The New York Times published a resignation letter today by Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs and the head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Smith lambasted the company for behavior he described as unprincipled at best and wholly uninterested in the well-being of their clients at worst.
The letter has set the business world ablaze with controversy and handed the firm a major public relations challenge. But Smith is not the only one fed up with his employer's changing ways.
Darth Vader is apparently also sick of the deteriorating culture at the Empire. The Daily Mash has published a letter in which the masked man rails against the Empire's changing focus. "To put the problem in the simplest terms," he writes, "throttling people with your mind continues to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making people dead."
Both men apparently joined their institutions as interns straight out of college (Stanford for Smith, Yoda College for Vader) and dedicated their lives to the organizations they are now leaving.
In the Times letter, Smith noted that while leadership used to be about espousing and inspiring certain principles in the firm's employees, "Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence."
Vader has grown wary of a similar emphasis on monetary gains at the Empire, noting that even those with a "disturbing lack of faith" can climb the dark side's corporate ladder:
What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm's 'axes', which is Empire-speak for persuading your clients to invest in 'prime-quality' residential building plots on Alderaan that don't exist and have not existed since we blew it up. b) 'Hunt Elephants'. In English: get your clients - some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren't - to tempt their friends to Cloud City and then betray them. c) Hand over rebel smugglers to an incredibly fat gangster.
The two letters are certainly worth a read. Vader follows Smith's template with surprising precision ("Hunt Elephants" is Goldman-speak for getting one's clients to do whatever is in the best interest of the bank, for example).
In the end, both men say they're hoping their resignation spurs reform and a return to the old ways their employers did business. In Vader's case, that requires the Empire to "make killing people in terrifying and unstoppable ways the focal point of your business again."
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