Watch CBS News

Goldman Sachs CEO: Income inequality is "destabilizing"

Lloyd Blankfein is one of the world's most influential corporate leaders
Goldman Sachs CEO on economy, energy and politics 08:26

Income inequality is destabilizing and "responsible for the divisions in the country," CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein said on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday.

"The divisions could get wider," Blankfein said. "If you can't legislate, you can't deal with problems. [If] you can't deal with problems, you can't drive growth and you can't drive the success of the country. It's a very big issue and something that has to be dealt with."

He said one way to deal with it would be to "make the pie grow."

"Too much of the GDP over the last generation has gone to too few of the people," he said.

Even economists like Thomas Piketty have said U.S. inequality is reaching "spectacular" heights.

"People are trying to grapple with the reasons for it," Blankfein said. "So for example, technology, media, the new economy. If you do something really well, the entire world beats a path to your door. The number three, number five, number 400 player gets nothing. It's almost a winner take all."

Blankfein, who oversees about $915 billion in managed assets and 32,900 employees at Goldman Sachs, will be hosting the company's North American energy summit Tuesday and Wednesday.

He was upbeat about the prospects for domestic energy investments including shale, but he said there needs to be more clarity in government regulation if big investments are going to be made.

"It's very hard to go out and make big investments to take advantage of the shale energy if we don't know if it's always going to be there, what price it's going to be there, whether the country's going to allow it to be exported or whether it's going to go and affect subsidized U.S. manufacturing," Blankfein said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.