Economics/Class Relations

A Goldman fixer returns

August 9, 2023
Hey there! In case you missed it, here’s a complete rundown of the riverfront brawl in Montgomery, Alabama, that has taken the internet by storm.


Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon is in the midst of his own fight with critics, albeit not a physical one. But he just lured back a former bank executive to help him out. More in today’s big story


What’s on deck:

But first, guess who’s back.
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More changes at Goldman

Tyler Le/Insider


High-profile departures have been all too common at Goldman Sachs this year. But this time around, Goldman has lured back a former executive.

Russell Horwitz is returning to Goldman to serve as chief of staff for CEO David Solomon. He joins at a critical juncture for the bank and its CEO, who has faced criticism over everything from his managerial decisions to his usage of the company’s private jets.

Horwitz rejoins the bank after a stint at Ken Griffin’s Citadel, which has become a popular landing spot for former Goldman execs. Insider’s Dakin Campbell and Kaja Whitehouse have the complete rundown on the move, including a conversation with Horwitz himself.

Horwitz’s homecoming is a result of longtime Goldman Sachs executive John Rogers taking a step back. A key behind-the-scenes player for Goldman since he joined in 1994, Rogers has served as the chief of staff for the past four CEOs.

He’ll remain at the bank as an executive vice president, secretary to the board, and member of the management committee.

News of Rogers stepping down would be monumental in and of itself — media outlets dubbed him everything from Goldman’s “CEO whisperer” to the “man behind the curtain.” But when one considers the current climate at Goldman, the decision becomes even more intriguing.

As Insider’s Linette Lopez argues, Goldman Sachs is having an identity crisis.

Under Solomon, the bank has made an effort to evolve beyond being a bunch of cutthroat traders and dealmakers. A key piece of that plan was its push into consumer banking via Marcus, its digital bank.

But Goldman’s Main Street ambitions have been nothing short of a massive and costly failure. Meanwhile, the bank’s bread and butter — dealmaking and IPOs — has been virtually nonexistent.

That culminated in one of the bank’s worst earnings reports in years when Goldman saw a 58% drop in profit during the second quarter.

So now Horwitz is left to help Solomon pick up the pieces on what has been a disastrous year. And while he’s no stranger to navigating tricky situations — Horwitz played a key role in negotiating Goldman’s settlement over the 1MDB scandal — this one is particularly difficult.

As Linette puts it, Goldman is in an unusual position: Playing from behind.

“Without the winning, Goldman’s identity and place on Wall Street is unclear. It’s too small to be JPMorgan, too rarified to be Bank of America, and becoming Morgan Stanley would, frankly, be a mortifying step down.”


3 things in markets

Before the opening bell: US futures are up early Wednesday, after stocks slumped Tuesday amid Moody’s downgrade of nearly a dozen lenders.
Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images
  1. Where to invest for the rest of the year. JPMorgan recommends playing defense since investors’ expectations of a soft landing for the economy may be too optimistic. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs identified 18 companies with double-digit upside, including Etsy and Norwegian Cruise Line.
  2. Wall Street’s WhatsApp whammy. Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, and BMO Capital Markets are among a group of nine firms fined a total of $549 million from regulators over their employees’ use of messaging apps to discuss business.
  3. Fintech funding makes its comeback. VCs are ready to start investing again in fintechs after a difficult 18 months. But they’re not writing checks for everyone. Four VCs outlined the “new normal” in the world of fintech investing.
3 things in tech
Damien Jemison/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  1. Nobody seems to care that humanity is on the brink of major scientific breakthroughs. Artificial intelligence. Nuclear fusion. Semiconductors. A major problem is that most people only understand how one of these developments benefit the average person’s life.
  2. Tech CEO advises people not to work in tech. Tien Tzuo was the 11th employee at Salesforce. And he advises students against working in “soul-sucking” Big Tech. Instead, he thinks they should look at Fortune 500 companies.
  3. The stealth startups emerging from Google’s AI lab. There’s currently a lot of money on the table to develop AI. And alums from Google’s AI lab DeepMind who created their own AI companies are particularly attractive candidates for investors.
3 things in business
Darren Gerrish/WireImage
  1. Chaos in the Hamptons over high-end cardio classes. Tracy Anderson memberships are a Hamptonite status symbol. But with a $5,500 fee to reserve your spot — in addition to the $900 monthly membership cost — some devotees say it’s turned into a chaotic, overpriced mess.
  2. Dave Portnoy buys Barstool Sports back. The founder once again owns 100% of the company. He got back the minority stake from casino and sports gaming business PENN Entertainment for next to nothing.
  3. The unlikely rise of Warner Bros Discovery’s MotorTrend. It’s a rare example of a company that successfully adapted to new forms of media. The nearly-75-year-old business transformed from being a car enthusiast magazine publisher to a profitable, long-form video company.

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National Park

E.C. Stebinger/Lisa McKeon, USGS
Photos of Glacier National Park show how drastically it’s changed since the 1990s. Swaths of ice and snow have receded or shrunk in the past 100 years.
The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.
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