Goldman Sachs

  • News

    Area Man Recounts Brush With Greatness

    In this case, greatness being Lloyd Blankfein’s glistening, stark-naked body.

    Mr. Smith outlines moments when he came into close contact with Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, according to pages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Smith tells of one near-encounter when he saw Mr. Blankfein, sans clothes, after taking a shower at the gym. Mr. Blankfein was “air-drying,” Mr. Smith writes, something Mr. Smith took not as a display of power but as something men of an older generation tend to do. Another up-close-and-personal moment with the big boss came when Mr. Blankfein and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Warren Buffett walked through the Goldman trading floor the day after Mr. Buffett’s $5 billion investment as Goldman was reeling in 2008. In the book, Mr. Smith says he had a co-worker snap a photo as he stood near Mr. Buffett.

    Greg Smith: I Saw Blankfein Naked [Deal Journal]

    / Oct 18, 2012 at 7:54 PM
  • Ping-Pong-Paddles

    News

    Why I Left Goldman Sachs, Chapter Three: “My Alleged Competition”

    In the ping pong game of life, even your most trusted blade can’t swat away an opponent with super-sized balls.—Unknown

    On Monday morning, Grand Central Publishing will release Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, a memoir penned by former Goldman employee Greg Smith, based on his op-ed for the New York Times entitled, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.” When Smith’s piece came out last March, few if any senior executives inside the bank were pleased, in part because it came as a total shock. No one at Goldman had known Smith was planning to have his resignation letter printed in the paper. No one had known he had issues with the firm’s supposedly new and singular focus on making money at all costs. No one, at least at the top, even knew who Greg was. Obviously all this left the bank at a competitive disadvantage in terms of fighting back and for the time being, Smith appeared to be handing Goldman its ass. Getting cocky, even. Perhaps thinking to himself, “When all of this is over, I could be named the new CEO of Goldman Sachs.”  As anyone who has ever won a bronze medal in ping-pong at the Maccabiah Games will tell you, however, winners are determined by best of threes. And that anyone going to to the table with Goldman Sachs should be prepared for things to get ugly.

    Which is why it should not have come as a surprise that after getting hydrated, regrouping, and coming up with a plan of attack, Goldman kicked off round two with a delightfully bitchy, exceptionally underminery comment to the press re: Smith’s tale being no more interesting than that of a disgruntled first-year analyst who thinks he’s got a story to tell and then followed it up with a leak of Greg’s less than flattering performance reviews to the Financial Times. What probably did come as a surprise, however, was today’s breathtakingly aggressive Bloomberg piece re: Mr. Smith wherein:

    * He’s described as a petulant child with unrealistic expectations for his career advancement

    * It’s suggested, by saying outright, that his op-ed complaints about the firm were nothing more than him having “an axe to grind” on account of not advancing beyond vice-president, as demonstrated by the fact that as of 2010, he was happy with the firm, wanted to become a managing director and had no intention of leaving

    * People are left to connect the dots re: Smith and lady bosses (“Goldman Sachs put a different managing director in charge of Smith as it considered giving him a sales job. The report says he ‘found the transition difficult and considered the female MD who ran the desk a peer at not his boss”)

    Relatedly, as we head into the final game of the set with a tie score, the following is a tremendous anecdote from Chapter 3 of Why I Left Goldman Sachs involving an actual game of ping-pong, John Whitehead’s Business Principles, and the lessons one learns as a first-year at GS about allowing a client to enjoy the sweet taste of victory despite knowing full-well you could wipe the floor with him or her and bring home the gold, if you so chose. 

    After hearing of my past sports success, Rudy immediately fired off an e-mail to Ted Simpson, saying “Springbok will be representing the New York desk at the Ping-Pong tournament.”

    Simpson wrote back: “Who’s Springbok?”

    In response, Rudy e-mailed him a photograph of a springbok, the actual animal. You had to be there, but I thought it was hilarious.

    So I flew to Boston on Goldman’s tab– the justification being that while there, I could meet with Prakash and talk Israeli tech stocks– and met Ted Simpson.

    […]

    The backstory of the annual Goldman Sachs Ping-Pong Tournament, Ted told me, was that the same guy, an Indian portfolio manager from Putnam, had won it five years in a row, and that winning the tournament was the highlight of the guy’s year. But from the moment I walked into Jillian’s- a pleasure palace replete with free-flowing alcohol, spicy chicken wings, bowling alleys, plasma TVs, and dozens of Foosball, pool and table tennis tables– and saw my alleged competition practicing, I knew he didn’t have a chance against me.

    I’m not trying to brag. But competitive table tennis, like every sport, has its levels. Any number of internationally ranked players could have (and had) made mincemeat out of me, yet simply put, the Putnam portfolio manager (let’s call him PPM) and I were not in the same league. I was confident he wouldn’t be able to return my serve, and if it came to a rally, he wouldn’t be prepared for the kind of sever spins I could put on the ball. I could see he was a very good basement player, nothing more. I could have beaten him in my sleep.

    The tournament draw was posted. Thirty-two people, and PPM was seeded number one. Since the organizers knew I was good, I was the number two seed. Play began.

    I was rusty– I’d been working such long hours since joining Goldman that I’d barely picked up a paddle– but soon I remembered my form. And nobody gave me a serious challenge. PPM and I plowed through our halves of the draw, heading toward an inevitable confrontation. I watched a couple of his matches. PPM’s opponents were easy pickings: recreational players dressed in jeans and polo shirts. And PPM, looking very professional in his special sneakers and running shorts, T-shirt, and headband, was mopping them up. Of course he’d brought his own paddle– a serious player would never show up without his own stick. And of course I’d brought along my trusty Donic Appelgren blade, red on one side, black on the other.

    Ted Simpson and I were looking on as PPM took down another player. “So what are we thinking here?” I asked Ted. “I”m going to meet this guy in the final, and if play properly, I’m going to beat him twenty-one to two. What’ the right course of action?”

    Ted looked thoughtful. “Well,” he said after a moment, “this guy is one of our biggest clients; he takes this stuff really seriously.” At that moment, PPM whaled away at a forehand that just clipped the table edge and skipped off, unreturnable; he raised his arms in victory. “We need to make it a close game,” Ted said. “Get some good rallies going.”

    I told Ted I had been thinking along the same lines. That I should beat PPM, because it was obvious I could beat him, but that I should keep it close. Not embarrass him. I knew how to do that, I said. You just make a few unforced errors here and there.

    “Hmm,” Ted said.

    “You have a different idea?” I asked.

    “Well, the guy is one of our biggest clients,” he repeated, giving me a significant look.

    “You’re suggesting–?”

    “Maybe,” he said. And then: “Watch for my signal.”

    I gave Ted a look– he was smiling– and took my Donic out of its case.

    The match began. A crowd had gathered to watch us play. Everybody was having fun– except for my opponent, who was taking the match very seriously. When I won a few points in the early going, I could see him getting upset.

    So I eased up. I could have really turned on the heat, hit some crazy shots past him that would have whizzed by his ear– but I didn’t. My whole plan was to keep the ball in play. To give the crowd a good show, instead of slicing the ball back when PPM smashed it at me, I would lob it up for him so he could smash it again. Smash, lob. Smash, lob. Oohs and has from the onlookers. After three or four exchanges like this, I’d either hit it into the net or give PPM such an easy pop-up that he could make a legitimate put-away on me. I was letting him show off for his fellow clients a little bit. He loved it.

    The matches were best two out of three, and my plan was to squeak out a win in the second game, then maybe win by just a little more in the third. But when I was ahead 15 to 12 in the second, Ted Simpson caught my eye. He gave a little shake of the head, and then, using his left hand as a shield, gave me a quick thumbs-down with his right. I’m quite sure nobody but Ted and I knew what was going on. I nodded. After all, wasn’t putting the client first number one of John Whitehead’s 14 Business Principles?

    The Putnam portfolio manger was very magnanimous in victory– as i was in defeat.

    Greg Smith Quit Goldman Sachs After ‘Unrealistic’ Pitch For $1M [Bloomberg]

    Earlier: Greg Smith: Goldman Sachs Interns Taught Harsh But Important Lessons By Demanding But Affable Managing Directors; What Else Does Goldman Sachs Have In Store For Greg Smith?; Goldman Sachs Unimpressed By Sophomoric Writing Efforts Of Former Employee; 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

    / Oct 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM
  • Don't you wish Lloyd did earnings calls? The Harvey & Viniar team are pretty good, but Lloyd!

    News

    Goldman Underperforms Expectations By Doing Only 25% Better Than Expected

    So how’d Harvey do? I found Goldman’s co-CFOed earnings call this morning a bit awkward […]

    / Oct 16, 2012 at 3:35 PM
  • gregsmithgoldmansachs

    I remember this one time

    Greg Smith: Goldman Sachs Interns Taught Harsh But Important Lessons By Demanding But Affable Managing Directors

    Lesson 1, according the first chapter of Why I Left Goldman Sachs to leak online: the difference between a sandwich and a salad.

    You needed to be very entrepreneurial and creative. Adding value as an intern often began with getting coffee for the desk every day; frequently, interns also did breakfast and lunch runs. You would literally take a pen and pad and go around to the ten or fifteen people on the desk and take everyone’s order. It’s a strange concept, but Wall Street looks at attention to detail as an indicator of how people are going to do in their job. If a kid keeps messing up the lunch order, he’s probably going to mess up something else down the line.

    I remember one managing director– a few years after I’d started working at the firm– who was very sensitive about his lunch orders. He didn’t eat onion or certain other things. One day he asked an intern for a cheddar cheese sandwich, and the kid came back with a cheddar cheese salad. The kid handed it to him so proudly: “Here’s your cheddar cheese salad.” I was sitting next to the MD, so I remember the incident well. He opened the container, looked at the salad, looked up at the kid, closed the container, and threw it in the trash. It was a bit harsh, but it was also a teaching moment. The managing director joked about it with the kid afterward; he didn’t make a big deal about it. The lesson was learned.

    Chapter 1: “I Don’t Know, But I’ll Find Out” [PDF]
    Earlier: What Else Does Goldman Sachs Have In Store For Greg Smith?; Goldman Sachs Unimpressed By Sophomoric Writing Efforts Of Former Employee; 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

    / Oct 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM
  • News

    Fabulous Fab To Take The Stand Next Summer

    Three years after Fabrice Touree was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly misleading investors, the (soon-to-be) Dr. of Economics and Love will go to trial, assuming finals don’t pose a conflict.

    U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan set the July 15 trial date at the end of a hearing in which an SEC lawyer argued that she should reinstate some claims against Tourre that another judge dismissed earlier in the case. Last year, U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones threw out some of the SEC’s claims after Tourre argued that he couldn’t be held liable under U.S. securities law for transactions that occurred outside the country. The SEC argued today that the claims should be reinstated because of a recent appeals court ruling that applied a broader definition of “domestic securities transaction” than the one used by Jones. Tourre’s case was assigned to Forrest last week.
    Tourre, 33, who is studying for a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago, wasn’t present in the courtroom today. His lawyer, Pamela Chepiga, told Forrest that she will check with her client to make sure there is no conflict between his exams and the trial date.

    Goldman Sachs’s Tourre Gets July 15 Trial Date [Bloomberg]

    / Oct 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM
  • News

    Gary Cohn Will “Probably” Read Greg Smith’s Book

    But will he read select passages at Dealbreaker Dramatic Reading night? These are the questions […]

    / Oct 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM
  • News

    What Else Does Goldman Sachs Have In Store For Greg Smith?

    As you may have heard, eleven short days from now Grand Central Publishing will release Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story. The book is the memoir of former Goldman employee Greg Smith, who in March of last year penned an op-ed for the New York Times called “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” a resignation letter of sorts in which Smith detailed the ways the firm had disappointed, sickened, and ultimately failed him, from opting for “shortcuts” over “achievement” to becoming, in the twelve years he worked there, a place that only cares about one thing and one thing only: “making money.” While perhaps another person would have turned a blind eye and said nothing, Greg had an obligation, as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist and a Maccabiah Games bronze medal finisher in ping-pong, to say ENOUGH. To violate his employer in the most gruesome fashion possible (that is, publicly), in front of clients and other interested parties. To let the world know this place he worked at for over a decade could continue to be a criminal enterprise but that he was moving on.

    The piece, as you might have imagined, did not please many people at Goldman Sachs nor did the $1.5 million deal Smith scored shortly thereafter to write the book. In September, a spokesman for the firm issued a delightfully bitchy, exceptionally underminey comment to the press re: Smith’s tale being no more interesting than that of a disgruntled first-year analyst who thinks he’s got a story to tell and yesterday, amazingly and almost unbelievably but you must believe it because here it is, leaked details of Greg’s performance reviews to the Financial Times which, spoiler alert, are less than flattering.

    Two people who managed Mr Smith said he was a solid performer but did not merit promotion to managing director, a distinction he apparently sought in 2009 and 2010. They also said he reacted badly to his bonus award in January this year. At the time one of his managers wrote in an email: “Greg Smith off the charts unrealistic, thinks he shld trade at multiples. We told him there’s v little tolerance for reactions like that and he needs to tone it down.”

    Ignoring for a moment that the manager quoted sounds like one of those horrible people who oh so cleverly discusses humans as financial assets, and has probably told people “I’m short Greg Smith” in the past, is this strategic attack on a former employee not the most wonderful thing to come out of GS since Hank Paulson used voicemail to apologize for telling 80 percent of the firm they were worthless pieces of crap not worthy of cleaning the lining of his birds‘ cages? Particularly because they maintain he is so insignificant they’ve barely given him or his book any thought at all? And does it not get you excited for what’s to come in the run-up to October 22, i.e. what other ways Goldman has planned to humiliate and discredit Mr. Smith? Some ideas we assume they have already thought of include:

    * Revealing the nickname he gave himself in firm emails (Agent Smith)
    * Getting eyewitnesses to tell reporters that after getting shafted on his bonus, he was seen flying into a fit of mad rage, whipping his ping-pong paddle out of his holster, and screaming obscenities at passersby on the trading floor before he was restrained by Gary Cohn
    * Leaking the original draft of his book he was working on circa 2009, entitled Why I Became A Managing Director At Goldman Sachs: A Success Story

    Goldman’s ‘Muppet Hunt’ Draws A Blank [FT]
    Earlier: Goldman Sachs Unimpressed By Sophomoric Writing Efforts Of Former Employee; 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

    / Oct 11, 2012 at 1:17 PM
  • News

    Know Your Chief Financial Officers: Harvey Schwartz

    What do you know about soon-to-be Goldman Sachs CFO Harvey M. Schwartz? Probably not much, but luckily Bloomberg profiled the guy today and came back with a couple moderately amazing tidbits about longtime chief financial officer David Viniar’s successor. Such as one, the fact that he likes his women with some gunshot wounds (“Schwartz…lives with Annie Hubbard, whom he met in 2003, a year after she was shot helping subdue a hostage-taker at an East Village bar”) and two, to date he is the only known Goldman Sachs executive to play a role in a chick lit novel that went on to become a major motion picture (Jon Winkelried’s cameo in The Notebook, which was left on the cutting room floor, sadly does not count).

    Schwartz and Hubbard make an appearance in the best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love,” where they’re credited with helping author Elizabeth Gilbert buy a house for a friend in Indonesia. “I sent out this e-mail to everybody that I knew, and I got an e-mail back from Annie saying that her boyfriend, Harvey, would like to contribute $10,000 to the cause,” Gilbert said in an interview.

    In addition to his generosity, shareholders will also be happy to hear that there’s no risk of Schwartz pulling a Jimmy Cayne, i.e. working on his golf game in moments of minor to major crisis (“Jim Rothenberg, who plays with Schwartz about three times a year, said Schwartz’s high-teens golf handicap is a reassuring sign he’s not playing too much. ‘I wouldn’t say Harvey’s a good golfer, which is a good thing if he’s going to be CFO of Goldman Sachs,’ he said.”)

    Schwartz Shrugged Off Black Monday In Rise To Goldman Sachs CFO [Bloomberg]

    / Oct 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM
  • Lock up your Hamptons Houses

    Goldman Sachs To Offer More Would-Be Partners Opportunity To Go David Tepper On An Executive’s Ass This Year

    Each year, after a long and very comprehensive background check, a lucky group of Goldman employees are abducted from their desks, blindfolded, gagged, and led by candlelight through a dark hallway and into a subterranean conference room. Standing on the table before them are Lloyd Blankfein, Gary Cohn and the rest of the management committee, who ask if they are prepared to pledge their devotion to the firm above all else. Those who agree have their nether regions dipped in a vat of gold, genuflect before Cohn’s groin, and, at the stroke of midnight, are inducted into the Brotherhood of the Sach. While there are many ways that becoming a member of the club will change one’s life, the most important one involves the partaking of astronomical profits on payday. As a result, when people are not invited to join the group, they tend to get very upset. For instance, hedge fund manager David Tepper, who became a billionaire many times over after leaving the firm, was still so upset about the snub twenty years later that he bought and bulldozed the house of the guy who passed him over. Others probably wouldn’t have even gone to the trouble of buying the place first, and operated the wrecking ball themselves. Which is why we say in full seriousness that the Partnership Committee might want to watch its back.

    Goldman Sachs has begun vetting potential new partners and is expected to appoint a smaller number of bankers to its upper echelons this year, according to senior executives involved in the process… The nomination process for new partners ended during the summer. The internal vetting process began earlier this month and is expected to last until mid-November when the new class of partners will be announced. The vetting process is known within the bank as “cross-ruffing”, in reference to a manoeuvre from the card game bridge and typically sees a team of partners deployed to every division to talk to employees who know the candidates.

    [FT, related]

    / Sep 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM
  • I'm just pretty bored of Zuckerberg, y'know?

    News

    Half Of Morgan Stanley Didn’t Do As Well On Facebook As The Other Half

    Bloomberg has a story today about how, while one side of Morgan Stanley made lots […]

    / Sep 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM
  • News

    David Viniar’s Work Here Is Done

    Back in 2009, Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar, whose face may not be as recognizable to you as that of Lloyd’s but whose voice you’ve likely found just as if not more soothing each time you hear it during the firm’s earnings calls, decided he was ready to move on after a three-plus decade long career with The Firm. Normally, that would have been just fine; people would have wished Viniar all the best as he happily waved good-bye to all his colleagues and friends from the gondola lift made of fluffy clouds and money that transports all Goldman Sachs executives to retirement.

    Unfortunately for DV, however, it was around the time that he started to think about leaving that Goldman hit some unfortunate rough patches that included “a civil fraud suit by the Securities and Exchange Commission over marketing of mortgage-related securities, a federal criminal probe on the same matter, and a civil suit brought by a hedge fund that bought a Goldman CDO.” And while other higher-ups– no names: Jon Winkelried– would have thought nothing of abandoning Lloyd in his time of need or what kind of message it would have sent that a top official was calling it quits, David “Bones” Viniar is  a little more loyal than that. Lot more loyal in fact (“He’s so loyal he’s only going to do anything when the timing is appropriate,” one person said at the time, adding that “David will do whatever the firm asks of him”) and so he stayed. Stayed by Lloyd’s side during his darkest hour. Stayed when the Goldman needed him most. And although some might have hoped he’d forget about wanting to leave; that he could be tricked into staying “just one more year” and another and another and another after that; that that good-bye he put on hold would stay on hold forever; that, if all else failed, Gary Cohn could put him in a sleeper hold with his legs…that good-bye has come

    Goldman Sachs today announced that Harvey M. Schwartz, the global co-head of the Securities Division, will become Chief Financial Officer at the end of January 2013. After a distinguished 32 year career at the firm, including 12 years as the Chief Financial Officer, David Viniar has decided to retire and will join the Board of Directors as a non-independent director at that time. The firm expects to appoint additional independent directors to its board in the near term.

    David Viniar retiring as Goldman CFO [FT Alphaville]
    Related: David Viniar Stands By His Man

    / Sep 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM
  • News

    Goldman Sachs Analysts Now Free To Leave The Nest Whenever Or Stay For The Ultimate Payoff

    Back in May, we reported that there was a bit of tension between some growing first year analysts and higher-ups at Goldman Sachs. The issue was that the li’l fellas, antsy to leave the nest, were making arrangements with private equity firms and hedge funds for the following year, when they still had a little more than twelve months left until their two year commitment to GS was complete. And while Mama Lloyd and Papa Gar want nothing more than to see their babies succeed, they also felt like the kiddos were jumping the gun a little bit (and were in violation of the rule that when you live under their roof, you play by their rules, namely that no analyst shall take part in recruiting until six months from the time they’ve finished the two year program). To set an example, a bunch of particularly bad analysts were kicked to the curb and while it probably did put the fear of God into the others, who’ve remained on the straight and narrow ever since, it didn’t make anyone very happy. So now this is happening:

    Goldman Sachs is doing away with two-year contracts for most analysts hired out of college, according to communications reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by a Goldman spokesman. Analysts also won’t get bonuses for completing the program, which has been around for a quarter of a century and has been viewed as a meal ticket to a lucrative Wall Street career.

    […]

    The New York company’s decision came after executives grew frustrated that many graduates weren’t staying with the firm after completing the two years, and after Goldman fired a handful of analysts over the past year for signing on to work at other financial companies in violation of their contracts. Goldman has been reaching out to employees over the past two days to inform them of the changes, which will take effect for analysts who will start in 2013. “We think the historic two-year program is no longer the best approach for hiring and developing the careers of analysts in our banking and investment-management divisions,” said the Goldman spokesman. “Making this change allows us to emphasize the longer-term career opportunities available at the firm.”

    No more fighting, no more sneaking around, no more need for anyone to put their foot down. If you want to leave after a year (or sooner), if you think you’re grown up enough to make it out there on your own, by all means, go. That’s your call and no one’s gonna stop your or beg you to reconsider.* But if you decide you want to stay, be it for two years or twelve or twenty, Gary Cohn’s thighs appreciate your commitment to the firm and look forward to working with you one day.

    Goldman Overhauls 2-Year Entry-Level Analyst Program [WSJ]
    Earlier: Goldman Sachs Does Not Look Kindly Upon First Year Analyst Who Plan In Advance

    *It’s a mistake, of course, but it’s yours to make.

    / Sep 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM
  • News

    But Who’s Counting…

    “Not a single person reported to him, and he did not run a business,” Goldman […]

    / Sep 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM
  • News

    Goldman Sachs Unimpressed By Sophomoric Writing Efforts Of Former Employee

    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 that Greg’s sounds 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 Lucas van Praag 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

    / Sep 12, 2012 at 4:10 PM
  • Lloyd thinks regulation is great; his analysts aren't so sure.

    Banks, News

    Goldman Research Analysts Suggest That Morgan Stanley Should Get Smaller And/Or Better At Bond Trading

    Wall Street banks’ research on their competitors is not only a window into analysts’ anxieties […]

    / Sep 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM
  • News

    Hiring/Layoffs Watch ’12: New York Good, London Bad

    Relatedly, Goldman is looking for some young bodies.

    Financial firms in London, besieged by Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, probably will shrink their workforce this year, snapping a hiring rebound from 2008’s credit crisis as New York’s industry ekes out job growth. Banks, insurers and other financial-services firms may eliminate about 3,000 jobs across greater London as companies in the New York region add 9,000, according to U.K.-based researcher Oxford Economics Ltd. London’s proximity to the debt crisis is undermining the city’s efforts to gain on its trans-Atlantic rival. While Wall Street also is suffering from a global slowdown in trading and deal-making, North American banks are benefiting from a surge in consumer lending…Some large banks are offsetting senior-staff reductions by recruiting less-expensive workers. New York-based Goldman Sachs, seeking to cut $500 million of costs, expects its workforce to feature a greater proportion of junior employees by year-end, Chief Financial Officer David A. Viniar, 57, said July 17. “Wall Street is tilting toward younger, up-and-coming talent,” Kahn said.

    London Firings Seen Surging As Finance Firms Add Jobs In NY [Bloomberg]

    / Aug 17, 2012 at 2:21 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Goldman Sachs

    The cuts aren’t said to be too significant but good luck telling that to the people who’ll no longer be receiving quality Cohn-crotch time.

    Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank that generated 58 percent of first-half revenue from sales and trading, eliminated 20 to 30 jobs in that division this week, according to a person briefed on the matter. The cuts affected salespeople and traders in the U.S., with most taking place in New York, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the reductions aren’t being announced publicly. The decision is part of a continuous review of staffing levels amid difficult markets, the person said.

    Goldman Sachs Said To Cut More Than 20 In Sales, Trading [Bloomberg]

    / Aug 15, 2012 at 11:48 AM
  • Really, it's just mean, isn't it?

    News

    Prosecutors Not Done Ruining Sergey Aleynikov’s Life

    My main thought about Sergey Aleynikov has always been: poor Sergey Aleynikov! When the former […]

    / Aug 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM
  • Nah, I'd be happier with the $16mm.

    News

    How Much Did Goldman Screw The City Of Oakland Anyway?

    Oakland has been fighting with Goldman Sachs over an interest rate swap for a while […]

    / Aug 1, 2012 at 6:35 PM
  • richard_handler--300x300

    News

    Bonus Watch ’12: Jefferies Wonders Aloud How Its Ass Tastes

    Jefferies set aside $870 million in the first six months of its fiscal year, enough […]

    / Jul 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM
  • News

    Report: For A Few Days In July, Goldman Employees Were Forced To Endure Offensive-Looking Water

    Discolored tap water afflicted Goldman’s Lower Manhattan headquarters in July. The annoyance, familiar to anyone […]

    / Jul 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM
  • News

    Mexican Secretary Of State Blankfein?

    Mr. Blankfein did not rule out working in government after his tenure as the chief […]

    / Jul 18, 2012 at 5:22 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Goldman Sachs

    The cuts aren’t expected to go too deep but every man, woman, and plant counts.

    David A. Viniar, Goldman’s chief financial officer, said the latest round of belt-tightening by the New York company might include job losses for “a couple of hundred people.” By year end, Goldman will reduce total expenses by $500 million on top of about $1.4 billion in cuts since last spring.

    Goldman To Tighten Belt Further [WSJ]
    Related: Goldman Sachs’ Philodendrons In The Line Of Fire

    / Jul 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM
  • I did a search for "sarcastic clap" and this came up, it's just a coincidence that it's Dimon.

    Banks, News

    Banks Prove That They Are Not Too Big To Fail By Saying “We Can Fail” On A Piece Of Paper, Moving On

    One way you could spend this slow week is reading the “living wills” submitted by a bunch of banks telling regulators how to wind them up if they go under. Don’t, though: they’re about the most boring and least informative things imaginable and I am angry that I read them.* Here for instance is how JPMorgan would wind itself up if left to its own devices**:

    (1) It would just file for bankruptcy and stiff its non-deposit creditors (at the holding company and then, if necessary, at the bank).

    (2) If after stiffing its non-deposit creditors it didn’t have enough money to pay its depositors it would sell its highly attractive businesses in a competitive sale to willing buyers who would pay top dollar.

    This seems wrong, no? And not just in the sense of “in my opinion that would be sort of difficult, what with people freaking out about JPMorgan going bankrupt and its highly attractive businesses having landing it in, um, bankruptcy.” It’s wrong in the sense that it’s the opposite of having a plan for dealing with banks being “too big to fail”: it’s premised on an assumption that the bank is not too big to fail. If JPMorgan runs into trouble that it can’t get out of without taxpayer support, it’ll just file for bankruptcy like anybody else. Depositors will be repaid (if they’re under FDIC limits); non-depositor creditors will be screwed just like they would be on a failure of Second Community Bank of Kenosha.

    / Jul 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Goldman Sachs

    The summer cuts continue. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) cut several dozen jobs from its […]

    / Jun 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Asia

    The bad news is that Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, UBS, and others have been making cuts and are expected to continue to do so. The good news is that not everybody is upset about it.

    Speaking to bankers and other industry sources, Reuters was able to confirm at least 50 people were let go in the past three weeks, a cull that includes senior expatriates as well as junior bankers. The cuts mainly target the equities business, with more layoffs expected in coming weeks. CLSA , Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and UBS were among the banks and brokerages that cut jobs, the sources said…The Asia cuts also come at an unexpected time, when expatriate finance professionals are preparing to hunker down for the summer while their families head home for the holiday. “I’m disappointed, but in some ways I’m glad I was cut early in this round, because everyone is looking over their shoulder,” said Cassandra Lister, who was recently let go as a managing director at Societe Generale in Hong Kong. “They’re looking around and wondering ‘Am I next?’ It’s a horrible work environment.”

    Asia’s Investment Banks Launch Round Of Job Cuts [Reuters]

    / Jun 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM
  • M&A

    Carl Icahn Is Unimpressed With Goldman’s Efforts To Fight Off Carl Icahn

    And so he’s not paying them on principle, the principle being I suppose “don’t fuck […]

    / Jun 22, 2012 at 3:57 PM