To jaded folks in the business journalism field, op-eds rarely make your jaw drop. Today, one did it for me. And apparently I'm not alone. The Internet is buzzing with it.
It's a piece titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs" by Greg Smith in The New York Times. Greg Smith is, well, I guess was, an executive director there and head of the firm's U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
"To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for."
He goes on to criticize the firm's sales practices and leadership in detail. You can read the whole piece here.
"We disagree with the views expressed, which we don't think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves," a Goldman spokesperson countered in a statement issued this morning.
Op-eds can be poignant sometimes. Even critical and acerbic. But rarely do you find one with such a blunt point of view. The Internet buzz is loaded with astonishment to cheerleading to snarky remarks about Smith's possible self-interest. It should be fun debate today both on-air and on the Internet.