Goldman Sachs – a shower of bastards?

So Goldman Sachs considers its clients a bunch of “muppets”.

“Anit-capitalist” types will, of course, have a field day with any smoking guns that help make their case. But the rest of us should be furious with a firm that exploits the systems and norms we all rely on for basic and essential day-to-day financial services. In Goldman’s case however, ‘exploits’ doesn’t begin to do justice to a toxic culture of rapacious greed, moral bankruptcy and ruthless cynicism.

At least, so say their own senior staff – just ask recently resigned poster boy and company veteran Greg Smith. The New York Times reported Smith as publicly saying:

At meetings at Goldman, on the other hand, “not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients,” Mr. Smith wrote. “It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.”

In response, the firm have issued little more than casual PR boilerplate:

A Goldman Sachs spokesman responded to the piece early Wednesday: “We disagree with the views expressed, which we don’t think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves.”

It won’t cut it – but then their lame response is surely less a sign of weak PR and more a symptom of a firm that feels untouchable.

What are the public to do considering how the response to the 2008 crisis, a crisis brought on by a financial sector that had far too much leverage over society, was public officials – who were largely past employees of firms like Sachs (and generally Sachs in particular) and with an eye, one could presume, on returning for post- “public service” employment in the future – granting, through consolidation and publicly financed bail outs, even fewer firms even greater leverage over any even more dependant and terrified public?

With solutions like that, is it any wonder they think we’re all muppets?

  • Greenflag

    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/88346302/

    Goldman Sachs IS UNTOUCHABLE and they are not alone .

    ‘What are the public to do’

    In the absence of the elected politicians doing anything the public will eventually do what publics do everywhere when they finally understand that their elected emperors are naked -they will take to the streets and Blankfein and his ilk will face the risen people . There probably will be blood as neither the Republicans nor Democrats are prepared to take on Wall St and the banking sector .

  • Greenflag

    addendum

    ‘With solutions like that, is it any wonder they think we’re all muppets?’

    They don’t have to . They know the elected politicians of both parties are their wholly owned and paid for muppets .Those who elect the politicians are seen as ‘derivatives ‘ of the muppets . i.e muppets of the muppets 🙁

    Bush was terrified by them and Obama is petrified and Cameron can’t raise himself above prostrate -Ditto for Sarkocy and Merkel and we should all know by now how Goldman Sachs ‘screwed ‘ the naive Greeks for 600 million dollars by ‘fixing ‘ their Eurozone application.

    They need to be broken up . If they are too big to be allowed fail they need to be ‘nationalised ‘ .

  • wild turkey

    “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. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.”

    Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405

  • The Raven

    “There probably will be blood…”

    Even as a very casual observer, I don’t think it’s far away…

  • sherdy

    I think the heading to your story is very unfair to bastards!

  • Greenflag

    @ sherdy ,

    ‘I think the heading to your story is very unfair to bastards!’

    Perhaps ? The bastard in chief has replied via the borowitzreport.com to those alleging he’s been slipping in his character traits by reassuring his clients that wherever there is a bastard GS will find a place for him or her 🙁

    A Response from Goldman Sachs
    From Chairman Lloyd Blankfein

    NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – The following letter to Goldman Sachs’ worldwide clients was issued today by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein:

    Dear Goldman Client:

    By now, many of you have probably read the regrettable resignation letter published in today’s New York Times by former Goldman executive Greg Smith, explaining why he is leaving the firm after twelve years.

    In the letter, in which he excoriates Goldman and his practices, Mr. Smith comes across as a man of conscience, ideals, and high moral standards. And as you read his words, you no doubt asked yourself this troubling question: how could Goldman have hired such a person?

    At Goldman, we pride ourselves on our ability to scour the world’s universities and business schools for the finest sociopaths money will buy. Once in our internship program, these youths are subjected to rigorous evaluations to root out even the slightest evidence of a soul. But, as the case of Mr. Smith shows, even the most time-tested system for detecting shreds of humanity can blow a gasket now and then. For that, we can only offer you our deepest apology and the reassurance that one good apple won’t spoil the whole bunch.

    As to those of you who were serviced by Mr. Smith, it’s understandable that you would be concerned about who will be taking his place going forward. On that front, I have some exciting news: today, Goldman is pleased to announce that our new executive director and head of the United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be Mr. Joseph Kony. For those unfamiliar with Mr. Kony’s resume, let me assure you that he has the character and moral standards you have come to expect from Goldman, and like the rest of us here at the bank, he has dedicated his life to doing the Lord’s work.

    Sincerely,

    Lloyd Blankfein

    CEO, Goldman Sachs

  • Greenflag

    For those who are unaware who Joseph Kony is

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc

    Not suitable viewing for those with sensitive souls or who may possess a shred of humanity .

    The sad news is that Kony will probably be arrested long before Blankfein 🙁

  • Greenflag

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwpb&NR=1&v=2M5IeYt-JxA

    How American politics works by systemic corruption and a ‘reformed ‘ Jack Abramoff ( he got caught and did 6 years in jail)

    Abramoff’s spiel starts about 1 minute 15 secs into the video.

    Of course he’s plugging his book ‘Capitol Punishment ‘

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Abramoff

  • Canisp

    Derivatives trading (which Mr Smith worked in) is a zero-sum game, not for the unwary, so I’m unclear why GS are expected to have any more interest in their ‘clients’ (punters might be a better word) financial welfare that your average high street bookie. Caveat emptor…

  • Old Mortality

    What we don’t know is whether Smith had any ulterior motive. Is is departure entirely voluntary? Goldman have a policy of regularly culling its poorest performers at all levels so there is the possibility that he is a victim of it.
    Having said that, condescending attitudes towards clients are not new in investment banking nor are they confined to Goldman. In the old City, it was social; now it’s more likely to be intellectual.