Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Greg Smith is speaking out for the first time since he left the bank in the most public way possible, writing a critical editorial in “The New York Times.” Smith is now publicizing his book, “Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story,” and sat down with CBS News correspondent Anderson Cooper for an interview to air on “60 Minutes” on Sunday October 21.
In the interview, Smith tells Cooper he hoped his op-ed resignation would be a wake-up call for the company he once took pride in. “There are a lot of people who acknowledge things internally. But no one is willing it say it publicly…the only way, you force people to change the system, is by saying something publicly,” he said. (CBS)
We truly live in a fast world. How many even remember Mr Smith, who resigned from GS only some weeks ago. Since then we have been occupied with the Grexit, the Spanish imploding economy and the London whale. Below, a must read piece by Vanity Fair on Goldman Sachs, Mr Smith, and the future of the world’s most powerful player.
It was the op-ed heard round the world. “When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival,” wrote Goldman Sachs vice president Greg Smith in a March 14, 2012, piece published on the op-ed page of The New York Times on the day he was quitting the firm. He went on to accuse his employer of doing exactly the opposite of its No. 1 business principle, which famously trumpets that clients’ interests come first.
Smith’s indictment went viral, and with it came renewed speculation that Lloyd Blankfein, 57—who rose through Goldman’s dog-eat-dog commodity-trading business to become the firm’s C.E.O. in 2006, when Henry “Hank” Paulson Jr. departed for the Treasury Department—will be forced to step down. Ever since Goldman’s questionable behavior during the mortgage crisis became fodder for a 2010 congressional hearing, there’s been a sporadic guessing game about who might succeed Blankfein and when. Right now, it’s game on.