I was really inspired to read about a former Goldman Sachs employee who has spoken out about what he calls the "toxic" way in which the investment bank is run.
Greg Smith, who headed Goldman's equity derivatives business in the US, shared a resignation letter with the New York Times. The letter expressed how he felt about working for a company who's ethics seem to be focussed on making money at whatever apparent cost and how it had lost sight of how it can help it's investors.
Here is an excerpt from his letter to the New York Times:
- "Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm 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.
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. 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.
How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an axe murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.
I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It's purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them."
(This excerpt was taking from an article in the independent. To view it in it's entirety follow the link below
Now from what I know of the banking and financial system, pretty much everyone is in it to make money. But what is so inspiring about this for me is that this guy is in effect standing up and saying that this way of conducting business is not right, and I am no longer want to be a part of a system which works in this way. That takes some courage, especially as he is likely to be outcasted by a lot of people close to him. I say fair play to you Greg Smith an Inspiration to us all.