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WHEN: Today, Wednesday, September 18th at 8:30am ET
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Goldman Sachs Chairman & CEO Lloyd Blankfein on CNBC's "Squawk Box" today, Wednesday, September 18th. Following is a link to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000200157.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
BLANKFEIN ON TAPER
LLOYD BLANKFEIN: I EXPECT, I THINK AT THIS POINT THERE HAS TO BE SOME CUT. I THINK IF IT'S A NUMBER LIKE DOWN 10 BILLION, THE MARKET WILL BE VERY VERY HAPPY. IF IT IS MORE THAN THAT THE MARKET WILL BE VERY SAD.
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: AND THE MARKET IS GOING TO BE SAD BECAUSE WE'RE LOSING THE HEROIN INJECTION OR BECAUSE – I MEAN THAT COULD BE GOOD NEWS, RIGHT? THE GOOD NEWS IS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD NEWS OR IS THE GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS?
BLANKFEIN: I'LL USE THE METAPHOR OF TAILWIND, HEADWIND, ALRIGHT? BUT, I THINK THERE'S A BIG TAILWIND FROM THE FED AND PEOPLE THINK, WELL GEE THIS IS THE FIRST MOMENT WHEN THERE IS A WITHDRAWAL OF KIND OF ABNORMAL SUPPORT FROM THE MARKET – BUT IT'S NOT AS BIG A DEAL. AND, A, IT'S NOT THE FIRST WITHDRAWAL. THE BIGGEST ARTIFICIAL SUPPORT THE MARKETS HAD FOR A LONG TIME, WE'VE BEEN WITHDRAWING SOME OF THAT STEADILY. THE BIGGEST SUPPORT THE MARKETS HAD WAS THE UNBALANCED BUDGET WE HAD WHERE WE WERE SPENDING SO MUCH MORE THAN WE WERE TAKING IN REVENUE. WE HAVE TIED THAT UP. THE SEQUESTRATION, THE INCREMENTAL TAX, THE PAYROLL TAX COMING BACK. ALL THOSE THINGS ARE MOVING TOWARD NORMALIZATION.
BLANKFEIN ON QE
AT THE MARGIN, IT MADE A CONTRIBUTION. WHO KNOWS. YOU CAN'T GO BACK AND YOU CAN'T SEE BOTH PATHS. BUT I WOULD SAY IT WAS -- I WOULD HAVE IF I WERE IN CHARGE OF RUNNING THE ECONOMY, I WOULD HAVE DONE EVERYTHING I COULD. AND THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS IN THAT DIRECTION, THAT WAS POSITIVE.
BLANKFEIN ON GOLD
WITH INTEREST RATES RISING, GOLD DOESN'T PAY AN INTEREST RATE, BUT EVERY OTHER CURRENCY -- IT BECOMES NOT ONLY LESS IMPORTANT TO HOLD GOLD AS AN ALTERNATIVE, BUT MORE EXPENSIVE TO HOLD IT AS AN INSURANCE POLICY AND SO THAT WILL BE A BURDEN ON THE PRICE OF GOLD.
BLANKFEIN ON ECONOMY
THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG AND I JOKED LAST NIGHT THAT I SPEND 98 PERCENT OF MY TIME AND THE 2 PERCENT WORST POSSIBILITY IS BECAUSE WE ARE IN RISK MANAGEMENT BUSINESS, AND I CAN SPEND A LOT OF TIME DOING THAT, BUT I THINK THE LARGEST PROBABILITY IS THAT WE MUDDLE THROUGH ALL THESE THINGS, WE ARE CLIMBING THE WALL OF WORRY AND WE ARE ACTUALLY SUBSTANTIVELY VERY WELL POSITIONED FOR THE ECONOMY TO KEEP IMPROVING. I'M BULLISH.
BLANKFEIN ON FED CHAIR
I WILL HAVE TO WORK WITH WHOEVER HAS THAT JOB. SO IT IS ACTUALLY QUITE CONVENIENT THAT I LIKE EVERYBODY WHO HAS BEEN NAMED.
BLANKFEIN ON YELLEN & SUMMERS
BOTH HAVE DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND BOTH HAVE DIFFERENT TEMPERAMENTS. I THINK THEY'RE BOTH EQUIVALENT AND BOTH ARE VERY STRONG. EACH ONE COULD DO THE JOB.
BLANKFEIN ON BRINGING A CHARGE
LET'S TAKE ARTHUR ANDERSON. AND IN THAT CASE, THE CONSEQUENCES OF BRINGING A CHARGE ARE SO GREAT, I THINK THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE RELUCTANT TO BRING CHARGES IF THEY KNEW THE MOMENT THEY BROUGHT A CHARGE YOU'D ACTUALY BE THE EXECUTIONER. AND I THINK IT'S IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. AND THE GOVERNMENT DID COME BACK AND ENCOURAGE FIRMS LIKE OURS TO CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH SAC.
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