Goldman Sachs in City Hall
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump consistently pointed to Goldman Sachs as the best symbol of the financial elite’s hold on elected officials.
He won the presidency on a populist message of draining the swamp, but instead he has allowed the swamp to seep into the highest levels of power in his White House. While Trump has loudly scapegoated immigrants for job loss, he has more quietly appointed nearly half a dozen Goldman Sachs alums—architects of the 2008 housing crisis—to his administration.
The Wall Street firm prides itself on the revolving door between Goldman Sachs and public service. Its employees consistently donate to and serve in governments of both Democrats and Republicans.
But Goldman Sachs hasn’t just infiltrated the federal government. The firm also gains influence by controlling State houses and City Halls across the country—including New York City’s.
Bill de Blasio also won on a populist message of ending the tale of two cities, and promised to steer us away from Bloomberg’s efforts to create a luxury city for the wealthy. But a week before he officially took office, de Blasio
announced he would appoint Alicia Glen, a banker from Goldman Sachs, to a deputy mayor position in his administration. Her primary responsibility would be overseeing the implementation of his housing agenda.
Many housing advocates who worked hard to elect de Blasio and expected a clean break from the Bloomberg administration were perplexed with Glen’s appointment.
With Glen at City Hall, they worried about a continuation of policies that shut low-income New Yorkers out of affordable housing.
It turns out they were right.
Glen’s housing and development model at City Hall has failed to serve low-income New Yorkers who are most in need of affordable housing. This is the same vulnerable population of New Yorkers left behind by Bloomberg and still living on the brink of homelessness.