Monday, April 15, 2013
Date: 14 April 2013 07:00
Producer: Esté de Klerk
Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender
Show: Carte Blanche
Wall Street, New York City - the exemplar of power, money, wealth... It's the centre of commerce and the financial capital of the globe, home to the largest financial markets in the world - the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange.
And if you're serious about being a mover and shaker in the financial world, this is where you want to work.
It's where Greg Smith found himself at the age of 21, when he was employed by one of Wall Street's most distinguished banks, Goldman Sachs.
Devi Sankaree Govender (Carte Blanche presenter): "Place Goldman Sachs into context, who are they?"
Greg Smith (Former Wall Street investment banker): "Goldman Sachs currently and frankly 12 years ago was the biggest, most prestigious investment bank in the world. So when I got a job there, it was a great, very happy day for me."
But it didn't come easy for this matriculant from King David School in Linksfield. He grew up in Edenvale in the east of Johannesburg in a middle class family and had to get a scholarship to study. With eight distinctions he was one of only 32 applicants around the world to win a full bursary to Stanford University in California.
Greg: "When I was at Stanford, Goldman Sachs was what people would call the Rolls Royce of investment banks. They took big companies like Microsoft public, Sears, Ford and it was really a golden name and what I would say a lot of people strived for."
As did Greg, after he interned at Goldman Sachs in his final year at Stanford. Only one in 45 candidates who apply is employed. When he got the job, it seemed to him that things couldn't get much bigger or better.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
By GREG SMITH
Published: March 14, 2012
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
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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.