Why I Left Goldman Sachs, Or, How the World's Most Powerful Bank Made A Killing but Lost Its Soul

Smith, Greg

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
Why I Left Goldman Sachs, Or, How the World's Most Powerful Bank Made A Killing but Lost Its Soul
Grand Central Pub

On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell Op-Ed in the New York Times titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society -- and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago. Smith now picks up where his Op-Ed left off.

His story begins in the summer of 2000, when an idealistic 21-year-old arrives as an intern at Goldman Sachs and learns about the firm's Business Principle #1: Our clients' interests always come first. This remains Smith's mantra as he rises from intern to analyst to sales trader, with clients controlling assets of more than a trillion dollars.

From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world's most powerful bank.

Smith describes in page-turning detail how the most storied investment bank on Wall Street went from taking iconic companies like Ford, Sears, and Microsoft public to becoming a "vampire squid" that referred to its clients as "muppets" and paid the government a record half-billion dollars to settle SEC charges. He shows the evolution of Wall Street into an industry riddled with conflicts of interest and a profit-at-all-costs mentality: a perfectly rigged game at the expense of the economy and the society at large.

After conversations with nine Goldman Sachs partners over a twelve-month period proved fruitless, Smith came to believe that the only way the system would ever change was for an insider to finally speak out publicly. He walked away from his career and took matters into his own hands. This is his story.

Baker & Taylor
A full-length account based on the author's 2012 op-ed of the same title reveals the unsettling changes he witnessed throughout his career that prompted him to resign from the once-esteemed investment bank, discussing his growing disenchantment with the company's corporate culture and the ways he believes clients were exploited.

Hachette Book Group
This is a book about Wall Street.

& Taylor

Reveals the unsettling changes that prompted the author to resign from the once-esteemed investment bank, as he discusses his growing disenchantment with the company's corporate culture and its exploitation of its clients.

Publisher: New York : Grand Central Pub., c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781455527472
Branch Call Number: 332.6609 S
Characteristics: 276 p. ; 24 cm.


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May 01, 2013
  • BPLNextBestAdults rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Greed is good. Bright and ambitious, Greg Smith quickly moved up the ranks of financial behemoth, Goldman Sachs only to realize the glaring disconnect between the bank’s business practices and their motto –“putting customers first.” The author became an international sensation when the New York Times published his resignation letter that explained his disenchantment and described the toxic atmosphere at the bank. His fascinating book provides more details about the corporate culture and oversize personalities of the investment banking world. kw

Feb 06, 2013
  • delfon rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a fabulous method for discovery, not only of how the world has been changing, but how finding and retaining a very (nice) job requires meeting diverse peoples and having supreme confidence. Passing Series 7, and the FPA test in Britain, is no easy feat. Goldman has (had) a great training program. The alluding to a changing culture at GS is not just restricted to GS; even the author shows his own weak morality with his sloppy morals. So the shift for helping clients to sticking it to clients has semblance in a lack of respect, brought on perhaps by a perpetually changing and unanchored world. A very good introduction to those seeking to develop a career with a major hiring entity. Here is the authors overview from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html?pagewanted=all

Another book of similar reach is J. Rogers, Street Smarts, wherein the author asserts the necessity for studies in history and philosophy.
He is a partner in the Quantum fund with G. Soros.

Jan 12, 2013
  • Gary Geiserman rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A nice Jewish boy writes an enjoyable reminiscence of going to ‘Goldie’ (Goldman, Sachs), a valhalla of financial legal crime. Of course, Greg is very smart and VERY A-type over-achieving. This is what Goldie recruits; the retention rate is very LOW. Goldie burns out these alphas young and feasts on their carcasses. ======= These guys come in NOT KNOWING MUCH. Can you believe this? Imagine medical doctors practicing on you learning on the job? WOWs-ville, man. ======= This guy does seem definitely to be a good guy, but man was he naive. He bought all the ‘Harvard’ style hype of a ruling class institution. Most of the Hitlers are dupes, as is classically always. The real demons are shills and know EXACTLY what they and the ‘firm’ are doing. ======== Very sparse on trading or derivatives, but, if you already know how it works this is a pleasant story. Several better books about the real “Big Swinging Dicks” rocking our World, but this will sell and this guy will make yet more $; so it goes for those wired to succeed (at anything). My real anger here is in the down-playing of how irresponsible all this deregulation really is. Starting w/Reagan, the TAKE-OVER of the dumbed-down US and World is centered on the Financial Institution here because of the repeal of Glass-Stegal (sp?). Bad Cops are legal! These thiefs are legally allowed to take everybody’s money! Smith does describe this well, but only at the very end. They have knowledge of both sides of all trades. They can’t lose. The CDS’s (betting against their own clients’ firms) should put these guys in the electric chair on live tv! The medical doctor treating your loved one knowingly prescribed a drug that would kill them and was paid off by the Drug Co for doing so. My only amazement is that this was actually stated publicly as the cause of the financial crisis. The only greater amazement is that ‘we, the people’ aren’t stopping it. ======== Not to worry, be spiritual. I mean it, be spiritual and move to the new world. I’m not kidding. [in Goldman London the criminals prance around in $8,000 suits w/o ties, 2 buttons open for chest hair. War Crimes Tribunal anyone?] [Anyone paranoid about the British still?]


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Why I Left Goldman Sachs, Or, How the World's Most Powerful Bank Made A Killing but Lost Its Soul
Smith, Greg
Why I Left Goldman Sachs, Or, How the World's Most Powerful Bank Made A Killing but Lost Its Soul

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