Cohn Says ‘Of Course’ He Would Like to Be Goldman CEO

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) President and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn said he would like to be chief executive officer of the firm and is “very happy” in his current job.

“Of course I would like to be CEO of Goldman Sachs, but I am very happy in the job I am in now,” Cohn, 51, said today in an interview with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

When Lloyd C. Blankfein succeeded Henry M. Paulson as Goldman Sachs’s chairman and CEO six years ago, Cohn was named as one of Blankfein’s top lieutenants, making him a leading candidate to be the next head of the firm. Blankfein said last week that he has a “tough job to leave,” and that most of his predecessors left for government jobs.

“I would say the government isn’t going to call me up,” Blankfein told reporters after participating in a discussion at the Chicago Club in Chicago. “So that means staying forever or dying at my desk.”

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, has declined 25 percent since March 26 as investors became more concerned about the European debt crisis and analysts cut profit outlooks for banks. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $2 billion trading loss, announced May 10, has led some analysts to predict regulators will craft tougher rules to keep lenders from making speculative bets.

Goldman Sachs probably will earn $2.03 a share in the second quarter, according to the average estimate of 25 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporters on this story: Christine Harper in New York at charper@bloomberg.net; Erik Schatzker in New York at eschatzker@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Green at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

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