In The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein defines Goldman Sachs' view of conflicts, but his concept of the relationship between an advisor and its clients is alien to the tenets of trust and fiduciary obligations.
Will America continue to be a "good guy" nation in our own eyes and the eyes of the world? Or will some businesses lead us into a downward spiral and will average Americans allow ourselves to be swept up in it?
Congratulations Greg Smith for waking up. However, we already knew about the toxic state of the financial culture. We are living through its consequences. It's time for the rest of the bankers to be forced to look in the mirror and for us to take action against them.
It takes guts (and a little bit of crazy) to flame out in such a public way. Yet we watched it play out Wednesday as company executive Greg Smith, the most recent corporate whistleblower of sorts, called it like he saw it.
Clearly people comfortable in the Washington-Wall Street axis have no sense of shame. They know all too well what Goldman and the other financial swindlers have been up to, causing so much misery for tens of millions throughout the world.
Has anyone not involved in a crime blown out of a major firm with a more devastating sendoff? Smith took no prisoners: "Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent." Exactly zero!
Perhaps we need more Greg Smith-type truth-telling from those who have lived in the belly of the beast on Wall Street and in Washington. That'd be a good start. But while one person leaving with a kiss-and-tell story salves his or her conscience, it doesn't alter structural imbalances.
A 12-year veteran of Goldman Sachs wrote a scathing editorial for the New York Times about his resignation from the finance giant, in which he blasts the company for putting client interests secondary to profits. In other news, Darth Vader announced he is leaving the Empire.