Back in March, a young man named Greg Smith published an Op-Ed in the Times called “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.” Greg wrote that despite joining a firm that, in the beginning, cared about “teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by clients” and not “just about making money,” he’d ultimately come to be sickened by a place that, twelve years later, he couldn’t even recognize. A place that, on Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn’s watch, had lost its way. A place that, he’d come to see, was devoid of any sort of morals, whatsoever. A place that needed to take a long hard look at what it had become. A place that, he predicted, was not long for this earth. Because unlike Smith, whose proudest moments in life– “being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist and winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics,” respectively– involved hard work and no short cuts, “Goldman Sachs today,” Smith wrote, is all “about the shortcuts and not enough about achievements.” Goldman Sachs 2.o, one might say, hasn’t worked an honest day in its life and that didn’t feel right to Smith anymore.

The piece, which was said to come as shock to Goldman, did not please many people on the inside, nor did the $1.5 million deal Smith scored shortly thereafter to write Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, out October 22. Here’s how Greg’s publisher describes WILGS:

From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world’s most powerful bank.

And while higher-ups at GS may have been initially worried about the potentially damaging revelations that would appear in the book, apparently time, a slap in the face and an order to ‘get it together you pustulant milquetoasts’ by the ghost of Lucas van Praag has resulted in this delightfully bitchy, exceptionally underminery comment from 200 West:

“Every day, some young professional, after a decade in a post-collegiate job, reassesses his or her career and decides to move on and do something else,” David Wells, a Goldman Sachs spokesman said Dealbook in an e-mailed statement. “Others can better judge whether Mr. Smith’s particular career transition is of unique interest.”

Regardless of whether or not Goldman is correct in its assessment of the potential for Greg’s story to read like the story dozens of analyst finishing their first year would tell of the “epic” stuff they witnessed during their 12 months of banking (+previous summer internship, during which things got pretty crazy) or if his particular career transition is indeed of unique interest, Dealbreaker will be hosting an evening of dramatic readings of select chapters, with yet-to-be secured GS alum/raconteur/boulevardier LvPraag standing in for the part of Mr. Smith. Venue and ticket pricing to follow.

Former Banker Promises A Peek At Goldman Sachs [Dealbook]
Earlier: Resignation Letter Reveals Goldman Sachs Is In The Business Of Making Money, Hires People Who Don’t Know How To Tie Their Shoes; Jewish Ping-Pong Tournament Participant / Sixth-Year Goldman Sachs Vice President Is Looking For His Next Challenge; Goldman Sachs Accuser Greg Smith (Might Have) Lied About That Which He Holds Most Sacred

91 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (91)

  1. Posted by Former client | September 12, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    The oppressor uses our humanity as a weapon against us. Our ability to feel compassion for victims of a crime, to take action in their defense, to hold the perpetrators accountable, is the controller's weapon of choice.

  2. Posted by Dr_Rosenrose | September 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Smith & Wollensky!

    Been waiting awhile on that gem… not sure it's as funny now as I thought it would be months ago.

  3. Posted by David St. Hubbins | September 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Well that's just nitpicking, isn't it?
    –Nigel Tufnel

  4. Posted by flatbrimcap | September 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    totes mcgoats!

    1st year GS Hot Tub quant

  5. Posted by Crom Capital | September 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Profit and loss come from the Front Office, from the gods of the Front Office. But Lloyd is your god, Lloyd and he lives in the earth. Once, giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Lloyd, and they took from him the enigma of derivatives. Lloyd was angered. And the Earth shook. Profit and Loss struck down these giants, and they threw their wallets into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of derivatives and left it on the trading floor. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The secret of derivatives has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one – no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not wideclops.

  6. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    One could say a shortcut would be quitting a job you were going to give up on anyway and knowing that your former employer is currently universally hated, you write a book of excessive whining to make a quick $1.5M.

  7. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Book title: The Shill's Have Eyes?

  8. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    No amount of money from a book deal can fill the gaping hole between his legs.

  9. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Was I the only one who excitedly clicked the link anticipating a post about Matt's footnotes?

  10. Posted by Short, But Long | September 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    The Jewish Olympics? I didn't know 'Smith' was a Jewish name.. huh…

    ~Unemployed Onomastics Quant

  11. Posted by Needs Vampires | September 12, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Bess will play the role of Occupy Wall Street protester Cindy, Greg's high school sweetheart; Matt plays misunderstood, impoverished painter Rick, Cindy's current boyfriend.

    A heated love triangle ensues. Will Greg's leaving his job and subsequent reinvention of himself reunite him with his long lost love?

    Only time, multiple movies, and the painful trivialities of teen angst will tell.

    This has box office hit written all over it.

    -MGM Quant

  12. Posted by Financial Samurai | September 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Here is one of the most important things to know:

    It's all about REPUTATION. There is a reason why firms give severance packages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. They don't want people like Greg Smith blowing them up, hurting their reputation, their market cap, their recruiting effort, etc.

    NEVER QUIT your job, GET LAID. I wrote my book "How to Engineer Your Layoff" to empower all you folks in finance to take control of your own destiny, and not wait around to get fired.


  13. Posted by TobiasFunkeCFA | September 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    This guy is an amateur

    –UBS Unauthorized Navy SEAL Book Publishing Quant

  14. Posted by Hakuna Matata Guy | September 12, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Hey Greg, what's the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy sht on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

  15. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    or…. Greg Smith: A Principled Man with a Lazy Eye

  16. Posted by David St. Hubbins | September 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I agree,,,You want a toe? I can get you a toe. There are ways-you don't want to know.
    I can get you a toe by 3 pm.

  17. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Wouldn't that be more like capitalizing on his situation?

  18. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Fester's Quest

    -UBS Nintendo Quant

  19. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    I'd like to engineer your layoff.

  20. Posted by From the footnotes | September 12, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    I agree with this guy, everyone should GET LAID

    – Financial Seppukku guy

  21. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    How much are tickets? Actually, nevermind, no doesn't matter. Put me down for four… in case we want seconds.

    – Lloyd and Gary

  22. Posted by David Ackerman | September 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Is there a gay Jewish olympics ?

  23. Posted by west texas spec | September 12, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I felt sure this article was about matt, then I got past the title and picture and began reading.

  24. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    with polish.

  25. Posted by Alum | September 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    F.I.A.S.C.O. Part II.

  26. Posted by PermaGuestII | September 12, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    "Why do you hate Goldman Sachs?" said Shreve.

    "I don't hate it," Greg said, quickly, at once, immediately; "I don't hate it," he said. I don't hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark: I don't. I don't! I don't hate it! I don't hate it!

  27. Posted by west texas spec | September 12, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    you should do the chapter readings

  28. Posted by Momentus | September 12, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    That's Polak to you, pal.

  29. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    He’s writing a book? INCONSIBABLE!

    -L Blankfein

  30. Posted by PermaGuestII | September 12, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Only if I get to drink as much as Faulkner did before doing so.

  31. Posted by The Other Guest | September 12, 2012 at 6:10 PM


  32. Posted by Knopf Quant | September 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I can just imagine Matt Levine's tell all book about his time at GS:

    "Eh, yea, things got crazy a couple times, once or twice I had a few too many margs, a guy once offered me some white powder, at first I was like, meh, but then he said I could stay up all night structuring derivatives and making charts, so I bought a few dozen grams, it was fun. So, let's start at the beginning, the first equity convertible I ever sold was…[hear about every deal ML ever pitched, sold, contemplated, read about, etc.]"

    With Footnotes!

  33. Posted by Matt Levine | September 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    I asked Bess to add a footnote to the title saying "not Matt," but, here we are.

  34. Posted by hypertrader | September 12, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    We had a large SP local at the merc when the floor was big, then 30-50m or whatev, who wrote an autobio, and we all said this is the first guy in history to write more books than hed read.

    prominent guy involved with archipelago

  35. Posted by güest | September 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    After learning how to hyperlink footnotes, it seems you've learnt how to venture into the comment section!

    Up next: World Domination

  36. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    I know what can

    -Jeffrey Gundlach

  37. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Woah, dude… Asian-American is the preferred terminology

  38. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    But if you want it in the original Latin our edition us the only game in town

    -Penguin quant

  39. Posted by Guesticle | September 12, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Cool Voltron-esque head for your Avatar. But, Aleksey Vayner and I want to know what you bench.

  40. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    You cant lump us in with that Martian


  41. Posted by Harry Balzac | September 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    good trade.

  42. Posted by Jose Canseco | September 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM


  43. Posted by Anonymous Guest | September 12, 2012 at 8:00 PM


    I Quit

  44. Posted by Moron 5 | September 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Matt, are you related to Adam Levine?

  45. Posted by guest | September 12, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    +1 for patience

  46. Posted by Pinky | September 12, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Naught! Ok Brain :D

  47. Posted by UFO | September 12, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Yeah, WTF?!

  48. Posted by Xenomorph | September 12, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    You're attempting to write? Unintelligible!!!!

    – English, motherfucker! Do you speak it?

  49. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Bess, any relation?

  50. Posted by Latvia | September 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    And, clearly not Matt

  51. Posted by Better than you | September 12, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    When you live in a world that's 9 square miles, you start to believe your own bullshit.

  52. Posted by Guest | September 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    A prominent guy would not need to refer to himself as prominent.

  53. Posted by to Dealbreaker | September 13, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Could you release the readings as a podcast some time later?

  54. Posted by LordDeb | September 13, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    best decision ever<img src="; width="1" height="1" />

  55. Posted by guest | September 13, 2012 at 8:04 AM


  56. Posted by guest | September 13, 2012 at 8:04 AM


  57. Posted by ReRail | September 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    "Client's interests come first" Rightttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

  58. Posted by fyodor | September 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    "Actions are sometimes performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions-it's like a dream."

  59. Posted by Whitney Tilson | September 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    are there homoerotic passages ?

  60. Posted by B Stinson | September 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM


  61. Posted by Im_a_Dude | September 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    how come your posts don't show up in a blue box like Bess?

  62. Posted by Captain Obvious | September 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Chapter 1: Shitty Bonus

    The End

  63. Posted by HE | September 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    HE was prominent. Probably could not have spelled it however.

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