Stanford Grad’s Scathing Goldman Resignation ‘Lands Like a Bomb’

The op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times by 33-year-old Stanford grad Greg Smith titled Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs “landed ‘like a bomb,’ inside Goldman, said one executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity,” according to a front-page article in the paper today.

Here are the first two paragraphs from the op-ed:

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for. Full editorial

This may be a somewhat more polite way of saying what Matt Taibbi did in the opening of his famous 2010 Rolling Stone article, which made Goldman the poster child for anger around the financial crisis and government bailout of the big banks:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Here’s a discussion from MSNBC:

Goldman shares are up so far today, by the way.

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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