Stephen Friedman (PFIAB)

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Stephen Friedman (born December 21, 1937)[1] is the former Chairman of the United States President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He was nominated on October 27, 2005 to replace Brent Scowcroft in the position.

Life and career[edit]

Friedman graduated from Cornell University in 1959, where he was a wrestler and a member of the Quill and Dagger society. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1962 (Law Review). He worked for much of his career with investment bank Goldman Sachs, holding numerous executive roles. He served as the company's co-chief operating officer from 1987 to 1990, was the company's co-chairman from 1990 to 1992, and the sole chairman from 1992 to 1994; he still serves on the company board.

From 1998 to 2002, he served as a senior principal of Marsh & McLennan Capital Corp. He was from 2002 to 2005 United States Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and director of the National Economic Council.

Among other public service activities, Friedman is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Columbia University, Chairman Emeritus of the Executive Committee of the Brookings Institution, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a benefactor of his alma mater Cornell University, particularly its wrestling program as the college's wrestling building is known as the Friedman Center.

During a period of immense financial market upheaval and Government bailouts of banks and financial insurance companies, Friedman was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Board (which implements the Federal Reserve's Wall Street policies) while simultaneously serving Goldman Sachs (a company impacted by the quasi Governmental policies of the Federal Reserve) as a Board Director. The AIG bailout, an historically large bailout seen by many as controversial, directly benefited Goldman Sachs, which had one of the largest counter-party claim against AIG. On May 7, 2009 Friedman resigned as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in response to criticism of his December 2008 purchase of $3 million of stock in Goldman Sachs.[2] Friedman, who remains a member of Goldman Sachs' board, came into violation of Federal Reserve policy when Goldman was converted to a bank holding company in September 2008, thereby placing it under the regulatory authority of the New York Fed. Friedman requested a waiver from this violation when the conversion occurred, which was granted roughly two and a half months later.[3] In his resignation letter, Friedman stated that the Fed did not need the "distraction" caused by his "public service motivated continuation on the Reserve Bank Board...being characterized as improper."

Personal life[edit]

Friedman's brother is Richard Friedman, a law professor at the University of Michigan and a leading expert in the Confrontation Clause of the United States Constitution.[citation needed]

Friedman's son is screenwriter David Benioff, the co-creator of Game of Thrones who happens to also be married to actress Amanda Peet.


External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Robert Rubin
Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs
Succeeded by
Jon Corzine
Government offices
Preceded by
Lawrence B. Lindsey
Director of the National Economic Council
Succeeded by
Allan Hubbard