Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon raises alarm on US debt

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said that US policymakers need to put greater “focus” on the nation’s ballooning debt and deficit — warning that the federal government’s “ability to spend without constraint is not unlimited.”

“I think the level of debt in the United States [and] the level of spending is something that we need a sharper focus on and more dialogue around than what we’ve seen,” the 62-year-old investment banking chief told Bloomberg Television on Monday.

Solomon said that while it was anticipated that the government would spend to prop up the economy during COVID lockdowns, “we’re a long way out of that pandemic.”

“The spending levels…are continuing at a pace that I think is raising our debt level and creating issues for us down the road,” the Goldman boss said.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said more attention needs to be paid to the national debt as well as deficit spending. REUTERS

Solomon said the issue is “something that deserves a lot of attention.”

“It’s not getting as much attention as I’d like to see it get right now,” he said, noting that the US is in the midst of an election year. “But I do think it’s something that requires focus.”

Solomon said “we need to deal with the debt and the deficits.”

“Hopefully, there will be a lot more discussion [about the issue] as we move through the election and into the next administration.”

Since coming into office in January 2021, President Joe Biden’s administration has enacted legislation calling for the spending of more than $1 trillion on various items such as infrastructure, COVID relief, domestic semiconductor manufacturing and climate initiatives.

The federal government under the Biden administration has spent more than $1 trillion on infrastructure, climate and domestic chip manufacturing. Christopher Sadowski

Biden on Monday unveiled a $7.3 trillion election-year budget that calls for raising taxes on corporations and high earners.

But critics have accused the Biden administration of exacerbating the nation’s debt crisis.

The International Monetary Fund, which operates under the auspices of the United Nations, noted last month that the US federal budget deficit grew from $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2022 to $1.7 trillion last year.

The national debt, which recently surpassed $34 trillion, is on course to exceed $45.7 trillion within a decade — which is roughly 114% of the gross domestic product, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office.

Biden officials have blamed his predecessor, Donald Trump, for the surging debt — citing tax cuts that he enacted while in office.

When asked about whether there has been push back from Wall Street against the Biden agenda, Solomon noted that the US dollar continues to hold the status as the world’s most preferred currency.

“The reserve currency is a great privilege,” Solomon said, adding that he didn’t see “a threat to that in any way, shape or form.”

Critics have accused the Biden administration of exacerbating the nation’s debt crisis. Getty Images

“But it’s not something that you can take for granted,” the Goldman chief said. “And the United States’ ability to spend without constraints is not unlimited.”

Solomon predicted that “ultimately, the market will challenge” the federal government’s free-spending ways.

“I’m not saying that’s something that’s coming soon, but it’s certainly something that we should be very cognizant of and very protective of.”

Goldman had a difficult 2023 during which it saw profits dip by a third compared to the previous year thanks to its ill-fated foray into consumer banking.

The bank also reportedly suffered from a decline in morale due to an exodus of top talent as well as unrest over the lack of women in senior positions.

But there are signs the bank’s fortunes are turning around.

The national debt has risen significantly in recent years as the country dealt with the COVID pandemic. Christopher Sadowski

The company’s stock recently reached an all-time high of $455 per share. Since Jan. 1, Goldman’s stock has risen more than 17%.

Solomon on Monday sounded an optimistic tone about 2024, saying: “I think the level of IPO activity will pick up in the second half of the year and into 2025.”

But Solomon also cautioned that “fewer and fewer” companies were going public.

“That is concerning,” he said. “There’s obviously an abundance of capital available in private markets, but I do think it’s important that we have open, accommodative, strong public markets.”

Solomon also sounded upbeat about the economy, saying it was “chugging along pretty well.”

Nonetheless, Solomon expects inflation to continue to persist at high levels.

The Post has sought comment from Goldman Sachs.

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