Bloomberg contributor Willam D. Cohan points out that Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, was at the World Economic Forum for the first time since 2008, newly bearded and fresh from a year in which the firm made $7.5bn in net income and regained its swagger as the potentate of Wall Street.
Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America Corp., was back and could hold his head a bit higher: BofA’s stock was up close to 60% in a year as Moynihan has slowly begun to put behind him the bank’s errors leading up to and during the financial crisis.
And, of course, there is Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). Let’s face it: The man is in a class by himself. He has become a perennial at Davos, where he is perennially outspoken. In 2011, he made news by picking a rhetorical fightwith President Nicolas Sarkozy of France about whether the time had finally come to take Wall Street’s bankers, traders and executives out of the cross hairs of public ire.
This year, the incorrigible Dimon wasted no time: On the first day of the conference he was defending banks and bankers and urging regulators to slow down their drive to prevent another financial crisis like the one that brought capitalism to its knees in 2008.
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William D. Cohan is the author of the recently released Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World and the New York Times bestsellers House of Cards and The Last Tycoons.
Cohan is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and writes frequently for Financial Times, Fortune, The Atlantic and The Washington Post. He worked on Wall Street as a senior mergers and acquisitions banker for 15 years. He also worked for two years at G.E. Capital. Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism and Columbia University Graduate School of Business. The Last Tycoons won the 2007 Financial Times / Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.