Goldman Sachs – The “Muppet” Show

By DeusExMacintosh

Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs

A manager at US banking giant Goldman Sachs in London has quit, saying he could no longer work there “in good conscience”.

Greg Smith, who headed Goldman’s equity derivatives business in Europe, said it was common to hear talk of ripping off their “muppet” clients.

“The environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it,” he wrote in the New York Times.

Goldman said it disagreed with what Mr Smith wrote.

“We disagree with the views expressed, which we don’t think reflect the way we run our business,” a Goldman spokeswoman said.

“In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves.”

Mr Smith said in his editorial that he appeared in Goldman’s recruitment video, shown at universities around the world.

“I knew it was time to leave when I realised I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work,” he wrote.

“It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets’, sometimes over internal email.”

BBC News

In related news, bear leaves woods cites lack of loos…

(* any resemblance to a vampire squid might not be seen as coincidental)

5 Comments

  1. Posted March 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    For some reason, I am reminded of a cartoon of a bunch of SS guys in Yugoslavia with one them speak-bubbling “Waldheim still doesn’t know what’s going on”.

    On the matter in question, this would be reason #553 why I am not an anarcho-capitalist. Markets do not guarantee decent behaviour.

  2. Posted March 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Goldman haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory lately. The same kind of ‘screw the client’ culture was outed by Lehman’s Michael Lewis in Liars Poker, we then had the GFC courtesy of the same industry plus their involvement in the biggest insider trading prosecution the US has ever seen. Whether this is finally enough for clients to walk away, remains to be seen. Having shareholder obligations themselves, mostly, profit is likely to be the deciding question. Can they make more money elsewhere?

    Markets don’t guarantee anything, Lorenzo, but I’m not sure anyone has argued that they do. They tend to incentivise decent behaviour so that it pays to be good more often than it does not, but there are no guarantees…

  3. Ross
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Many people are finally realising how corrupt the who system is, but it may be too late.The oligarchs are pushing for war as a means of escape from us and to expand their empires.They are willing to take on China and Russia, so the stakes will be high.

    Look on the bright side. This one will not last anywhere near as long as WW2. You won’t need a torch to see at night,since your newly acquired radiance will show you the way.

  4. Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Some folk sometimes talk as if markets do provide guarantees. But I take your point.

  5. John H.
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    The problem isn’t about markets as it is about human behavior. Our culture aggressively promotes wealth accumulation so we must expect some will do so with sociopathic like behavior. That’s inevitable when the stimuli are so strong and persistent. We need to think much more carefully about a society that promotes other human qualities than just wealth as a means to a prosperous life. The market is collective human behavior, it will follow.

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