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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Smith’

Goldman Sachs Will Address The Court of Public Opinion Now

Today marks a Very Serious Literary Event: the release of Wall Street turncoat/general sad sack Greg Smith’s highly anticipated non-fiction debut, Why I Left Goldman Sachs.

Smith’s book expands upon an op-ed he wrote for The New York Times back in March in which he decried his former employer’s once-noble culture as “toxic and destructive” while claiming to be shocked at “how callously people talk about ripping their clients off”. The article’s best-known revelation was the fact that managers referred to their clients as “muppets”—and not in an endearing Fozzie Bear kind of way.

First the obvious: Most Americans don’t think too highly of Goldman Sachs right now, no matter what Mr. Smith says. When Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone referred to the company as a “great vampire squid”, he wasn’t just engaging in colorful hyperbole: According to the widely cited YouGov Brand Index, GS remains engaged in a bad-PR battle with JPMorgan Chase to determine which financial organization Americans hate most.

Politicians may have plenty of love for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein, but the average “man on the street” feels differently. So how will the biggest name in investment banking deal with its most visible enemy? Until now, the organization has largely ignored Mr. Smith, but a curious internal memo reveals that this is no longer the case.

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Many Reactions to the Goldman Op-Ed Focus on Greg Smith

Reactions to Greg Smith’s censure of the “new” Goldman Sachs have fallen into a few categories. Some went the funny route, like The Borowitz Report, which joked that only the “finest sociopaths” work at the firm and “announced” that LRA leader Joesph Kony would be replacing Smith. Darth Vader announced he was leaving the Empire. And Don Draper explained why he’s quitting cigarettes.

Some tried to show a little sympathy for Richard Siewert Jr., who only just started his job as the head of comms at Goldman and is already up to his eyeballs. A lengthy memo went out from Goldman execs Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohen (we wouldn’t be surprised if Siewert had a look at it), that gets credit from Dukas PR CEO Richard Dukas for being a measure better than the initial statement.

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Research Finds Greg Smith Has A Point: People Don’t Trust Financial Companies

Coincidentally, Edelman has released some further detail from its Trust Barometer focused squarely on financial institutions. Given the drubbing that Goldman Sachs took today at the hands of Greg Smith, let’s take a closer look at the findings, shall we.

The Barometer found that 46 percent of respondents don’t trust financial services. And 41 percent don’t trust banks. This is up from 2011 when trust was only at 25 percent. This Goldman article might drive that number back down the toilet.

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Exec’s Resignation Op-Ed Confirms What We Already Knew About Goldman Sachs

The one percent is turning on itself!

“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,” writes Greg Smith in the New York Times opinion piece that has got Goldman Sachs trending on Twitter. After 12 years with the company, Smith, an executive with the financial powerhouse, tendered his resignation with the op-ed, saying that the company is so “toxic” he can’t identify with it anymore.

“The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years,” Smith goes on to say, describing a company that once worked with integrity, humility, and care for its clients. But no more. Now, it’s all about making money, no matter what.

“It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are,” he says. Preach!

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