November 6, 2012
When we learned that employees of Goldman Sachs, a group that overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama in 2008, shifted their allegiances to Mitt Romney this election, many saw it as a sign that the President had alienated the investment bank. But while Goldman’s rank and file may have turned against Obama, he still has an important ally at the firm: Goldman’s chief economist, Jan Hatzius.
To be sure, the German-born Hatzius hasn’t publicly stated that he supports the President. But his analysis, which is widely read in financial circles, has long jibed with the monetary and fiscal policies embraced by Democrats. In numerous notes published over the last few years, Hatzius has advocated stimulus spending and called for more quantitative easing, renouncing efforts to slash the deficit as premature.
He summarized these views in a speech last year, after accepting the 2011 Lawrence R. Klein Award for making the most accurate forecasts during the previous four years. In his remarks, the economist quoted former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who said that, while the crisis was “caused by too much confidence, borrowing, and spending,” it could only be resolved by “increases in confidence, borrowing, and spending.” Hatzius continued: