• Goldman Sachs Exec Suddenly Grows a Conscience

    It's no secret that everybody's favorite person to talk to is the guy who spends two decades smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and then one day decides to quit because he can't feel his lungs anymore and suddenly realizes it's time to lecture any person he sees lighting one up at a barbecue. People love that guy! He is, almost without exception, considered the very finest in humanity! ("Please, former smoker guy, tell me more about how I should live my life!" – you and everyone else.)

    You know what, though? I think we just found a very very close second place guy

    "Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — 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."

    That's Greg Smith, former executive director of Goldman Sachs, burning and salting the bridge fields of his former life in very much the same way that regular people address their grievances with past employers: on the New York Times Op-Ed page.

    You see, Smith just recently got around to ending a 12-year career working for one of the most materialistic elitist paragons of objectivist thought in the history of human civilization. Why? Well, apparently, some of the people working there call their clients "muppets." Or something…

    "Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. 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. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

    "It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets,' sometimes over internal e-mail."

    Oh my! I'll tell you. I spent more than a decade working in the retail and food industries before transitioning into the lucrative profession of blogging, and I never heard any of my fellow employees call one of our customers a "muppet." "Cocksucker," yes. "Piece of shit," a few times. "Waste of human life," on occasion. But never "muppet." There are some lines that shan't be crossed!

    Congratulations, Mr. Smith, for your newfound sense of integrity and humanity. I wish you and the millions upon millions of dollars you've stuffed into your bank account nothing but the best. Hopefully your book deal and new life as a moralistic pundit will be half as profitable as your former one as an venerated nobleman of the plutocracy.

    Photo by Jin Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images

    Tags: Economy, Goldman Sachs, Money


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