Goldman Sachs | Greg Smith, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!

Greg Smith, the former Goldman Sachs executive director, has said that he has fallen out of love with the Goldman Sachs’ culture – which has “disappeared” – and that Goldmans no longer put their clients’ interests first.

Greg – come on, give me a break! Tell me something we don’t already know!

Speaking as the trader who claimed “Goldman Sachs Rules The World”, I find myself strangely disappointed in Greg Smith.

Goldman Sachs – The Vampire Squid

Anybody who has any remote knowledge of Goldman Sachs knows that the people who work there are a bunch of crooks. Max Keiser could not have said it best when he said that Goldmans’ traders should be charged with financial terrorism charges.

The facts about Goldman Sachs being behind every major crash in history and how they literally conned people out of their money has already been documented by Matt Taibbi in his excellent article “The Great American Bubble Machine”.

In his article, Taibbi refers to Goldman Sachs as the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” and how they have been manipulating the markets from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to the Technology Crash of 2000 and ultimately the housing crash of the last decade.

To add more fuel to the fire, in 2010 Goldman Sachs got a lot of heat when they were accused of trading against their own clients.

It is obvious that the recent media attention to Greg Smith’s remarks is that it comes from someone from a high level in Goldman Sachs. Otherwise, his remarks about their “money making culture” cannot possibly be new.

Why I am Disappointed in Greg Smith

Personally I am slightly disappointed in Smith. Not for his candour and being outspoken on his opinion. But rather for the fact that such remarks, no matter how truthful – are directed at his former employers.

I may be considered old fashioned for saying this, but I still believe in loyalty and faithfulness to one’s employers – no matter what kind of ugly human beings they may be. I have carried this sense of loyalty, perhaps through teachings of my own father.

In today’s blame-game and compensation culture, the virtue of loyalty and discretion towards our employers or former employers is often forgotten. Instead, people would rather prefer we trash our employers for the sake of selling a good story – even if those stories are true.

I know I am in a minority here.

But just consider the actions that Scott McClellan, the former Press Secretary to George W. Bush, took when he published his book “What Happened” – detailing the dirt on what happened during his term in office at the White House. The level of disgust by people and politicians alike against McClellan’s actions were, in my view, justified.

Everybody already knew how shady Goldman Sachs is. Greg Smith is not really adding anything here, is he? Perhaps I am missing something.


OK, so what lesson is anyone going to learn from Greg Smith’s “revelation here”? Don’t invest with Goldman Sachs because they don’t “care” about you?

Very unlikely.

If anything positive is going to come out of this story, it is that you should seriously wake up and re-think your assumption that somehow institutional traders and brokers are on your side.

If you want to know the full facts about the sneaky tricks brokers and City traders use on you to separate you from your cash and how to be better prepared, feel free to join me in a free webinar on Thursday 22nd March. Click Here for details.

Also feel free to let me know your own views by leaving me your comment below, even if you disagree with me.


  1. You make some great points… I tend to think that at times it’s better to reveal stuff against one’s employer when it’s for the greater good, but it sure is a tough call. I think you know how bad GS is because you’re in the industry, but a lot of folks out there don’t know the extent of the dynamics (I didn’t). So it’s good to see a story like this in the biggest national newspaper (or biggest in the world). Anyway, I like that you are always honest, and that you’re also concerned with the greater good — as long as our motives are the same, the implementation differs from person to person. I think that’s what the world needs, people thinking in different ways and doing their best to be of service. 🙂

  2. If loyalty is the reason why someone shouldn’t speak, then where would you find them whistle blowers when you need them?

    The irony is, these criminals at GS continue to function as a legal entity inspite of all evidence against them. Who can you blame now? Not GS, but the system. SEC in particular.

  3. Well, I guess every person should be loyal only to his/her honest oneself. In fact, nobody owes loyalty to any employer, and the explanaiton is simple: you give your work for money; it’s a bona fide labor contract that does not imply morality; it’s just a simple exchange. That’s it. Nobody is receiving more than that, and there are no moral attatchments in that relationship.
    However, ethics is another issue. As workers, we have to behave accordingly to our professions, and one of the most important rules in ethics is confidentiality. But, apart from revealing confidential information, we are free to express our concerns about what we witnessed or what we don’t like about any employer. Even more when we have to carry their sins as a burden.
    Of course, people who make profit on revealing information about a former employer is NOT acting under any ethical rule. They don’t even have an “honest oneself” to be loyal to. They are just gossip merchants.

  4. Wow! I find this really interesting in you Alessio! Seems like a bit of a contradiction there with you… Loyalty to an institution you leave behind – is this an obligation? I don’t think so. Whilst Mr Smith might not be blowing any lids, I always think it can be useful to get insights from the inside, no matter what the intentions of the aggrieved speaker. I heard this guy on the radio a few days ago and it raised my eyebrow.
    I am still new to this financial world and I still find myself torn between not wanting to get into ‘Jew-bashing’ and feeling sickened at the iniquities I increasingly can see in that world, where many Jewish men are very visible.
    But returning to my point, if you leave any relationship, whomever that has been with, it is because of irreconcilable differences of interests or views. Holding one’s tongue after taking the pay cheque could be construed as having been bought off. Censoring oneself is the WORST of all censorships. First off one must be faithful to one’s own truth. Of course this does not equate to shooting your mouth off, but nor does it mean being grateful for every crumb your employers let fall into your salary.
    Maybe the yard-stick for right and wrong here is more about the future than the past; what does it change to open one’s mouth having witnessed the under-belly? If nothing, then that is a good reason to keep schtum. Past allegiances are just that… past… He owes them nothing. However, he has benefitted, we do not know how it is to be in his shoes.
    For me, hearing him, it was another moment of “well done you for ‘bearing witness'” and adding to the voices of disquiet. What is that saying about a good man who says / does nothing? That’s the greater crime perhaps. I’m really surprised at your response Alessio! Or am I being incredibly naive here?

  5. Hey Alessio, you need to speak to your webmaster about that magic bit of code that makes a new window open with links you put into your ‘anchor text’, so that folk do not go off your ‘hub’ here. Here’s the science: ; D Clunk click every trip! lol

  6. I don’t agree at all. I think the vast majority of the population doesn’t know of the culture of Goldman Sachs. It’ll only be those in business and finance who have a clue. But the vast majority of the population won’t have much idea. Additionally, I don’t think there is any value in being loyal to a criminal organisation that is causing pain and suffering for others. Greg Smith might not be bringing down the Berlin Wall but just sliding away and sticking to a ‘code of honour’ of keeping quiet is only going to help GS.

    Hope you don’t mind me linking out, but Dave Logan wrote a good piece on the topic on the CBS website, focusing on whether Goldman Sachs contains many “rogue tribes”.

    “(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY Greg Smith, the Goldman Sachs (GS) executive who blasted the firm as he walked out the door, made some stunning allegations in The New York Times. If they’re true, then Goldman Sachs contains many “rogue tribes,” a term my “Tribal Leadership” coauthors and I coined to describe the Mafia, the Spanish Inquisition, al-Qaeda cells and groups that launch Ponzi schemes.

    It’s critical that you know what rogue tribes are, because they either need to be fixed or surgically removed from your company. If left to their own devices, they will destroy everything in their path, and not feel bad about it.”

  7. I agree with your professional morality here, and I will go a little deeper. It’s a sensational headline, but the story is actually sour grapes with the author using the Satan du Jour to justify his view and backbone. The integrity is not quite aligned: I doubt he is going to give back his salary paid for services rendered. ( I also think it takes an intelligent person only a few weeks to sneak a peek behind the corporate sell and witness the true culture.) I have no doubt this man enjoyed a lovely lifestyle and flashed his GS business cards around at chic bars with pride. Well, you can’t have it both ways and have a license to judge after being a part of the very thing you despise. GS didn’t change – HE did. He evolved, he woke up, so perhaps his article’s angle would’ve been better received if it were more personal, rather immaturely blaming a tiger for biting him like a tiger, not the the kitty cat image it lures its prey with.

  8. trust is a bad concept 🙂

  9. vampires have a niche 🙂

  10. Ha Ha Ha,
    My former employers did not want to give me legal Bonus telling me lies about my interpretation of the law…
    After threating us to sue w/ legal letters I get the money after 2 months of war.

    The point is they were treated like DUMB. I have education and I can’t stand being taken for an idiot.

    I have lost respect for them…

    Other employees had the same treatments in others issues.
    leave without telling anybody;
    If you can’t talk about that kind of injustice you were subject to and leave without telling anybody this issues…

    You said one time KOWLEDGE AND ACTION IS POWER not KNOWLEDGE only…

    Loyalty YES but it goes w/ respect.



  11. Hi Alessio. I suppose there is always the possibility that Mr Smith is maybe a little scared of the consequences he would have to face speaking the real truth behind the candy truth he speaks. It may only be a matter of time before someone very high up in one of these banking oligarchs finally breaks and isn’t a psychopath subsequently spilling the beans. I am sure they will have ensured their nests are well feathering before they do which of course makes them no better. If we know what we know then they already know. That makes them cowards too.

  12. Alessio, I have loved all of your writings/talks, but……loyalty to one’s corporate employer?!! When corporate employers exhibit absolutely NO loyalty towards their employees and will fire them at the drop of a hat? I completely fail to see why anyone should practice loyalty towards a corporate employer, particularly if one feels that employer is acting in an unethical way. Loyalty, I feel, is only justified if it’s a two way street. And lastly — how about the supposed loyalty of Goldman Sachs towards its clients? No, I don’t think Greg Smith owes a shred of loyalty towards Goldman Sachs, nor does anyone else in his position.

  13. You guys have seen this, right?

  14. Thought readers of this post might find this interesting Alessio. Hope the link works. I love this web-site for the big picture… Got some juicy fundamental education there…

  15. A fair but not so outstanding viewpoint, what Greg Smith want to do is publicity after losing his GS job, it’s very understandable,he was just a common person in the company, we can’t really expect to know something special from such a loser.

  16. You’re so full of shit, Alessio! 😉
    I’m wondering if GS put you out there thinking ‘even bad press is good press’.

  17. Dear DM. Interesting comment. I am open to criticism, and I am happy for people to disagree with my views. But it seems you’re quick to give an insult, but not able to give a justification to back up what you say. Just a thought. Take care. Alessio

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