COMMENT: In recent years there has [appropriately] been much discussion of Goldman Sachs. CEO Lloyd Blankfein has an interesting professional background, which might indicate operational connections to the intelligence community.
After a rise that could truly be called a classic American “up-by-the-bootstraps” ascent, Blankfein worked for years as a tax lawyer for Donovan Leisure, the firm started by former OSS chief William Donovan.
He subsequently went to work in the commodities trade, specializing in gold–this at a time when some of the machinations stemming from the Golden Lily program were gaining steam in the early 1980’s.
As discussed in–among other works–Burton Hersh’s The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA, the U.S. intelligence establishment (CIA and its World War II predecessor the OSS) is inextricably linked with the world of Wall Street. (Note that Blankfein’s predecessor Sidney Weinberg worked for OSS on assignment in the U.S.S.R.)
Another of the firms that came under public scrutiny in the meltdown–AIG–was run for many years by Maurice Greenberg, himself an OSS veteran.
EXCERPT: . . . In 1978, Blankfein graduated from Harvard Law School and took a job as an associate at Donovan, Leisure, a small “old– line” law ﬁrm founded in 1929, by William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan, who later formed the Ofﬁce of Strategic Services during World War II and was known as the father of the CIA. (He was the fellow who authorized Sidney Weinberg’s espionage work in the Soviet Union during World War II.) Donovan, Leisure was so traditional that “tea ladies” served tea and cookies every afternoon on pushcarts. During his four– year stint at Donovan, Leisure, he represented the ﬁlm industry in a tax dispute with the IRS and spent his time shuttling between Los Angeles and New York. But he was not particularly devoted to the law. In 1980, as part of his Harvard reunion, Blankfein wrote that in his “spare time,” he worked “as a tax lawyer, the only career for a real man of action.” In 2000, he described his responsibilities at Donovan, Leisure as being “to keep certain large corporations from paying their fair share of taxes.” . . .
. . . Soon thereafter, a headhunter called and asked him if he would be interested in working at an obscure commodities trading ﬁrm, J. Aron & Company, which Goldman had purchased in November 1981. . . . At the end of 1982, Blankfein went to work on the gold bullion sales desk at J. Aron “to trade commodities,” he once wrote. . . .