Goldman Sachs Just Destroyed Countless Lives

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The Wall Street firm named 280 new managing directors Wednesday, just a 5 percent increase from the previous year, when 266 were picked for promotion. Hundreds of mid-level bankers who missed the cut will now have to wait another two years until 2015 because this is the last annual set of managing director promotions. The change to biennial promotions comes as Goldman has been paring its staff and partnership ranks in the aftermath of the financial crisis that pushed even the storied franchise to the brink. While Goldman was expected to promote more employees than in years past to help compensate for the beginning of its biennial process, this year’s crop of newly minted MDs is a far cry from double. Those who got the promotion — one step below the elite partnership ranks — will command millions more than their midlevel colleagues over the next few years. [NYP, earlier]

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Goldman Sachs Makes 266 People's Mornings

Unlike the life-changing partnership ritual that takes place every two years, the managing director promotions, announced today, are more of a light pat on the ass that says, you’re doing a pretty okay job so far, but don’t get cocky. You've graduated from VP (a title which is now, amazingly, described to the layman as "the level attained by the disgruntled former employee Greg Smith"), and that's something to be proud of, but stay hungry for the reach-around.

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: