Lloyd Blankfein is not sure what he'll do after Goldman: 'I'm probably not going to be a member of Augusta'

  • A string of former top Goldman executives left Wall Street for key government posts, but that doesn't seem likely for Blankfein.
  • Speculation about his plans to step down from Goldman whipped up earlier this month after one of his lieutenants, Harvey Schwartz, announced he would retire in April.

Lloyd Blankfein doesn't know what he wants to do when he eventually retires as Goldman Sachs' CEO, but golf or government work doesn't seem to be in the cards.

He has been at the helm of Goldman for 12 years, and many of his predecessors at the firm have taken the traditional route through the revolving door from Wall Street to a key government perch, like the top of the Treasury Department.

But Blankfein said at a luncheon on Thursday that a government post "doesn't seem that available" right now. He made the comments during a question-and-answer session at a lunch in Boston sponsored by the Boston College Chief Executives Club.

Blankfein has repeatedly used his verified Twitter account in the last year to troll President Donald Trump. His former lieutenant at Goldman, Gary Cohn, recently quit as Trump's top economic advisor after Trump announced big tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Speculation about his plans to step down from Goldman whipped up earlier this month after one of his lieutenants, Harvey Schwartz, announced he would retire in April, leaving David Solomon as sole president and heir apparent.

Blankfein hasn't said when or whether his retirement is coming. And he said his wife told him not to quit. He also doesn't seem hell-bent on leisure activities.

"I'm probably not going to be a member of Augusta," he said, in reference to the golf club where the Masters tournament is played each spring. "I'd have to take up golf first."

But he acknowledged on Thursday that his retirement would probably not happen precisely at the time he would like.

"When things are going badly you can't leave. When things are going well, you don't want to leave. So, almost by definition you have to leave when you don't want to leave."

He did say he didn't think it was likely he would leave for a better opportunity (aka, the Treasury Department). "I'm going to have to have the discipline to leave when I want to stay."

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