Unlocking Real Value Blog

Don’t Apologize Goldman Sachs

Greg Smith is the proverbial straw that broke this camels back!  Having endured constant criticism of the financial services industry and its participants since 2008, I have had enough. Goldman Sachs is not perfect. The industry is not perfect. But Greg Smith is an opportunist, and I wouldn’t waste a penny on his book or a minute more watching him on TV.

Yes I’m mad. As with everything in life, the truth of this situation probably lies somewhere in the middle. Goldman Sachs has made mistakes and employees probably talked about some of their clients behind their backs in less than flattering terms. But let’s be realistic – it happens in every industry and every company. Capitalism is not always pretty, and yes we need to have effective regulation – but the free enterprise system is the best one out there.

And Mr. Smith was probably a decent employee; if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have lasted a year in that environment. And we will never know if he did in fact ask for $1 million during the financial crisis and when others were being laid off (he didn’t answer that question when directly posed to him on 60 minutes).

What we do know is that he took his $500,000 a year in compensation for a number of years, don’t we? He was able to stomach the environment long enough to make some money. I guess he was able to put his disgust aside…..

I was upset when he first quit via a New York Times editorial – I thought then, as I do now, that it was grandstanding and self-serving. The release of his book is more of the same. I understand that American’s love gossip, and everyone loves to hate Wall Street and Goldman Sachs. But there is nothing earth-shattering in this book according to the reviews and interviews. It’s just part two of his plan to make himself more money.

I see nothing more than an opportunist here looking to take advantage of an anti-financial services environment to his own benefit. Period. Angry? Yes I’m angry. What gets lost again are all of the honest people. Goldman Sachs is not the enemy. Financial Services is not the enemy. Lets fix things – not try to make them worse and more divisive.

Mr. Smith – you have done yourself and the industry a disservice. I hope that your 15 minutes of fame is soon over for good.

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