Posts Tagged ‘Goldman Sachs’

Out of 30,000, this one man had the integrity to step forward with the ugly truth

________________________________________

“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.”  — Greg Smith, former Executive Director, Goldman Sachs

***************

“In a world spinning backward and picking up speed. black is white, day is night, and wrong is right…”  — John Dilligent

 ________________________________________

In a rare departure from Wall Street rules of decorum, Goldman Sachs Executive Greg Smith made a noisy departure from the investment giant when he resigned March 14. In a New York Times Op-Ed titled “Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs”, Smith, formerly the executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, wrote a scathing critique of Goldman Sachs’ business practices, which he says puts profits before the interests of investors.

The accusation is not new, but it has not been leveled so publicly by a Goldman insider before, and Smith’s missive has shed more light on Goldman’s practices than any Congressional hearing has been able to. Smith wrote that his employer of 12 years had devolved from one with a culture of, “teamwork, integrity, and spirit of humility” to a one with a toxic and destructive environment. More specifically, he confirms what outsiders have been saying for years, which is that, these days, business as usual at Goldman means pressuring clients to invest in stocks for Goldman’s benefit, even if the stocks are known to be unprofitable or not suited to the needs and wants of the client. Smith says the client has become so low on the Goldman totem-pole that multiple managing directors have referred to them as “muppets.”

The reaction to Smith’s Op-ed has been mixed. Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, who famously referred to Goldman Sachs as a blood sucking “vampire squid,” called the piece, “devastating.” In other corners of the media world Smith has become a punchline, with parody “I Quit” letters scattering the internet. Yet others have issued droll statements of support for the status quo.

Forbes contributor Tim Worstall told the public yesterday to, “do nothing… for one of the great joys of this mixed capitalism and free markets system is that mistakes like those [at Goldman]…. are self-correcting.” Think Progress evaluated yesterday’s media coverage and concluded that Goldman Sachs has been effective in coordinating a smear campaign against Smith, with outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times citing anonymous sources who characterize Smith as a low-level employee disgruntled over a small annual bonus. Goldman Sachs lost $2.15 billion in market value yesterday.

***************

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

By Greg Smith, New York Times  Op-Ed Published March 14, 2012

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.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.

When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.

Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.

________________________________________

 ________________________________________

How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.

What are three quick ways to become a leader?

A) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit.

B) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them.

C) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. 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.

It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab,  Abacus, God’s Work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

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.

These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.

When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.

My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.

***************

Special thanks to the New York Times, located at:  http://www.nytimes.com

And…

Uprising Radio, located at:  http://uprisingradio.org

________________________________________

________________________________________

Are the evil machinations of the criminal cabal robbing us blind finally imploding?

________________________________________

Disinformation Alert

Beware this piece floating around cyberspace the last week or so and trying to go viral. I’ve spent some time on this and tracked it all back to an internet blogger who appears to be making it up as he goes along, and the YouTube video featuring Judge Napolitano located at the bottom of this article.

I could find no other independent verification of this information and consider it to be blatent disinformation at this point. The source Napolitano interview does not  state that Geitner was  arrested, had  been arrested, or even will  be arrested. Now, should  be arrested is a different story…

***************

But It Gets Better

Watch the video. It’s an absolute must see. Breaks down what’s going on right now, and points the criminal finger at Goldman Sachs, AIG, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and others.

This case is now under active investigation as well as active suppression by the corporate mainstream media…

________________________________________

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Arrested, Questioned and Released

As predicted, the collapse of the Satan worshipping financial mafia is accelerating. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was detained for questioning by New York police on February 24th and was released after giving evidence about many high level financial criminals, according to New York police sources. “In most cases we have to slap people to get them to talk but in his case we had to slap him to shut him up,” one of the interrogators joked. Geithner has been released but is accompanied at all times by an armed deputy to make sure he does not leave the country. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy is also proving to be very talkative, sources in Europe say. Berlusconi has been released. Meanwhile, meetings between White Dragon Society representatives and South Korean government officials last week in Seoul were very productive.

…is first report further on the ongoing chaos in Europe and the US before returning to the Asian negotiations. In general what has happened is that dozens of high level informants have come forth in the past weeks and detailed testimony by them is being gathered. Apart from Geithner and Berlusconi, the talking big fish include members of the Rothschild family who have come forth with startling information.

The most interesting revelation given by the Rothschilds is that Queen Victoria was actually the illegitimate daughter of Nathaniel Rothschild. That means Rothschild’s had managed to place family members at the head of the British, German and Russian empires by the time World War I started. Hitler was also a Rothschild who wanted to be crowned King of the world and who helped found Israel by chasing the Jews out of Europe. Their infiltration of the highest levels of world power continued in the post war period. So, in the big picture of things we are witnessing the collapse of the Rothschild attempt to crown themselves as monarchs of a world government with a capital in Jerusalem.

The competing attempt by George Bush Sr. and the Nazi faction to set up a 1000 year reich is also collapsing. Geithner has already told the police that both he and Obama work for Bush. The Bushes, like Geithner and others are not allowed to leave the US now.

The names of some of the many top cabalists being fingered by high level defectors will be listed at the end of this report.

In other signs of the collapsing old regime, the Greeks have clearly told the EU to put their latest bail out where the sun does not shine. Elected Prime Minister George Papandreous is expected to return to power soon and replace cabal puppet Lucas Papademos, according to Europe based CIA sources.

The Italians are also deciding they do not want to become part of the greater German empire and have begun actively preparing a return to the Lira, the sources said.

The cabalists for their part are still fighting to preserve their power and control. The latest scam they are working on involves the $6 trillion worth of 1934 gold back securities that were seized in Switzerland recently. These bonds were tied to financier and Bush/Clinton bagman Mark Rich of Glencore Commodities. The plan was to place Hillary Clinton at the head of the World Bank and have her use the World Bank to launder the bonds and give the money to the communist government in China. The Chinese, in return, were supposed to turn a blind eye to the continuing European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Board scams.

The cabalists have also tried yet again to assassinate Russia’s Vladimir Putin in an attempt to regain control of Russia in a desperate attempt to revive the insane plan to get the Russians to help start the World War 3 they feel is needed to complete their plans for world domination.

The pentagon has already told top cabalist attack dog Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that they would shoot down any Israeli planes that tried to trigger this war by attacking Iran.

The CBS news network in the US now has also broken with the cabalists and has begun information warfare with cabalist propaganda outlets like CNN and Fox.

 

ASIA

Meanwhile, in Asia, signs of harmony and unity are multiplying. Discussions last week in Korea between a White Dragon Society representatives and South Korean representatives reached agreement in principle on many issues. First of all, the South Koreans agreed on unification between North and South Korea based on the principle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a ceremonial post (perhaps “symbol of unity”) and a palace. After North South unification, talks could begin on greater East Asian economic and political integration.

The South Koreans also agreed to the plan to set up a new international economic planning agency in Japan so long as it was also possible to set up a major new private sector financial center near Pusan, South Korea.

There was also agreement on the issue of having Asian nations continue to support the transition of the pentagon into a global peacekeeping force merged with the Russian and Chinese militaries.

A Chinese delegation is expected in Japan soon to further develop the ideas explored in South Korea.

In Japan, meanwhile, the Yakuza understand their funds in the US were frozen by Bush flunky David S. Cohen.

There will be partial retaliation when senior cabal operative Ichiro Ozawa is arrested on tax evasion and has his funds frozen. There will also be confiscation of Japanese listed company stocks and other assets in Japan illegally taken over by the cabal. This confiscation is expected to affect at least 30% of the total value of all listed shares in Japan as well as considerable amounts of real estate.

Similar confiscations of assets illegally obtained by cabalists are expected to take place around the planet, especially in the USA.

________________________________________

________________________________________

________________________________________