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Anonymous Former Goldman Employee Will Pay For His Sins

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Here's one: in an online survey of current and former employees, Goldman Sachs beat out a whole slew of financial services firms to be named-- wait for it-- the second best place to work. Now, I know a lot of other banks and institutions would be sending out congratulatory emails about how great an achievement this is and so on and so forth right about now. That's because these banks and institutions are losers, just as second place is (the number one loser, in fact). Reuters is trying to make a big deal of the whole thing, offering Goldman a pat on the back, going on about how this is great news in a time that Goldman could really use it, which is of course just making things worse. Why not draw attention to the fact that GS is the best place to work after freaking Susquehanna International Group, Reuters? You know what Goldman could really use, Reuters? You stuffing it. This is not great news. Goldman finishes second to no one and it certainly doesn't finish second to companies headquartered in Lower Merion Township. Today, though, the bank did.

[Breathe]

Rather than do what all of you think it's going to do, which is just FLIP OUT, Goldman is going to use this as a teachable moment. What can we learn from the failure and apply the lessons toward future online surveys that will potentially embarrass the bank? Well, it seems there are a couple things in particular that can be gleaned, and here's what they are: 1) making sure the threats suggested in exit interviews as to what could be visited upon outgoing employees should they fuck with the brand upon being released into the wild are taken seriously and 2) tagging said outgoing employees with GPS ankle monitoring bracelets that can never be removed and wiring their nipples with clamps through which an electric shock is sent if they so much as entertain the thought of violating lesson number 1. (Why this isn't standard protocol already is beyond me.)

And a word of advice to this guy. Run:

Goldman got top marks from its employees in seven of eight categories -- career opportunities, communication, employee morale, recognition and feedback, senior leadership, and fairness and respect, according to the survey. The only area where it lagged behind its closest rivals was work/life balance, where it came in behind Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Inc and tied with JPMorgan Chase & Co .

One anonymous reviewer, identified as a past employee, called Goldman a "great place," noting that the brand name and compensation are its greatest assets. But the reviewer also stressed the long hours.

"They overwork you," said the reviewer. "Upward mobility is pretty unavailable. People envy you for working there and it's pretty bad. You can't move around."

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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: