (You could hear it in Mr. Mack and Mr. Blankfein’s voice when they got on the call. “Mr. President, we’re upset we’re not able to be there, but we’re on line with you now,” Mr. Mack said. “It’s certainly not for a lack of effort,” Mr. Blankfein quickly followed up.)

See, Sorkin just knows all these guys real well, he speaks to them all the time and they come to his parties and he’s the only one who understands them, really, like he is practically a son to them. And so he knows that when Mack is upset he starts clearing his throat a lot and a kind of half-pissed, half-gloaty note of “what the fuck, see, this is what happens when you fly commercial” enters his voice, and if Blankfein is emotional he squeaks a little. It’s just really subtle and you really just have to be close to them to hear it.

Putting Obama on Hold, in a Hint of Who’s Boss [NYT]
Earlier: Wall Street Disses White House

Andrew Ross Sorkin Detects a Note of Regret