After capturing a capital gains tax break on the Goldman Sachs stock he was “forced” to sell when he joined government, and preventing the Trump administration from cutting the carried interest tax break, and shepherding through a tax break that would definitely help his former employer, Gary Cohn is leaving the White House.
There have been many reasons rumored as the cause of Cohn’s exit. The official story is that he’s against the President’s announced tariffs, and so wants nothing more to do with the administration. That may be true to an extent, but it seems like there’s more.
Some reports said he wanted to replace John Kelly as Chief of Staff, but that fell through. It was rumored for some time that he was angling for the Fed Chairman’s position, but that a mini-confrontation with President Trump over the administration’s reactions to the Charlottesville riots put a pin in that bubble.
It’s possible that with last year’s tax reform complete, and no promotions available to him, Cohn just decided there was nothing left for him to do at the White House. The tariffs may have simply been the first good excuse he had to jump ship.
One thing is for sure, with just a little over a year of work in Washington D.C., Cohn was able to bank many millions with his capital gains tax break. Now he can head back to New York a wealthier, more desirable candidate for most any position available.