"Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs" | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

"Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs"

Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith explains in the op/ed pages of the New York Times why he’s stepping down today after twelve years with the organization:

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.

Smith is concerned that integrity is on the decline at the 143-year-old investment bank. He’s not worried about what Goldman is doing to society at large, but he draws the line at what he sees as his former firm’s willingness to exploit its own clients.  “Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail,” he writes. That does sound like a bad sign.

[Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost, Creative Commons.]