Here’s Lloyd Bankfein’s bottom line on Donald Trump: Keep an optimistic mind.
Prior to Trump’s surprise win Tuesday night, most of Wall Street had predicted Hillary Clinton would take the White House and act as a continuation of President Barack Obama’s administration. But now that the opposite has come to pass, CEOs and executives of large companies and banks are now trying to explain what Trump’s presidency might mean for their firms.
Blankfein in his Thursday voicemail noted that while he can’t be certain if the election will be “good or bad in the long-run,” Trump’s proposed plan to lower taxes and increase spending could be a boon for economic growth.
Separately, Blankfein also appeared at the New York Times’ Dealbook conference on Thursday, saying that Trump’s policies are “asset friendly and market friendly.” The comments come despite the fact that Blankfein was negatively featured in one of the final commercials of the Trump campaign.
Despite that investors, though, are already anticipating that president-elect will be friendlier to the financial sector. Shares of Goldman Sachs have rallied nearly 11% as of noon Friday since election day, while an exchange-traded fund tracking the industry(xlf) rose 7.4% in the same period.
Here is Blankfein’s transcript, which was sent to Goldman Sachs’ team around the world:
This is Lloyd.
I’d like to take a moment to share some thoughts with you in the aftermath of the US election. The results of the election have surprised many of us, similar to what we saw earlier this year in the UK Brexit vote. The political cycle has unquestionably been divisive – not only in the US and in the UK, but also in other parts of the world.
I know that some of you may feel uncertain, or perhaps even disheartened or uncomfortable with the outcomes of these political cycles, while others of you feel just the opposite.
I can’t predict with certainty whether the outcomes of recent political processes we’ve seen will be good or bad in the long-run. We can aspire to predict the future, but that is beyond our reach, as recent events have shown. Instead, it is a more realistic ambition to be clear-minded about what is occurring, and to contingency plan for all scenarios. This helps us to risk manage our firm, and more importantly, it enables us to assist our clients as they adapt to changing circumstances.
The election results in the US show democracy at work. This means respect for the will of the people and an orderly transition of power. And in the long-run, this, in and of itself, is a stabilizing process. It also means change, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Change is often the agent of progress in ways we can’t always readily see in the early days.
In the US, for example, the president-elect’s commitment to infrastructure spending, government reform and tax reform – among other things – will be good for growth and, therefore, will be good for our clients and for our firm.
Amidst the changes we expect to unfold, you should stay close to our clients. Your ideas, insights and advice will prove valuable to them as circumstances evolve in the weeks and months ahead.
Separately, while there has been tremendous focus on the US election, we, Goldman Sachs, had an election of our own. As we do every two years, we selected a new class of partners, which we announced today. In many ways, the new class reflects the strength of the firm and the diverse experience and skills of an emerging class of new leaders.
So as we head into the home stretch of 2016 with a number of divisive political contests settled, with an improving global economy, and with a firm that is well funded with both financial and human capital, I remain optimistic about the future, the world’s and our firm’s.