Goldman Sachs P.M.D.'s: Duff McDonald Gives It To Us Straight


Since yesterday's announcement of Goldman Sachs’s latest class of P.M.D.'s, we’ve found it all but impossible to log onto the internets without reading about how, for these 115 very special girls and boys, life “will never be the same.” Lots of “getting made” by the mafia references, being knighted by the Queen analogies, and so on and so forth. You know the drill. And we’re kind of torn on our feelings about all of this (the coverage, that is). On the one hand, it seems appropriate— recognizing the fact that these people have worked hard, that this is a “pretty big deal, etc, etc. And that’s nice, you know? Giving credit where credit’s due and all that. But on the other hand, we're jealous we feel as though this is all being sugar-coated a bit too much. Which is why we were heartened to read Duff McDonald’s take on the whole situation.

The truth is the new PMDs really can't hang around too long. The secret to keeping the Goldman brass ring so shiny is high turnover in their partnership ranks. There are only 287 current partners, 115 new ones were just announced, and there's a new partnership class every two years. They've got to get out, or the money gets disbursed too widely. So you get to keep your snout in the money trough for a half decade, and then you're shown the door if you haven't already left of your own accord.

A Possibly Bullshit Theory on the Cosmic Meaning of Goldman Partnerships [NYM]


Goldman Sachs Can Fix This

A week ago today, a man named Greg Smith resigned from Goldman Sachs. As a sort of exit interview, Smith explained his reasons for departing the firm in a New York Times Op-Ed entitled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." The equity derivatives VP wrote that Goldman had "veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say I identify with what it stands for." Smith went on to note that whereas the Goldman of today is "just about making money," the Goldman he knew as a young pup "revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients." It was a culture that made him "love working for the firm" and its absence had stripped him of "pride and belief" he once held in the place. While claiming that Goldman Sachs has become virtually unrecognizable from the institution founded by Marcus (Goldman) and Samuel (Sachs), which put clients ahead of its own interests, is hardly a new argument, there was something about Smith's words that gave readers a moment's pause. He was so deeply distraught over the differences between the Goldman of 2012 and the Goldman of 2000 (when he was hired) that suggested...more. That he'd seen things. Things that had made an imprint on his soul. Things that he couldn't forget. Things that he held up in his heart for how Goldman should be and things that made it all the more difficult to ignore when it failed to live up to that ideal. Things like this: