Gary Cohn is the chief economic advisor to Donald Trump and the Director of the National Economic Council. Before his position with the Trump administration, he was the president and C.O.O. of Goldman Sachs from 2006-2016.
Born into a Jewish family in Ohio, Cohn was diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age. Education proved challenging for him, but he ultimately attended American University where he received his B.A. After graduation, he worked for the US Steel Corporation. He then left to work as an options dealer for the New York Mercantile Exchange after teaching himself the skills for the job. Cohn was then recruited by Goldman and worked his way up the ranks to eventually become president.
In the Know
Cohn has long been registered as a democrat but echoed his support for the Trump campaign and initially made donations to Marco Rubio during the Republican primaries.
During his time with Goldman, he helped orchestrate a plan to hide billions of Greece's debt from financial overseers in Belgium. Fortunately, Greece did not pursue this course of action. In 2001, he had previously helped Greece borrow money so that they could continue to spend beyond their budget and avoid European deficit rules.
Though he was both critiqued and praised, it cannot be denied that Cohn's management of Goldman contributed to the global economic crisis of 2008. Despite Goldman's roll in the recession, Cohn argues for less economic regulations against banks, which he says hurt the consumer. *Head scratch.
Jared Kushner introduced him to Trump as a potential candidate to lead the National Economic Council. His close relationship with Jared and Ivanka has helped secure his favored spot in the president's eyes.
Surprise surprise, he's known to be an asshole to work for.
Rumors have begun to swirl that Cohn could replace increasingly unpopular Reince Preibus as White House Chief of Staff.
Cohn recently announced that economic growth would be the factor to judge the success of the Trump presidency. Cohn wants to cut the corporate tax rate, reduce regulations on businesses and banks, and increase government spending on infrastructure. No wonder he's so popular, as Paul Ryan's seemingly only goal is tax cuts for the wealthy, and Cohn is the man for the job, himself having received a severance package of $284 million from Goldman.
Cohn has a strong working relationship with Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, also a former Goldman man. Both Cohn and Mnuchin have a more trade-friendly economic policy than Trump, which could tamper his extremist policies.
Or not so fun fact: Cohn made donations to both Obama and Clinton in the 2008 primaries. Can you say "about face?"