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While You Were Working – March 9

Lloyd Blankfein heads for the exit, Stanford endowment set to be scrutinized, a steady course for Deutsche Boerse, and the Nasdaq sets a record.

2 min read

Modern Money

Lloyd Blankfein

Let the palace intrigue at Goldman Sachs begin! (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Poor Gary Cohn

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein announced today that he would be stepping down by the end of this year. Considering Blankfein’s age and the cancer scare he endured couple of years ago, the announcement isn’t really all that much of a surprise. Nevertheless, one guy who has to be grinding his teeth over it is Gary Cohn.

Cohn, a former president at Goldman, was extremely well-positioned to succeed Blankfein until he took a detour to the Trump White House 14 months ago. But hey, at least Cohn stuck around Washington long enough for Trump to use him to get tax reform passed. So Gary will always have that!

Times are about to change at Stanford

Robert Wallace, the CEO of Stanford University rather sizeable endowment, is in the news because he wants to make it clear to everyone that the endowment is not to be used for social activism.

“We at the Stanford Management Company do not believe it is our job to try to achieve particular social outcomes unless they are consistent with our direct divestment policy or our long-term economic goals.”

Well, the problem with making such a firm announcement is that it makes headlines and is likely to leave many in the Stanford community wondering why the fund shouldn’t be used for social activism.

They will have their say and soon and when they do, The Farm – which is the home of the dancing tree and a rather extroverted marching band – will also be the home of an endowment that does do social activism.

A sign of steadiness at Deutsche Boerse

Amid recent self-inflicted controversies and uncertainties brought on by outside influences, Deutsche Boerse Chairman Joachim Faber announced today he will stand for another term atop the German exchange operator. This is a good thing. Things will calm down in and around Deutsche Boerse … and when they do, Faber will probably deserve much of the credit.

Meanwhile, over at the Nasdaq

With all the headlines the last month or so about the intra-day plummets of the Dow, the Nasdaq has recovered just fine – thank you very much. And today, it hit a record.

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