As you may have heard, several weeks ago a fed up Harvard Crimson staff ran an impassioned editorial urging Occupy Wall Street protesters on campus to leave Goldman Sachs, and those hoping to gain employment with the firm, alone. The last straw had been a group of Occupy Harvard supporters who "attempted to disrupt a Goldman Sachs recruiting event," which represented a step too far. The newspaper took occupiers to task for “presenting a facile and trivializing interpretation of the root causes of the economic catastrophe and debases our national conversation on the issue,” for failing to comprehend that Goldman Sachs is going to hire employees regardless– and, god damn, it, they ought to be Harvard students–, and for just generally embarrassing themselves by “pitching a simplistic conception of the financial crisis and targeting fellow students [which] is not the way to have a successful movement.” Moving forward, the Crimsonians cautioned, “Occupy ought to refrain from such ill-conceived protests in the future.”
But it was already too late. Goldman canceled an event in Cambridge, supposedly due to the proximity to reading period, though more likely to send a message-- that it would entertain the idea of hiring Harvard graduates when it was made to feel welcome. At the time, we urged those dreaming of a job with Lloyd and Co to woo them and woo them hard. Compliments, flowers, red carpet, the works. An editorial extolling, say, the virtues of Abacus and their rippling abs. Stuff like that. Maybe not stuff like this:
Bankers will tell you that it allows for more efficient pricing of assets, but if the last decade taught us anything, it’s that it actually leads to bubbles where assets aren’t priced accurately at all. It’s destructive, greedy behavior. It hurts real people. It puts people in poverty and throws families out on the street. Those who engage in it, from hedge fund managers to analysts just out of Harvard, are doing something gravely immoral. And part of being a responsible member of a community is speaking up when something gravely immoral is going on. Part of being a good friend is telling your friends when they are doing something that is horribly wrong. The reason the Goldman protest hit a nerve, I think, is that people took it personally. The picketers seemed like they were calling those attending the info session bad people.
I can’t speak for the other protestors, but I for one hope the attendees took it personally. Taking a job at Goldman Sachs is immoral. To take a job in finance is to become complicit in a socially useless enterprise that ruins lives. You should feel bad about yourself if you do it. You will be a worse person if you do it. That sort of message may very well alienate a lot of Harvard students. But we need to hear it.
[Record scratch.] So, this is okay, this is fine, you can fix this if you go into damage control mode right now! Create a diversion! Deflect! You don't know who this kid is or how he got in here! This was supposed to run in the Howard Clemson, not the Crimson! Stupid printers, stupid! Everyone at Harvard loves Goldman Sachs! You'll prove it to them right here, right now, just someone get you a hair tie, some mouth wash and hand cream!
Occupy Recruiting [Crimson via KevinRoose]
Earlier: Goldman Sachs Will Recruit At Harvard When Goldman Sachs Feels Welcome