6 Notable Goldman Sachs Alums (Who Made Their Mark Elsewhere)

Getty Images
Getty Images

When Goldman Sachs received Fed approval to become a bank holding company, it ended the stalwart firm's run as an investment bank and foretold a new corporate direction. While a staggering amount of money has passed through Goldman's hands since its founding in 1869, many notable people have made their marks (and their fortunes) while passing through the firm's ranks. Here are a few alums you might not have realized had Goldman Sachs on their resumes.

1. Stuart Sternberg

The Tampa Bay Rays just made the World Series thanks to their brilliant defense and a dazzling pitching performance by Matt Garza, but one could argue that none of this season's magic could have happened without principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who took over executive control of the woeful team in 2005. Sternberg immediately cleaned house and let smart baseball thinkers lay the groundwork for this season's run. Of course he's a shrewd manager who knows that it may take a few years for a smart investment to mature; Sternberg enjoyed a 24-year career in finance before retiring as a partner at Goldman in 2002. When he took over the Rays, he needed a new president for the team, and he didn't have to look past the Goldman partner who helped him arrange his purchase of the team, Matthew Silverman. Silverman, who formerly worked in Goldman's Merchant Banking Division and Firmwide Strategy Group, now controls the day-to-day operations of baseball's biggest surprise.

2. Jim Cramer

If you're a fan of financial-talk television or just enjoy seeing someone stalk around a TV set while apparently coping with the early symptoms of rabies, you've probably watched an episode or two of Jim Cramer's Mad Money. Obviously Cramer's a really sharp guy behind all of his bluster, but it's surprising how interesting his life's been. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, he worked as a journalist, where one of his assignments saw him report on a murderous rampage by infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. He then went to Harvard Law School before getting a job as a broker at Goldman. Cramer used the expertise he gathered at Goldman to launch his own hedge fund, and he later founded TheStreet.com before eventually jumping to TV fame. As you might expect, Cramer's not the only Goldman alum to find a niche on TV; CNBC personality Erin Burnett also spent time with the firm.

3. Charlie Haas

Goldman's alums haven't all gone on to become leaders in the corporate world, though. Some have taken up high positions in the tail-kicking industry, especially Charlie Haas. Haas was a decorated amateur wrestler at Seton Hall, where he won two Big East championships, but after college, he did the responsible thing and got a job working as a stockbroker for Goldman Sachs. He still had the itch to do some wrasslin', though, so he eventually started working some independent shows with his brother, Russ. It's unclear how skilled Haas was as a broker, but he showed some real merit as a grappler. He eventually made it up to the WWE in 2002, and he's won the WWE Tag Team Championship three times. Despite following a wildly divergent career path from the one he started on after college, Haas has maintained a bit of business-world flavor in his matches: one of his signature moves is a lifting reverse DDT he calls the "Haastile Takeover."

4. Josh Bolten

The White House Chief of Staff is sometimes referred to as the second-most powerful man in Washington, and Bolten currently holds the title. After graduating from Princeton and then going to Stanford Law School, he passed through a number of high-level jobs, including International Trade Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, private law practice, and even a one-semester stint teaching international trade at Yale Law School. From 1994 to 1999, though, he was a Goldman man. He served as the Executive Director, Legal & Government Affairs for Goldman Sachs International in London.

5. Ashwin Navin

One doesn't usually associate high finance with downloading albums and movies, but Navin was able to use his own financial expertise to help make the BitTorrent protocol become one of the Internet's most popular content distribution avenues. After his 1999 graduation from Claremont McKenna, Navin worked as a banker and analyst for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch before going to Yahoo! in 2002. In 2004, he linked up with BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen to start BitTorrent, Inc. While serving as the company's president, Navin has been able to strengthen BitTorrent's position by working directly with movie studios and other content creators who generally don't work with file-sharing powerhouses.

6. Jon Corzine

Corzine is a former Democratic Senator and the current Governor of New Jersey, but he's possibly most famous for suffering serious injuries in a 2007 accident involving his motorcade. (Although Corzine made the questionable decision not to wear a seat belt, he turned his bad judgment into a memorable public service announcement for seat belt use. He opened with the line, "I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead.") Before he entered the political realm, though, Corzine was a big name in finance. He went to work for Goldman in 1975, and by 1994 he'd risen to the position of Chairman and co-CEO of the company. When Goldman went public after Corzine left the company, the future governor's stake in the firm was worth $400 million. Why did Corzine leave in the first place, then? He was apparently pushed out following clashes with his co-CEO, another famous Goldman alum: current United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson.

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14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

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Here's How Much Money You Need to Earn in Each State to Afford a Home

The keys to your own kingdom.
The keys to your own kingdom.
PhotoMIX Company, Pexels

By this point, it’s well-known that American Millennials are much slower to buy homes than Baby Boomers were at their ages. While certain cultural changes have contributed to this trend—people are waiting longer to get married and have children, for example—the most common reasons to continue renting ad infinitum are financial. In other words, it’s especially hard to afford a house these days. That said, residents of some states have it easier than others.

According to a study by The Cost Guys, West Virginians only need to make $26,393 a year to become homeowners—the lowest of any U.S. state. In general, Appalachia, the Midwest, and the South are good places to live if you have your heart set on pocketing keys to your own tiny kingdom; in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, you can feasibly afford a home on an annual salary below $40,000.

The West is expensive.The Cost Guys

If you live in Hawaii, on the other hand, you might end up renting for the long run; that is, unless you earn $152,676 per year (or more). Parts of the continental U.S. put up similarly high stats: Californians need to earn at least $136,600 to set up shop, and inhabitants of Colorado, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. all need more than $100,000.

To come up with these figures, The Cost Guys worked off the widespread assumption that about 30 percent of your annual earnings will go toward your home—which includes mortgage, insurance, property tax, and down payment—and used median real estate values from Zillow to calculate how much that percentage would amount to.

If you’re feeling discouraged by the high price tags on homeownership, it’s worth noting that there’s plenty of room for variation. Maybe you find a home listed for much less than your state’s median value, or maybe you can negotiate a deal for a much smaller down payment than 10 percent (which is what The Cost Guys used for their analysis). There’s also the possibility that you’re able to budget a little more than 30 percent of your income toward housing costs.

You can explore more detailed info and data here.