Wall Street

Goldman's co-COO on Twitter, Brexit and bitcoin — 'you're seeing the real Lloyd'

Key Points
  • Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein has used Twitter to opine on everything from bitcoin to immigration, sometimes making jabs at the current White House.
  • Goldman is "focused" on bitcoin as clients keep asking about it, Solomon says.
Goldman Sachs' David Solomon: We have an edge in debt capital markets business

For those who are wondering who's behind the tweets sent from Lloyd Blankfein's verified account, they're the real Lloyd.

So says David Solomon, Goldman Sachs' president and co-chief operating officer, who was interviewed Thursday on CNBC. "You're seeing the real Lloyd Blankfein," Solomon said. "Lloyd's very good at it. I'm not. So we'll leave that to Lloyd for the moment."

On Thursday, Blankfein said on Twitter he was in Frankfurt and would be spending a lot more time there, suggesting Brexit, or the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union, was the reason.

Solomon said Goldman is adding staff in Europe to work with clients but added that London would continue to be an important center for the bank.

The Goldman CEO's other recent tweets range in topics from world economies (good) to bitcoin (no conclusion) to his undergrad days at Harvard University. Blankfein has also used the social media platform to make digs at President Donald Trump over immigration and climate change initiatives.

David Solomon
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Shares of Goldman are about flat for the year but they are up 37 percent over the last 12 months, after getting a big post-election boost last November and December. Trump's promise to deregulate the financial industry, cut corporate taxes and spend on infrastructure were all seen as a positive for big banks.

On Thursday, Goldman shares traded down 1.29 percent. Earlier this week, Goldman reported third-quarter profit of $5.02 a share, beating the $4.17 expected by analysts.

Goldman is examining a possible trading operation for bitcoin after clients began asking about the cryptocurrency. While JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a "fraud," Blankfein said on Twitter earlier this month: "not endorsing/rejecting. Know that folks also were skeptical when paper money displaced gold."

Solomon confirmed Goldman was looking at bitcoin because of heightened client interest, saying the bank wants to make sure it's in a position to work with clients as they figure out what they want to do in the world of cryptocurrency.

"When our clients are asking about something, we're focused on it," he said.