Lloyd Blankfein, who was Gary Cohn’s boss for more than a decade at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., endorsed his former deputy’s qualifications to run the Federal Reserve.
“Gary is very, very capable,” Blankfein said in an interview from his bank’s New York headquarters as part of a conference hosted by German newspaper Handelsblatt.
“There’s nobody who has a better sense of markets or the consequence that decisions will have on people’s behavior who act and are guided by market forces. No one’s perfect, but he’s the best I know,” he explained.
Donald Trump said in July that he’s considering Cohn, currently his top economic adviser, for the role of Fed chairman when Janet Yellen’s term ends in February.
Cohn would diverge from recent leaders of the central bank in that he isn’t a trained economist.
“He’s not an academic. I don’t know that he reads a lot of policy papers, let alone writes them,” Blankfein said.
“He’d be much less theoretical, much more practical. We haven’t gone in that direction in a few generations as far as the Fed, but we used to. And who’s to say what’s better or not,” the Goldman Sachs executive said.
Yellen and Cohn are considered by many economists as the frontrunners for the role.
The current Fed chairperson has “done a pretty good job,” Blankfein said. “If Gary got the job, I think he would do a different job but a great job.”