Lloyd Blankfein is worried that Elizabeth Warren could bring about a radical shift to America’s economy.
The former Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an exclusive interview on Thursday that Warren “probably thinks more of cataclysmic change to the economic system as opposed to tinkering.”
That’s riskier, Blankfein said, because America’s economic system is the “envy of the world.”
“Capitalism is not dead,” said Blankfein, who stepped down as Goldman Sachs’ CEO last fall. But he acknowledged that the system “has to adapt,” with an aim of making it fairer and preventing monopolies.
Paying more in taxes
Blankfein said that some of Bernie Sanders’ ideas are good ones and he is open to the idea of wealth “redistribution” by changing the nation’s tax structure.
“We have to listen to what people are saying and respond to it,” he said. “You know, you’re not guaranteed stability in the world. Look at what’s going on in Hong Kong.”
For instance, Blankfein thinks the rich could pay more in taxes.
“I’d like to pay no taxes, but I’d like to live in a civilized world where people aren’t coming with torches and rakes trying to, you know, kill each other,” said Blankfein. “I sure as heck would be willing to pay more tax if it could buy a happier and less polarized society.”
Both Warren and Sanders have endorsed a tax on wealth. Warren has called for taxing fortunes of more than $50 million at 2% each year and wealth of more than $1 billion at 3%.
Blankfein said it’s “hard to imagine” a wealth tax because it would be incredibly complicated to calculate. He noted that wealth taxes can take many years to sort out.