Departing Goldman banker slams "rip-off" culture

City A.M. Reporter
A Goldman Sachs banker has launched a withering attack on the bank in a newspaper column announcing his resignation, saying that several managing directors at the Wall Street firm had referred to their own clients as "muppets".

In an opinion column for Wednesday's New York Times, Greg Smith, who worked in equity derivatives, said Goldman had become "as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it".

"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"," Smith said in the newspaper.

"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 ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence."

Goldman Sachs issued a short statement in response: "We disagree with the views expressed, which we don't think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves."