Greg Smith on Why He Left Goldman Sachs

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Greg Smith, whose Op-Ed titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs," published in the New York Times in March, hit a nerve and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, tells his story. His new book Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, picks up where his Op-Ed left off. He describes his career at Goldman, detailing how the most storied investment bank on Wall Street went from taking iconic companies like Ford, Sears, and Microsoft public to becoming a "vampire squid."


Greg Smith

Comments [13]

Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

Greg Smith: thanks for "testifying" regarding your conversion to empathy for us muppets. True that the worst excesses of all bank frauds in equitizing and hawking swill were all legal. Which answers the real question posed by Leonard and the staff to the question regarding lack of prosecutions: Pogo's "we have met the enemy and he is us". But you missed a primary cause of the banksters hard push from 1980 on to repeal Glass Steagal and begin the feeding frenzy: banks were under tremendous internecine pressure to guarantee interest rate assumptions to the fiduciaries of many of their largest clients: single and multi-employer pension funds, who were forcing banks to play musical chairs among pension funds to keep interest assumptions unreasonably high to allow regulated pension fund contributions from employers to fund future benefits to stay low and build bottom lines without obvious cost to employees in what remains unspoken: the largest, government encouraged ripoff of the working man that the US has ever known: the willful, legal gutting of defined benefit pension funds in the USA since ERISA.

So the corollary to Pogo's dicta becomes: we have met the enemy and he was Dad.

Oct. 25 2012 11:05 AM
Capper from NYC

To all those leaving negative comments toward Greg Smith... "you can't handle the truth". ahaha

Oct. 24 2012 01:17 PM
fuva from harlemworld

The shocked and negative response to that woman shareholder's question reflects a much larger societal problem enabling impunity. The emperor is naked and no one wants to call it. In 2012. Sad.

Oct. 24 2012 12:56 PM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

You might want to look at a NY Times story about how bankers were playing both sides advising investors in the fracking industry and Goldman Sachs was again involved.

See: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2012, Investors Discover That Fracking Costs Exceed (In The Not-So-Obvious Way) Expected Financial Benefits: What The New York Times Fails To Say

Oct. 24 2012 12:48 PM
Dan from manhattan

"they'll have no skill-set and end up making 100 thousand a year"

Gosh, I wish I had such a bad skill set. I guess it's proof that the more you know and the more you can do, the less you make?

Oct. 24 2012 12:44 PM
fuva from harlemworld

What? These bankers need millions of dollars of ill-gotten bonuses to "survive"? Please.

Oct. 24 2012 12:42 PM
CK from Yorktown

this whole blather is dull and seems like it's all about selling his book. I think I'll switch over to Rush Limbaugh> It's more entertaining.

Oct. 24 2012 12:40 PM
The Truth from Becky

I agree there is no hint of a South African accent, hybrid American maybe.

Have ya conversed with many South Africans Leonard? Geez

Oct. 24 2012 12:38 PM
Andrew from Manhattan

Does Greg Smith think that if financial regulators made it easier for whistle-blowers on Wall Street to report illegal activity -- and then rewarded them with big percentages of the assets saved -- that there would be a great reduction in Wall Street crime? Does the SEC have a hotline for those who'd like to turn in their crooked peers?

Oct. 24 2012 12:28 PM
oscar from ny

Reminds me of when the devil possesed hamerilo and made aaron the priest make a gold statue of a calf made from all the ppls wealth to be worshiped while there own saviour was getting taught by the most high
Ps: the master even tricked moses when the magicians also threw their staffs and converted them into snakes, making moses doubt

Oct. 24 2012 12:28 PM

They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They've been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s

Read more:

Oct. 24 2012 12:22 PM
CK from Yorktown

This seems like a less than useful segment. We're expected to believe that the guest was suddenly unable to work in the terrible environment of Goldman Sachs. He did an internship, worked for how long and sudden inability to deal with the scum in the pond. Really? This is one book I won't be buyin'

Oct. 24 2012 12:19 PM
John A

So has a thinktank contacted you, Greg, for your opinions on how to carry out reforms?
Sounds like the Voelker rule is desperately needed.

Oct. 24 2012 12:17 PM

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