Other Articles The Goldman Sachs Guy Could Write

goldman sachs resignation

Someone just resigned from Goldman Sachs because he found out that the people there are focused on making money. WHOA. People are shocked! The former Goldman employee claimed in the New York Times:

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….

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.


He concludes:

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.

So, the entire piece is “why you so focused on money!!!?” and then he conludes that people at Goldman should do the right thing to make more money.


What’s great about this is the way the author has seemingly never read a book about financial culture written in the 80′s. If he had he would realize these were not revelations. But then, the good old days he’s talking about, with their old timey values, those were in 2000.

The fact that this man was at Goldman 12 years an only just realized that investment bankers tend to prioritize “making money” is kind of… I’m trying to find a word that isn’t “hilarious.” Let’s say “unobservant.” (And I see nothing wrong with people wanting to make money – go squids, go.)

What a brave stance – observing things that are obvious to everyone who has ever watched Wall Street.

Since he is unemployed now, and presumably has reaped the benefits of being in an industry that prioritizes making money,  he can become a writer! I have some hot topics for him to tackle. Namely:

“Have you heard men like hitting on younger women?”

“Women wear sundresses when it is warm out!”

“Has pubic hair gone the way of the dodo?”

“College kids today – hooking up, not going on formal dates as much!”

“Teenage girls have funny habits! Also, we hate them.”

“Some young guys really seem to enjoy dressing nicely. What!?”

“Have you heard about this thing called Pinterest?”

Seriously dude, all of these things will actually be covered by the New York Times again, in the near future. Be on it.


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    • Ashley Cardiff

      extra points for “Teenage girls have funny habits! Also, we hate them.”

    • porkchop

      You used Bonfire of the Vanities to trick me into reading about this tiresome man, so now I am punishing you with my Tom Wolfe fangirl pedantism: Dunning Sponget was the law firm where McCoy’s father was; he did his bond trading at Pierce and Pierce.

      • Jennifer Wright

        I know! His father was called the Lion of Dunning, Sponget and Leach. He took the subway to work every morning and was generally deeply moral. In the good old days. Not like Sherman’s day, where all was depravity.

        Sherman’s day was 1987.

        (Fun fact: Patrick Bateman also worked at P&P).

      • porkchop

        Yeah, I totally did not get what you did there until you explained it. I’ve never thought of anyone in a Tom Wolfe book as “moral.” McCoy Sr. seemed naive, self-righteous and ultimately useless, so in that way, he and this Goldman Sachs turkey really do have a lot in common. So, wow, I am eating my words because that quote works in earnest or as sarcasm.

        Where I thought you were going with that reference was to say that neither the author of that article nor the junior analyst bros he criticizes could hang in the sleek world of 80s greed. Tom Wolfe would never even bother to satirize a man whose mission statement would make Cameron Crowe throw up.

        I love that book.

    • MR

      WSJ had an article, about the New York Times article, this morning. Yeah it’s news, not new news.

    • Avodah

      I think you can focus on what is best for the client *and* make money. On a side note- basically all forms of credit we have (credit cards, home loans, student loans, small business loans, etc.) exist because of investment banking.

      I know they are the lowest common denominator for jokes these days, but if you think it is that bad- please feel free to never, ever, ever use credit..ever.

      • Jennifer Wright

        I suppose historically I do just hate everyone who works in finance.

      • Avodah

        I don’t have the emotional energy to hate anybody because of the industry they work in.