In 1967, Sidney Weinberg celebrated his 60th year at Goldman Sachs. Credit The New York Times
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt selected Sidney J. Weinberg, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, to serve as the assistant director of the War Production Board. Mr. Weinberg was one of the few men on Wall Street to support Roosevelt in the 1932 election, and he went on to advise Presidents Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Known as “Mr. Wall Street,” Mr. Weinberg began a tradition of Goldman executives taking leading roles in public service that is continuing under President-elect Donald J. Trump. Already, Steven Mnuchin has been tapped as Treasury secretary, Stephen K. Bannon was named senior adviser and Gary D. Cohn, Goldman’s president, is expected to direct the National Economic Council.
Here are a few of the people to venture through the revolving door between Goldman and the government.
Henry Fowler, Treasury secretary under President Johnson, in 1965. CreditUnited Press International
Henry H. Fowler, Treasury secretary and a partner at Goldman
A number of top government officials have joined Goldman after leaving office. Mr. Fowler was Treasury secretary in the Johnson administration. He helped raise the money to meet the soaring costs of the Vietnam War and proposed what turned out to be the last Federal budget surplus until 1998.
In 1969, Mr. Fowler left Washington and became a partner at Goldman. He said it would not have been in “good taste” to work in finance in Washington. And he said his new position “pays a little more” than the $35,000 a year he made as a cabinet secretary.
John C. Whitehead, co-chairman of Goldman and deputy secretary of state.
Mr. Whitehead was one of New York’s most prominent citizens. A veteran of D-Day, he capped a lauded career on Wall Street and in the State Department by shepherding the first years of the city’s fractious effort to rebuild after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The columnist Liz Smith once called him the “chairman of the establishment.” He helped pilot Goldman Sachs to the forefront of investment banking and led the boards of Harvard, the Asia Society and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, among other institutions. As deputy secretary of state in the Reagan administration, he helped wean the countries of Eastern Europe from the Soviet Union.
Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in 1996. CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times
Robert E. Rubin, co-chairman of Goldman and Treasury secretary
Mr. Rubin amassed a fortune on Wall Street before heading the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton. In 1994, Mr. Clinton selected him to become Treasury secretary. Mr. Rubin drew criticism just after his arrival in Washington when it was disclosed that he had sent farewell letters to hundreds of Goldman clients saying he was “looking forward to working with you in my new capacity.” He said that he was merely being polite.
Mr. Rubin played a role in arranging the compromise that led to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. After leaving office, he joined a leadership triangle at Citigroup.
Kenneth D. Brody, management committee at Goldman and president of the Export-Import Bank
After running Goldman’s real estate division, Mr. Brody was appointed by President Clinton to the once-lethargic Ex-Im Bank. Critics have contended that the bank’s business is really a form of corporate welfare benefiting mainly giants like Boeing and General Electric.
When he arrived in Washington, he was astounded when an aide, told that it was difficult for the public to reach the agency on the telephone, replied that “those who need us know how to get us.” Mr. Brody said, “I went nuts” in response.
Gary Gensler, a partner at Goldman and chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
After minting a small fortune as one of the youngest partners in Goldman’s history, Mr. Gensler was named assistant secretary for financial markets in 1997. At the Treasury Department, he helped enact legislation exempting broad portions of derivatives trading from oversight.
But Mr. Gensler soon developed a reputation for cracking down on Wall Street during his time at the agency. The day in 2010 that the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul became final, he stayed past 4 a.m. to put the finishing touches on the law. His aggressive streak thrust the once-backwater agency into the front lines of reform. The push by Mr. Gensler clashed with the staid culture of an agency once known as the “watchdog that didn’t bark.”
Romano Prodi, international adviser to Goldman Sachs and prime minister of Italy
The former economics professor and European Commission president served two terms as prime minister of Italy. In 2008, he lost a confidence vote and submitted his resignation.
Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. CreditYves Herman/Reuters
Mario Draghi, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International and president of the European Central Bank
As a vice chairman for Goldman Sachs in Europe, Mr. Draghi was a proponent of nations and pension funds using derivatives to manage their liabilities. In the 1990s, Mr. Draghi earned the nickname Super Mario when, as the Italian economy neared the brink, he became the acceptable public face of his country to foreign investors. In 2005, he was selected to oversee Italy’s central bank.
And in 2011, he was named president of the European Central Bank as the economy was in a maelstrom. Faced with a eurozone economy stubbornly resistant to revival, the bank said this year that it would effectively pay commercial banks money to borrow central bank money.
Jon Corzine, the former Wall Street executive and New Jersey lawmaker. CreditKrista Schlueter for The New York Times
Jon S. Corzine, chief executive of Goldman and New Jersey lawmaker
Mr. Corzine amassed a $400 million fortune while guiding Goldman, but he was forced out of the company because several senior partners were angry that he made major decisions without consulting them. He spent more than $60 million to win election in 2000 to the United States Senate from New Jersey on a liberal platform. Concerns over Mr. Corzine’s vast holdings, most of which were tied up in Goldman stock, intensified after he was appointed to the influential Senate Banking Committee.
In 2005, he was elected governor of New Jersey in a nasty campaign that was the costliest in the state’s history. In one advertisement, his former wife was quoted as warning that Mr. Corzine would let down New Jersey voters just as he had let down his family.
After losing the governor’s race to Chris Christie, Mr. Corzine returned to Wall Street, presiding over the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and becoming a target of federal investigators. In recent weeks, Mr. Corzine and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission struck a tentative agreement to settle their case, according to people briefed on the matter.
Stephen Friedman, co-chairman of Goldman and White House chief economic adviser
Around Goldman, Mr. Friedman is remembered for having built the company’s lucrative practice of advising companies on mergers and acquisitions.
In 2002, President George W. Bush chose the tenacious Wall Street veteran as his chief economic adviser. Mr. Friedman’s co-chairman at Goldman, Mr. Rubin, led President Clinton’s National Economic Council.
Mr. Friedman generated some controversy as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the financial crisis, when the Fed was helping put together a rescue plan for Wall Street. He stepped down from that role in 2009 after questions arose about his ties to Goldman.
In 2014, Mr. Friedman appeared briefly on “Game of Thrones” dressed as a peasant.
Joshua B. Bolten, executive for Goldman Sachs International and White House chief of staff
The former Goldman executive grew up in establishment Washington, the son of a Central Intelligence Agency officer. Mr. Bolten was the White House legislative affairs director for part of the administration of the first President Bush.
Under the second President Bush, he was deputy White House chief of staff, then director of the Office of Management and Budget and finally chief of staff. Mr. Bolten played an important role in putting together the Bush tax plan and helped recruit another Goldman executive, Henry M. Paulson Jr., as Treasury secretary. In 2008, the House voted to issue contempt citations against Mr. Bolten and a former White House counsel for refusing to cooperate in an investigation into the mass firings of federal prosecutors.
Robert K. Steel, vice chairman of Goldman and under secretary of the Treasury
Before the financial crisis, Mr. Steel was co-chairman of one commission that claimed that heavy-handed regulation was hindering financial innovation and another that argued that hedge funds could police themselves. By April 2008, he was extolling the powers that a “superregulator” might wield over Wall Street one day.
“When you are driving fast down a slippery road, sometimes a regulator needs to tap lightly on the brakes to get you to slow down,” Mr. Steel told The New York Times. But to many on Wall Street and on Main Street, the car had already crashed.
Henry Paulson, the former Treasury secretary, in 2014. CreditRay Stubblebine/European Pressphoto Agency
Henry M. Paulson Jr., chief executive of Goldman and Treasury secretary
Before he became Treasury secretary in 2006, Mr. Paulson agreed to hold himself to a higher ethical standard than his predecessors. That plan did not survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The government propped up the teetering financial system with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, including aid that directly benefited his former company. To deal with the financial crisis, Mr. Paulson tapped so many former Goldman executives that bankers coined the nickname “Government Sachs.”
“I operated very consistently within the ethic guidelines I had as secretary of the Treasury,” Mr. Paulson told lawmakers in 2009, adding that he asked for an ethics waiver for his interactions with his old company “when it became clear that we had some very significant issues with Goldman Sachs.”
Mr. Paulson helped decide the fates of a variety of financial companies, including two longtime Goldman rivals, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, before his ethics waivers were granted. Ad hoc actions were taken by Mr. Paulson and officials at the Federal Reserve, like letting Lehman fail and compensating the trading partners of the American International Group.
Neel T. Kashkari, investment banker for Goldman and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Mr. Kashkari arrived in Washington in 2006 after spending two years as a low-level technology investment banker for Goldman in San Francisco. Today, he runs the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and compares banking to the nuclear power industry.
Mr. Kashkari’s latest proposal — called the Minneapolis Plan — is likely to pressure banks to break apart because the high cost of holding so much capital would mean it would no longer make sense to stay so large.
William C. Dudley, partner at Goldman and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
A Goldman economist with a knack for reading the markets, Mr. Dudley stepped into the spotlight in 2009 as the Fed’s senior statesman on Wall Street. He has navigated a painful recession while leading the Fed’s sweeping efforts to stabilize the nation’s troubled financial industry.
In 2014, secret recordings detailing interactions between employees of the New York Fed and Goldman were made public. The former Fed employee, Carmen M. Segarra, who made the recordings had sued the New York Fed, arguing that she had been fired for being too hard on Goldman. Mr. Dudley defended the agency, but Senator Elizabeth Warren told him, “You need to fix it, Mr. Dudley, or we need to get someone who will.”
Last year, a former Goldman banker suspected of taking confidential documents from a source inside the New York Fed agreed to plead guilty, a rare criminal action on Wall Street.