Goldman Sachs has faced a bizarre protest by a former employee representing what he claims is a union for the bank’s former and current staff in the country set up after a round of job cuts. Wearing a mask and using a pseudonym to hide his identity, a man purporting to be a representative of the Goldman Sachs Japan Employee Union held a press conference with foreign journalists on Thursday in Tokyo. The National Union of General Workers, a multi-industry labour group, has confirmed that the Goldman union was set up under its umbrella. It has not disclosed number of staff who are members or the identity of the man holding the press conference. “We are fighting for our jobs,” said the man, using the pseudonym Adam Lee. “This mask represents the faceless entities that you find ... The nameless faces are just ... something that they crunch, like a number ... When they want to downsize, they cast aside these nameless faces.” [FT]
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:
Goldman Sachs Ditching Travel Expenses, Employees In Cost-Cutting Push
Don't like it? Cry Lloyd Blankfein a river. Oh, and there's more where that came from.