• 27 Sep 2011 at 11:57 AM
  • Banks

Morgan Stanley Joins Goldman Sachs In FirmScaping

Back in August, it was revealed that Goldman Sachs had added a disturbing element to its cost-cutting efforts: plant murder. The lobby philodendrons? Gone. Boston Ferns by the elevator? To the dumpster. The third floor Geraniums that lined the windows? Left for dead.

The While every bank on Wall Street is bracing for serious reductions in staff, compensation and “extras,” Goldman had been the only one to date that choose to commit genocide to help its bottom line. Employees were, understandably, shocked by the decision, which reportedly “provoked disquiet at the bank,” with some putting their jobs on the line to “block the move, leading to a stand-off between the plant pickers and staff. In some cases, a solution was found only after employees agreed to sign forms guaranteeing to take responsibility for particular plants.”

At the time, other institutions scoffed at the seemingly heartless move to save a few bucks, claiming you’d never catch them following suit. And yet? According to the Times, Goldman is not alone.

James P. Gorman, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, faced questions about plants at a town hall meeting this summer. An employee told Mr. Gorman that he had noticed decidedly less greenery around the office. “Every dollar we don’t spend is a dollar available for the bottom line,” Mr. Gorman responded.

What could have caused such a drastic decision to remove bush en masse? Are Goldman and Morgan Stanley really the monsters they appear to be vis-a-vis plants, as some in the media would have you believe? Or was the idea born out of a slumber party at Lloyd’s, where a frustrated Gorman confessed that he was fresh out of ideas about how to keep shareholders happy, to which LB responded by pulling a recent issue of Cosmo out of his nightstand, with the article “How To Please A Shareholder,” and the section penned by an anonymous hedge fund manager re: “loving the sleek sexy look of an investment bank sans bush” highlighted, with the words “try this” in the column? Multiple sources within the firm say it’s the latter.

Employees might not like it but you can bet the new look has piqued David Tepper’s interest.

Goldman Sachs Draws Up Deeper Cuts [Dealbook]
Earlier: Layoffs Watch ’11: Goldman Sachs’ Philodendrons In The Line Of Fire

102 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (102)

  1. Posted by Cut Me | September 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Come at me bro!

  2. Posted by Gavin Rossdale | September 27, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Hey, I have feelings too!

  3. Posted by A. Tarver | September 27, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    I got a question. You got any excuses for bad earnings, James?

  4. Posted by guest | September 27, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    I think all Ficus plants should be thrown out and substituted with smokeable Hemp. Hemp is the answer to Wall street and the worlds problems. UBS CEO candidate.

  5. Posted by Gertrude Gorman | September 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    A rose is a rose is a rose.

  6. Posted by guest | September 27, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    I thought not having to maintain the bush would help out Phil's bottom line as well, but then I heard about veejazzling.

    ~Lisa Marie

  7. Posted by pazzo83 | September 27, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    plants : Goldman :: UBS : UBS

  8. Posted by Guest | September 27, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    I once went into one of those zoos for plants and 'seduced' a giant flower into sucking my dick.

    – DSK

  9. Posted by Hey Now! | September 27, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Hey plant, why don't you make like a tree and leave!

  10. Posted by J Sisters | September 27, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    So Morgan Stanley only eliminated a few and didn't go the full Brazilian? Pussies.

  11. Posted by Mexi_Cant | September 27, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Nothing sexier than pretending to hear Bess say vis-a-vis in a non-french accent.

  12. Posted by kenny_lingus | September 27, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Is it ironic that the man claiming to be doing the Almighty's work is giving Mother Nature the finger?

  13. Posted by bartleby | September 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    To they trimmed the lobby, but what about the loading dock out back?

    Seriously, the plants in our office appear to be a diaspora of fruitflies.

  14. Posted by Grundlach | September 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    2 dollars in a bush is worth a bonus and a hand?

    UBS Horticulture Quant

  15. Posted by 10,000 Spoons | September 27, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Just a coincidence.


  16. Posted by Not Me | September 27, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Even if it's wilted.

  17. Posted by Future to the Back | September 27, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Hey Gorman, why don't you make like a tree and get out of here!
    -Biff's Pothos

  18. Posted by Mr. Miyagi | September 27, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Not bonsai, BANZAI!

  19. Posted by Guest | September 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Was that the management committees @ GS & MS creating the list for which employees would water which plants? And you wonder why earning will be down Y/Y with another huge round of layoffs at year end.

  20. Posted by guest | September 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    You must work in the Athens office.

  21. Posted by Guesty | September 27, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    There have been no layoffs in the Tropical Plant Division. We have decided to offshore these roles … back to the tropics.

    – MS PR Flack

  22. Posted by Optimus Quant | September 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Jimmy G has NO IDEA what his indoor biodiversity risk profile is. Heed my warning MS is going down the tubes…

    – guy that is a fan of the commentor named The Wolf

  23. Posted by guest | September 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    So, um… is JPM getting to keep their plants?

  24. Posted by Mr. Pinchy | September 27, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    I've got a machine head, its better than the rest!


  25. Posted by MJA | September 27, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    It's hard to envision these firms without a lot of bush around.

  26. Posted by Jerome Kerviel | September 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    It is when Soc Gen eliminated my lucky bamboo that I knew I had to act. Take away my hedge, vos batards, and I'll fake my own! Vive la France!

  27. Posted by Touch Base Later | September 27, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    I hated bush before it was cool.

  28. Posted by davidrusso | September 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    It's all about the extra optical billion. Keep it low.

  29. Posted by whoot | September 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Am I wrong here, or is killing plants herbicide, not genocide?

  30. Posted by Yakov | September 27, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    In Soviet Russia, plants kill you!

  31. Posted by Yakov Dva | September 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    In Soviet Russia, tree leave you!

  32. Posted by Tomaski | September 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Killing plants is the NKI

  33. Posted by The Truth | September 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Real banks don't skimp on horticulture

    – J Dimon

  34. Posted by HAM05 | September 27, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    me too

    -chaz b

  35. Posted by Fixed Income | September 27, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    If you diligently look after a plant, does that make you a shrub scout?

  36. Posted by Wow | September 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Every rose has its throns.

  37. Posted by Hater | September 27, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    In Soviet Russia, fuck yourself go!

  38. Posted by Excel Monkey | September 27, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Actually IMO JPM has been quietly skimping on horticulture all along.

  39. Posted by Roger the Shrubber | September 27, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history.

  40. Posted by Porridge | September 27, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    The Oliver Twist try outs are down the hall.

  41. Posted by Guest | September 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Nothing to see here. Keep moving. I understand the research dept has been instructed to replace them with their leftover research fashioned this way:
    How to Make a Paper Tree

    Efficiency score saving–78%!

  42. Posted by Sleeper | September 27, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Big deal. Give a toy train display that is beloved by spoiled brats everywhere the axe then come talk to me.

    – Vickles

  43. Posted by Guesto | September 27, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Fernscaping is the NKI

  44. Posted by Guest | September 27, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    – AIG British Entertainment Quant

  45. Posted by Mr. Green | September 27, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    No plants in the "Green Towers" of Deutsche Bank's headquarter either…..

  46. Posted by UBS Banker | September 28, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Geez GS & MS still have plants in the office?

    We lost ours in Q1 2009, they came for them one night at around 10:30… I was hunched in my cubicle immersed in excel. They spread through outour floor and took every living thing that wasn't chained to a desk.

    I guess they have to find some other costs to cut at UBS…

  47. Posted by Stern bear | September 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    So your admitting your gay ?

  48. Posted by Guest | September 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM


    – MS Analyst

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