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Tomorrow, Pour One (White Castle Hamburger) Out For Goldman Sachs

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Ahead of tomorrow's hearing, there have been a flurry of stories about Goldman Sachs everywhere you look, including this here site. But it was only Kate Kelly's Wall Street Journal article that really hit home. For whatever you think about Goldman Sachs and its employees, they're just people. Just men. Just financial services hacks who, when they're not coming up with nefarious plots to take over the universe (JK...JK I'm serious), are shoveling food in their mouths as quickly as possible for sport.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s mortgage traders, under the spotlight because of the U.S. government's fraud lawsuit against the securities firm, made markets in more than just bonds during the real-estate bubble. They also cast bets on a White Castle hamburger-eating contest. In December 2007, after the firm distributed multimillion-dollar bonus checks in part thanks to bets on a mortgage meltdown, about 10 Goldman mortgage traders, surrounded by dozens of cheering colleagues, wolfed down the burgers, according to attendees. Bystanders wagered cash on how many burgers the traders could eat.

If you care about Lloyd and Co at all, and maybe you don't, tomorrow you'll step up to the plate and do one of these (but after the hearing so I can provide coverage, otherwise there's no point). And if not for Lloyd, do it for Pookie.


Pour One Out For Robert Benmosche Tonight

The former AIG chief/winemaker is no longer with us.

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:

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Laying Off Employees Has Been Good For Goldman Sachs

Thanks to everyone who chipped in by cleaning out their desks.