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God's work is done...

The Wall Street Journal reports that Lloyd Blankfein is preparing to step down as Goldman Sachs chief executive as soon as the end of the year, capping a more than 12-year run that would make him one of the longest-serving bosses on Wall Street.

The timing of any moves could still change, and the 63-year-old Mr. Blankfein is firmly in control of his exit, the people said.

The current thinking, though, is that he will retire ahead of or early in Goldman’s 150th anniversary year in 2019, a fitting send-off for the history buff.

Mr. Blankfein has often joked he will die at his desk, and his enthusiasm for the job has led many within the firm to believe he might outlast another set of would-be successors.

While the firm's co-presidents, Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, are leading candidates to replace the 63-year-old CEO, one can't help but wonder about the timeliness of Gary Cohn's White House exit.

Harvey Schwartz, Gary Cohn and David Solomon, left to right.

The departure would conclude a 36-year Goldman career for Mr. Blankfein, the son of a Brooklyn postal worker who rose to the pinnacle of Wall Street. In 1982, he quit his job as a tax lawyer and joined Goldman’s commodities arm as a gold salesman. He rose through the ranks of the firm’s trading business and was named CEO in 2006 when Hank Paulson became Treasury secretary.

Along the way, Mr. Blankfein survived a bout with cancer, grew a beard and assumed a role as senior industry statesman. He joined Twitter, where he has espoused socially liberal, pro-business views on issues such as immigration, infrastructure spending and global warming.

Mr. Blankfein said during a television interview last year that he wanted to leave Goldman “stronger than it was when I found it.”

Goldman stock kneejerked lower but is now surging the highs of the day... and The Dow is spiking...