On paper, Cohn seemed to be the perfect choice for Trump. The U.S. president called Gary Cohn his “top economic adviser”. That song of praise alone would melt even anti-Trump haters. However, in reality, both Cohn and Trump were just too different in terms of ideology and foreign policy. Hence, the news that Cohn has resigned is long anticipated.
Get real, Mr. Cohn accepted the position to lead the prestigious National Economic Council not because he likes Mr. Trump. The former President and COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Goldman Sachs left the corporate world for the White House because the position offered the stepping stone to other top government posts – including Chairman of Federal Reserve.
Trump, on the other hand, needed a top gun from Goldman Sachs to support and drive more business-friendly policies. Cohn’s presence in the White House was a great asset to calm and instil Wall Street confidence after Trump’s unexpected presidential election. Furthermore, Trump has great admiration for prestigious brands such as Goldman Sachs.
Behind the curtain, there were too many things that Trump and Cohn couldn’t agree. The biggest issue remains that Gary Cohn is a globalist and liberalistwhile Donald Trump is a nationalist and conservative. In fact, Cohn is a lifelong Democrat. It was like putting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the same room and expects them to become good friends sharing candies.
On the subject of China alone, Trump was of the opinion that the Chinese Yuan / Renminbi was too weak but Cohn believed otherwise – that the currency was too strong. While Trump believed China was the evil behind currency manipulation, Cohn was of the view that Beijing was actually working very hard to strengthening their currency against the US dollar.
But if the book written by Michael Wolff – “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” – was any indicator, Gary Cohn might have had regretted his decision in joining the Trump’s team. He was revealed to think that his boss was as “dumb as shit”, despite Trump’s open “admiration” for the former Goldman Sachs top executive.
Mr. Cohn also wasn’t impressed that his president was such a lazy person he won’t read anything – not even one-page memos. Despite the prestigious post as the Director of National Economic Council, Cohn admitted he hated the job.He claimed that he stayed because he was the only person in the White House with a clue of what President Trump was doing.
Both Trump and Cohn reportedly don’t see eye to eye ever since the deadly violence in Charlottesville. Mr. Cohn was disgusted after Trump praised the “fine people” among what the head of economic adviser believed to be racist activists. It was because of his displeasure against his boss that Gary Cohn was out as a top contender to be the next Federal Reserve Chairman.
The last straw that broke the camel’s back, of course, was when President Trump’s decision to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminium imports. At a meeting with steel and aluminium executives last Thursday where Trump announced the move, Cohn argued against it, warning about price increases for steel and aluminium products.
In his last effort to dissuade the president from imposing the tariffs, Cohn had arranged a meeting with companies that use steel and aluminium in their products – but Trump refused to attend it. Cohn probably thought he could convince Trump, so much so that he openly told all and sundry that he would resign if his boss follows through on the tariffs.
Clearly, Trump is a tough nut to crack. To prove who’s the tough boss, Trump has even challenged any countries dare to retaliate to bring it on. And he has already declared that trade war was good – and easy to win. Amusingly, just a couple of hours before Cohn announced his resignation, Trump boasted that “everybody wants to work in the White House.”
Trump said – “They all want a piece of that Oval Office. They want a piece of the West Wing. And it looks great on their resume – it’s just a great place to work.” Perhaps the president was right. Nobody is indispensable, including so-called talented Gary Cohn. Perhaps Cohn’s resignation would give Trump an opportunity to ponder about the misconception about Goldman Sachs branding.
Perhaps it’s time Trump stops turning Goldman Sachs to fill important positions. Despite Donald Trump’s great admiration for Sachs’ talents, Goldman doesn’t like doing business with Trump. It was reported that Goldman has never underwritten a single stock or bond offering for a Trump majority-owned business or real-estate project or lent him any money.
Trump also knew during his presidential campaign that Goldman Sachs avoided him like a plague , preferring to pour donations for Hillary Clinton instead. He even accused Goldman as the villains responsible for sending U.S. jobs overseas and closing U.S. factories. Yet, after his surprise victory in last November 2016, Trump did a 180-degree turn on Goldman Sachs.
For his hypocrisy, Trump was criticised – “Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp. Then he put enough Goldman bankers on his team to open a branch office of Goldman in the White House.” Perhaps Trump should be reminded that since the 2008 financial crisis, Goldman Sachs has become the symbol of Wall Street greed and arrogance.
When Venezuelans were suppressed and oppressed by their government, the greedy American banking giant sponsored the brutal President Nicolas Maduro. Goldman Sachs secretly bought US$2.8 billion worth of Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA’s (Petróleos de Venezuela) bonds maturing in 2022 from the Venezuelan central bank through a controversial broker called Dinosaur.
Of course, who can forget how Goldman Sachs worked together with Prime Minister Najib Razak and conman Jho Low on the infamous 1MDB project, which has ultimately grown to a financial scandal so huge that it becomes the largest action brought under the U.S. Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, involving stolen money of more than US$4.5 billion.
Like it or not, both Gary Cohn and Donald Trump have never meant to be together. It was merely a marriage of convenience. And the Goldman Sachs institution has never respected Donald Trump from the beginning. With both ex-Goldman – Steve Bannon and Gary Cohn – now gone, Trump should search elsewhere for people who really subscribe to his belief and policy.
– Finance Twitter