Goldman Exec Crushes GS Culture in New York Times

Read CEO Lloyd Blankfein's response here.

Today, Greg Smith, the head of Goldman Sachs' equity derivatives business in the U.S., published a brutal expose of Goldman's culture in a letter to the New York Times. Smith, an executive director at the firm and employee for over 12 years, wrote, “I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.”

Smith's describes Goldman's corrupted culture, where employees prioritize personal profit at the expense of clients. “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off.” Smith claims that the selfish profiteering done by Goldman employees is now an integral part of the firm's culture. “Will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact."

Smith's letter comes alongside his resignation from the firm. “I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.”

“Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.”

Weigh in: Does Smith's letter surprise you? Can Goldman Sachs ever recover its reputation as the premier investment bank in the world?

Photo Credit: Flickr.