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Intro: "Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith excoriated the investment bank in a New York Times op-ed, resigning due to the banks 'toxic and destructive' culture, one in which the bank's trading profits took precedence over its customers' financial well-being. Goldman managers allegedly called customers 'muppets,' and traders routinely asked how much was being made ripping off one customer or another. Goldman has been quick to push back on Smith's claims, portraying him as just a disgruntled employee."

Goldman Sachs' headquarters in New York. Greg Smith wrote in an essay for the New York Times that the firm had lost its moral compass. (photo: Mark Lennihan/AP)
Goldman Sachs' headquarters in New York. Greg Smith wrote in an essay for the New York Times that the firm had lost its moral compass. (photo: Mark Lennihan/AP)



Goldman Sachs Launches Counterattack on Greg Smith

By Pat Garofalo, ThinkProgress

15 March 12

 

oday, Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith excoriated the investment bank in a New York Times op-ed, resigning due to the banks "toxic and destructive" culture, one in which the bank's trading profits took precedence over its customers' financial well-being. Goldman managers allegedly called customers "muppets," and traders routinely asked how much was being made ripping off one customer or another.

Goldman has been quick to push back on Smith's claims, portraying him as just a disgruntled employee. Some employees told Fox Business' Charlie Gasparino that Smith doesn't know what he's talking about because he "never made more than $750,000 a year."

And of course, the financial press has begun reporting anonymous attacks on Smith, quoting "people familiar with the matter" saying that Smith was angry with the size of his bonus and his lack of promotion:

- The Wall Street Journal reported that "people familiar with the matter" said that Smith is just miffed that his bonus was small: "The circumstances of Mr. Smith's departure aren't entirely clear. When Goldman doled out annual bonuses earlier this year, Mr. Smith's small payment became a point of friction, according to people familiar with the matter."

Forbes' Nathan Vardi wrote that Smith is just "having a midlife crisis": "Smith is not the first person who wants to tell his former bosses to shove it. He is also not a whistleblower."

The financial prognosticators at CNBC decided to mock Smith, saying that he would go form a media firm with Rolling Stone writer and staunch Goldman critic Matt Taibbi and the characters from Sesame Street. CNBC also compared Smith to Tom Cruise's character in Jerry Maguire, airing the clip of that film when Cruise asks "who's coming with me?" repeatedly, with no one actually going with him. Fox Business, meanwhile, insinuated that Smith just left because he didn't get a promotion and was paid a small bonus. Watch a compilation:

Bloomberg's William Cohan, author of "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World," said today that Smith is "now in the Witness Protection Program" due to his sure ostracism from Wall Street.

 

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+65 # AndreM5 2012-03-15 07:05
CNBC has a fine motto: We are the Faux News mouthpiece of the Rulers of the Universe, and damn proud of it.
 
 
+19 # robertsgt40 2012-03-15 13:03
"He is also not a whistleblower"- --This part is true. You can't blow the whistle on a widely know fact like Goldman is "toxic and destructive"
 
 
+35 # jlohman 2012-03-15 07:30
Frankly, if I were Smith and following orders, I'd be concerned about going to jail. Which his former CEO, Lloyd Blankfien, may just end up.
 
 
+24 # John Locke 2012-03-15 09:49
Don't hold your breath on Lloyd Blankfien going to jail, his money will always talk loud and clear to our government officials, it will never happen.
 
 
+2 # Anarchist 23 2012-03-16 02:11
Quoting John Locke:
Don't hold your breath on Lloyd Blankfien going to jail, his money will always talk loud and clear to our government officials, it will never happen.

"Money doesn't talk, it swears" Bob Dylan-I think he just wrote that this morning.
 
 
+67 # burner 2012-03-15 07:35
Goldman's rebuttal was to be expected, however the obvious is the obvious. Just look how they peddled the bum mortgages then collected insurance from AIG, and then AIG was bailed out by the taxpayers. But what to expect when they are backed by or members of the CFR?
 
 
+115 # Andrew Hansen 2012-03-15 07:43
Greg Smith has more fortitude and integrity than any of the mouthpieces now trying to shout him down.

Mr. Smith's openness, at considerable risk to himself, is to be commended.
 
 
+38 # John Locke 2012-03-15 09:49
This attack was to be expected, did anyone really believe Goldman Sachs would just roll over and play dead!
 
 
+56 # OpenMind 2012-03-15 07:58
Silence from Goldman Sachs would be to reluctantly agree with Greg Smith on point and we knew THAT would never happen! It amazes me that people continue to do business with these heartless corporations.
 
 
+37 # John Locke 2012-03-15 09:50
Its called stupidity, the 1% isn't all that bright just corrupt!
 
 
-16 # RLF 2012-03-15 08:01
The scumbag army of Harvard elites attacks! Gr! I'll bite off the tassles!
 
 
+120 # tedrey 2012-03-15 08:09
'Smith doesn't know what he's talking about because he "never made more than $750,000 a year."'

That very same attitude of Goldman Sachs' employees pretty much confirms Smith's claims, doesn't it?
 
 
+36 # Texas Aggie 2012-03-15 09:37
That was my take on the comment as well.
 
 
+67 # bugbuster 2012-03-15 08:17
Imagine that. GS has launched a PR counteroffensiv e, and they are saying bad things about Greg Smith. How predictable, unimaginative, and boring it all is.

We all know the facts about the business practices of GS and its ilk. The GS cult members live in a different moral universe from the rest of us. The only thing they will ever understand from us is jail time.
 
 
+23 # John Locke 2012-03-15 09:52
We may all know it, but the PR isn't being geared toward us, its geared toward the 99% that still has its head in the sand. as well as those of the 1% who have no idea what to do with the money they stole.
 
 
+47 # sol4u2 2012-03-15 08:18
If you have not seen Margin Call with Kevin Spacey it is a must see... if that is not Goldman Sachs it is every Wall Street firm involved in the mortgage fiasco... the money the brokers put in their pockets selling worthless investments to clear their books is what killed the American economy - we the people lost and it is time Wall Street was held accountable and brought to task for their greed and corruption!
 
 
+26 # reiverpacific 2012-03-15 08:29
Well they would hit back in a predictable and huffy way, wouldn't they.
BUT I wonder which party any given reader believes?
Credibility for these corporate criminals is shrinking by the minute to the size that they can hopefully be "Drowned in a bathtub (of it's own greed)" to quote one of it's private monopolist advocates Grover Norquist on another subject -(government).
 
 
+12 # Buddha 2012-03-15 08:35
We all know he isn't saying anything that we didn't already know about Goldman. But folks, he worked there for 12 years and didn't have a problem with the culture all that time? As Olberman put up the clip, of Inspector Renault from "Casablanca", "I'm shocked, shocked, that there is gambling in this establishment" (as he gets handed his winnings for the night).
 
 
+33 # Terrapin 2012-03-15 08:47
"It's all I can stands, I can't stands no more." ... Popeye
 
 
+43 # Terrapin 2012-03-15 08:52
It's not TRUE until it's OFFICIALLY Denied.
Thank You GoldmanSacks (and Mammon) for validating Greg Smiths charges.
 
 
+31 # Texas Aggie 2012-03-15 09:39
Why do you think he didn't have a problem before? This isn't something that just happens one morning. It's something that builds up over time until you can't take it anymore, like a decision to get a divorce. You hang in there until it just isn't feasible anymore and then you let it all out.
 
 
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 18:14
Some take longer to get conscience... let's hope he actually did. Time will prove it
 
 
+36 # wibowo 2012-03-15 08:38
I don't take the bonus/ promotion allegation as a contradiction. When I no longer believed in my company, it was hard to perform according to the values I disagreed with. The bonus/ promotion allegation is simply the further evidence for the corrupt mentality in GS.

I am surprised that these reporters genuinely feel so defensive. They are not at all the subject of this debate. The main point of Mr. Smith's statement is that financial institutions should focus on making the clients happy. It sounds like a very sensible and universal business goal. I am surprised with how such a humble vision made reporters so angry. They might be fed by GS' PR material but I thought at least they would present it more professionally.
 
 
+58 # Citizen Mike 2012-03-15 08:42
Let's have a SENATE INVESTIGATION so Smith can be summoned to testify and be questioned about specifics under oath and onthe record. And then it's Blankfein's turn to be questioned. Not unlike the Kefauver Commission investigation into Organized Crime. Which is what Goldman Sachs and other Wall St banks have become a form of.
 
 
+21 # John Locke 2012-03-15 09:54
A senate investigation? the senate should be investigated first!
 
 
+23 # SouthBrun 2012-03-15 09:10
Rather than any concern for what they call a disgruntled former employee,they should be worried about the 99% I laud Greg Smith and encourage others to expose the dirty laundry of Wall Street.
 
 
+27 # tomhanigan@gmail.com 2012-03-15 09:16
Goldman can't handle the message so they strike at the messenger. We've seen it before, we'll see it again. Yawn.
 
 
-5 # dick 2012-03-15 10:51
The central figure here is not Smith or even Blankenstein. It is OBAMA, who met personally with the biggest crooks & promised to protect them from us, which he has. This is criminal obstruction of justice that would make John Mitchell envious. Even Nixon didn't save the Plumbers. Obama has actively obstructed prosecution of those who ordered illegal torture also. Obama may be a better debater than Palin (tee hee) but he has protected the very same people she would have, no? Face it.
 
 
+14 # joestecher 2012-03-15 14:09
oh dick, give it up. you GOPTB can't pass any story without turning it around so it faces the President. Keep to the story, dick:GS's morals have sunk to the gutter. now watch the clients flee ... in droves, just like they're fleeing Rush.
 
 
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 18:18
And he didn't allow GS to continue without an investigation? I usually do not agree with Dick but this time...GS has been given way tooooo much room to do what it wants.
 
 
+16 # davidhp 2012-03-15 11:00
So Goldman Sachs is cheating it clients - one corporate elitist organization cheating other corporate elitist organizations. Goldman Sachs and its clients are all corporate robber barons.
 
 
+17 # 4yourinformation 2012-03-15 11:55
"Disgruntled employee" Same old load of crap brought out again to smear whistleblowers. This is just a warning to anyone else who might be thinking of talking out loud.

The end is near for GS.
 
 
+16 # MainStreetMentor 2012-03-15 12:19
In this issue, there's probably a degree of truth on each side of the ledger. But ... I think everyone knows of the malfeasance of Goldman-Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank. With any luck - we'll begin to hear from other "whistle-blower s", (or disgruntled employees or former employees), now that Greg Smith has spoken his piece. Sure hope so.
 
 
+14 # Karlus58 2012-03-15 12:53
These guys on CNBC, how can you take them seriously? They are the Muppets. That Cramer guy, he's been dead wrong numerously and he's still out there blow-harding. He actually believes himself.
 
 
+7 # joestecher 2012-03-15 14:12
I truly don'tunderstand what's happened to MSNBC. At one point it was reputable, but like you say, they took to Cramer and a few others and have gone down hill. I can stand only a few of the anchors anymore.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2012-03-15 16:09
You mean CNBC.
 
 
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 18:21
NBC was played out years ago putting the extra letters didn't make it any better just more republican.
 
 
+14 # walt 2012-03-15 14:10
"..."Smith never made more than $750,000 a year."

Wow! Imagine that! Did the poor guy just make (maybe) $700,000? How sad!

These guys sure are an arrogant lot making big money off hard working people who had to bail them out and now suffer with their 401 K plans!

Maybe "miserable swine" applies to Goldman Sachs??
 

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