The Real Deal New York

Joe Sitt’s frequent partner is a front-runner to head the Fed

Gary Cohn has invested in several Thor ventures
August 03, 2017 11:35AM

President Donald Trump, Joe Sitt and Gary Cohn (Credit: Getty Images)

President Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn is a front-runner to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. And wouldn’t you know he has a connection to New York real estate — the former Goldman Sachs investment banker is an equity partner on at least five Big Apple properties owned by Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities.

Cohn is being considered for and is interested in the position, though he hasn’t said so publicly, Bloomberg reported. Former colleagues and Fed employees said Cohn would be a “bulldog guiding an institution of eggheads” if he ultimately gets the job. They described him as an aggressive person, who might not enjoy the policy-heavy aspects of the gig. Cohn would also be the first Fed chair since Paul Volcker not to have a Ph.D.

“I can’t see why he would want to spend all his hours in those meetings dealing with material that’s as dry as a bone,” Jay Dweck, a former Goldman partner, told Bloomberg. “He has no patience for that kind of stuff.”

But Christopher Pia, a friend of Cohn’s and former hedge funder, said that what Cohn “lacks in economic policy and political know-how, he makes up for in tenacity and loyalty.”

Though Trump criticized Janet Yellen on the campaign trail for keeping interest rates low for too long, Cohn would likely follow a similar course as his predecessor.

Cohn holds personal interests in or receives distributions from LLCs affiliated with Thor-owned buildings at 115 Mercer Street, 452 West Broadway, 98 Morningside Avenue, 1231 Third Avenue and 1566 Fifth Avenue, The Real Deal reported in April, citing financial disclosures released by the White House. He also holds a stake in Thor’s luxury shopping center at 65 Boulevard de la Croisette in Cannes, France. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel