Something you may have picked up on is that next week, Grand Central Publishing will release Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, by former employee Greg Smith. Should you buy the book? That depends on you ask. Some people, like the ones who made Smith famous, say no. Others, like those who enjoy vivid descriptions of a naked Lloyd Blankfein and edge-of-your-seat ping pong matches, would probably say yes. One group of people who’d prefer you save your money? Goldman Sachs. As previously mentioned, the bank embarked on a Discredit Greg Smith tour last month which has involved equating him with a first or second or third-year analyst who thinks people care about all the crazy stuff he or she was privy to when in fact it wasn’t crazy and no one does; leaking unflattering performance reviews that suggest he was “unrealistic” about his abilities and earnings potential; and generally painting a picture of someone who was a nobody at GS (“My first reaction [to hearing about his Op-Ed] was, who is he,” Edith Cooper, head of HR told Bloomberg TV this morning), who wrote his public resignation letter and book out of spite for not receiving the bonus he thought he deserved, and whose claims re: The Firm are baseless and not be trusted.
For the most part, a number of people– from current to former employees to those familiar but not intimately familiar with Goldman– have concurred with the bank’s assessment of young Greg. Of course, every now and then you have some individuals who speak out of turn, who threaten to fuck up the mission, and who should probably consider sleeping with one eye open.
Greg Smith, who resigned from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) with a March 14 opinion piece criticizing the firm’s treatment of clients, told “60 Minutes” that he doesn’t think he betrayed the bank…There are a lot of people who acknowledge these things internally, but no one is willing to say it publicly,” Smith, who was a vice president when he left Goldman Sachs, said in the “60 Minutes” interview. “And my view was the only way you force people to change the system is by saying it publicly.”
Seven former Goldman Sachs partners and managing directors, positions that are more senior than vice president, said in March interviews that Smith shouldn’t be taken seriously because he was a junior employee and may have been disgruntled about his pay or career. All asked not to be identified because they didn’t want to risk ruining their relationship with the firm. Six of the seven said they agreed with Smith’s criticism of how the firm has treated clients under Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, 58, and President Gary D. Cohn, 52, and that current members of the management committee would, too. Even so, they said they don’t expect the board of directors to take action or that anything will change because the bank has made money and outperformed most rivals.
What? He makes some excellent points with which you wholeheartedly agree but, uh, he should be ignored because he was only a VP? Do you hear yourself talking? This is what happens when you don’t stick to the script!
Goldman Sachs Op-Ed Wasn’t a ‘Betrayal,’ Smith Tells 60 Minutes [Bloomberg]
*And will be lucky if they’re not eating out of feeding tubes.