Duncan Black is puzzled:
These Are Truly Weird People: I don't understand.
Daley called a few trusted eminences on Wall Street, sounding them out on the personnel switch [of Hilary Rodham Clinton to Secretary of the Treasury]. Their response was resoundingly positive, both officials said. She had never been a banker, but as a senator from New York, Clinton had cultivated many relationships within the financial sector. Some of them had been longing for the kind of attention they had received from her and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, but rarely got from Obama…
But consider this in the context of:
At Gupta Trial, a Glimpse at Goldman's Inner Workings: Mr. Gupta’s lawyers showed the jury an internal Goldman document from July 2008… for Gary D. Cohn, then the bank’s co-president, in preparation for a meeting he had scheduled with Mr. Rajaratnam, former head of the Galleon Group…. In the more than a year that Mr. Roth worked in the executive office, he said he had assembled hundreds of briefing documents for Mr. Cohn…. A prominent section of the briefing is “EO interactions,” or executive office interactions, which is compiled from an internal database tracked by the client relations group, Mr. Roth said.
“You called Rajaratnam in 2007,” reads one bullet point.
“You saw Rajaratnam at a dinner hosted by Steven Cohen in February 2007,” read another….
“You saw Rajaratnam at NYU Child Study Center event in December 2006,” said a third.
Under “talking points/business agenda,” Mr. Cohn was instructed to “deliver the message that we want to expand our PB relationship,” which referred to its prime brokerage business. Under potential questions, Mr. Cohn was advised to ask “what are you thinking regarding future growth at Galleon?” and “how can we be more helpful?”
At its peak in 2007, Galleon did more than $30 million in business with Goldman, which ranked it about the 90th-largest client in the bank’s equities division, according to Mr. Roth’s testimony…
The shareholders of Goldman and the investors of Galleon want the relationship between Rajaratnam and Cohn to be about their investigating whether it would be profitable for them to spend their time negotiating win-win deals with each other. But, at least from Goldman's internal CR perspective, Rajaratnam at least will make his decisions based on the heuristic: is Cohn my friend who remembers and cares about me?