Daily Archives: March 14, 2012

Top level bankers resigning in droves. What does this mean?

I have been seeing reports lately that an unusually large number of top level banking and finance executives worldwide have been resigning their positions. The American Kabuki website features a report titled, 320 RESIGNATIONS FROM WORLD BANKS, INVESTMENT HOUSES, MONEY FUNDS, and a Japanese website has posted some amazing graphs of resignations by region, by country, and by company.

Now, today, the New York Times is reporting that, “Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

And Smith is not going quietly. The Times has published his Op-Ed article in which he explains the basis for his action. It begins with this…

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

By GREG SMITH

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.

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. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. 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.

I urge everyone to read the rest of the article here.