CNBC’s John Harwood sat down with National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to discuss a range of topics, including similarities he sees between President Donald Trump as well as also also Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. What follows is usually a condensed, edited transcript of their conversation.
Harwood: Compare the construction of This particular tax plan that will you’ve been a part of with the process of a major initiative at Goldman Sachs.
Cohn: the idea’s similar in many respects, as well as also also the idea’s different in many respects.
Harwood: Less rational, right?
Cohn: I don’t think the idea’s less or more rational. So, a major initiative at Goldman Sachs, we might literally go through as well as also also we might be very methodical, as well as also also very organized, as well as also also we might think through what we wanted to achieve, how we were going to achieve the idea. What might be the intended outcomes; what might be the unintended outcomes? Could we live with the unintended versus the intended? What could go wrong? What could go right? How might we solve for all of the issues? as well as also also we might test that will over, as well as also also over as well as also also over again, as well as also also bring in as many smart people as we possibly could to test that will scenario.
Harwood: as well as also also how is usually the idea different currently?
Cohn: You only had to convince one, two, or three people to do the idea. At the end of the day there was a modest, modest group of us. In dealing with what we have to deal with in taxes, we have 400-plus members of Congress as well as also also 100 members of the Senate. So, we not only have to think about what the objective is usually with taxes, as well as also also tax reform. We have to think how do we get 218 votes, as well as also also how do we get 51 votes on top of understanding the intended consequences, the unintended consequences. We have to overlay that will which has a big political umbrella.
Harwood: Compare Donald Trump as well as also also Lloyd Blankfein as bosses.
Cohn: They’ve got a lot of similarities.
Harwood: What are the similarities? I’m surprised to hear you say that will.
Cohn: Look, they’re both very driven. They’re both very passionate. They both strongly believe in what they’re doing. Their core messaging is usually very similar. I mean, they come into the office with passion every day. as well as also also they are both driven by the mission as well as also also feel like they need to get the mission accomplished, day in as well as also also day out.
Harwood: How are they different?
Cohn: Look, a corporate setting as well as also also the White House are different settings. You know, one’s an elected official which has a very public persona, one’s a CEO which has a fairly private persona as well as also also driving messaging inside the private persona where your clients don’t genuinely want to see you make news. Where on the various other side, where your clients want to see you make news, which is usually the electorate, you approach those two things coming from a very different perspective. So, they’re both managing their clients very effectively. as well as also also I think they both understand who their client base is usually, as well as also also they manage their client base effectively.
Read more coming from the Gary Cohn Speakeasy interview:
… on keeping companies in America.
… on repealing the estate tax.
… on Cohn’s plan after tax reform.
… on the value of trickle-down economics.