Lifestyle & Belief

Greg Smith op-ed ignites firestorm of controversy


NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: People walk past Goldman Sachs headquarters on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Former Goldman Sachs executive director Greg Smith wrote a scathing editorial about the company while resigning in yesterday's New York Times.


Mario Tama

Greg Smith took what most of us do in a bar after work, and turned it into an internet sensation. He complained about his boss.

If you haven't read Smith's op-ed piece, "Why I'm Leaving Goldman Sachs," which appeared in The New York Times yesterday, you might be alone. Smith's op-ed, in which he denounced Goldman Sachs as "morally bankrupt," has caused a tremendous stir online.

Smith, who is leaving the company on his own free will, said that after 12 years with the company he could no longer stand the culture of not caring about clients' needs first. 

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Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn reacted to Smith's charges in an internal memo obtained by CNN Money. It said: "Needless to say, we were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients."

Others had far less serious reactions to Smith's claims. Stephen Colbert called Smith crazy. He said, "You never go public with complaints about your bosses."

Business Insider compiled a list of memorable Tweets about Smith, including one from Twitter user @GSElevator that said, "I bet Greg Smith doesn't know shit about 'guy code' either."

Another Twitter user, @BenSchwartzy, commented on Smith's inexplicable admission that he is an amazing ping pong player and his potential dating opportunities. "So Greg Smith got the NYT to advertise him as a wealthy genius, moral role model, and star athlete. #BestJ-DateProfileEVER," he wrote.

On the more serious side of these reactions, a video which appeared on Bloomberg said, "Smith is 'toast' on Wall Street."

Commenters seem to be divided on this latest, as the Times put it, "screw you, I quit", resignation. In one corner are the supporters saying bravo for publicly outing a company for its poor business practices. In the other corner is everyone else, staying quiet and waiting to hit the bar after work to tell everyone how they really feel. 

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