Mixed messages from Goldman’s first family?

August 5, 2009

FINANCE/TARPThis probably wasn’t what Lloyd Blankfein had in mind when he reportedly asked Goldman Sachs employees to cut back on conspicuous displays of consumption.

The New York Post, which screamed the news about Blankfein’s order to exercise restraint from its front page on Tuesday, reported on its Page Six gossip column Wednesday that his wife sent a rather different message at a charity event in the Hamptons last Saturday.

According to Page Six, Laura Blankfein and Susan Friedman, wife of Richard Friedman, a Goldman managing director,  “caused a huge scene” as they waited with lesser donors for the doors to open for a charity event for ovarian cancer research.

“Their behavior was obnoxious. They were screaming,” one witness told the Post, who added that Blankfein said she wouldn’t wait with “people who spend less money than me.”

Of course it’s not the first time that Wall Street wives’ high-falutin’ ways have gotten tongues wagging. Former Pan Am stewardess Susan Gutfreund, the free-spending wife of 80′s era Salomon Brothers CEO John, was gossip column fodder, as was Henry Kravis’ ex-wife, fashion designer Carolyne Roehm.

More recently, an anonymous Wall Street spouse penned a column for entitled “Confessions of a Bailout CEO Wife” that bemoaned the inability to throw birthday parties at “Michelin hotspots” and other sad side effects of her vow of “financial abstinence.”

(reporting by Steve Eder; photo by Reuters)

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