Dear Commons Community,
The fallout from Greg Smith’s op-ed expose of Goldman Sachs is reverberating throughout Wall Street and beyond. Smith’s Op-Ed landed “like a bomb” and reignited a debate on the Internet and on cable television over whether Wall Street was corrupted by greed and excess. The New York Times is devoting four articles to the story in today’s edition. “Goldman Boss: We Call Our Clients Muppets,” screamed the front page of The London Evening Standard. One of the Times articles reported that:
“By noon, television crews crowded outside Goldman’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan. More than three years after the financial crisis, the perception that little has changed on Wall Street — and that no one has been held accountable for the risk-taking that led to the crisis — looms large in the public consciousness. While it was an unusual cry from the heart of a Wall Street insider, many questioned whether it would prompt any change..
Others were less surprised. One Goldman client who spoke on the condition of anonymity called the letter “naïve,” saying that the firm had been trading against its clients for years. “Come on, that is what they do and they are good traders, so I do business with them.”
The official response from Goldman Sachs top executives was:
“Lloyd C. Blankfein and Gary Cohn, said in a letter to employees: “We were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But it is unfortunate that an individual opinion about Goldman Sachs is amplified in a newspaper and speaks louder than the regular, detailed and intensive feedback you have provided the firm and independent, public surveys of workplace environments.”
As they say in the news business, this story has legs!