What the F**?

The story below on Goldman Sachs has my blood boiling. I grew up with a father who worked on Wall Street (Lee, Higgins before WWII, White, Weld & Co. after)  who had the highest integrity of any man I knew. But not higher than his colleagues and friends on Wall Street – these guys had class, so what the hell happened? My dad had an MBA from Columbia, circa 1929 (great timing, guy) but most of his friends didn’t – it wasn’t considered a career advancement in that era, so is it the business schools that corrupted these people? I don’t know, but something has gone wrong down there.

14 Comments

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14 responses to “What the F**?

  1. AFW

    Now, perhaps, we can eradicate the GS cabal running our economy/country from the Treasury, Congress (CT-4th District especially) and 85 Broad Street.

  2. Helsa Poppin

    Let’s not tar everyone with the same brush. Plenty of people on Wall Street (even at GS) have behaved ethically throughout their careers and I’m sure are as disgusted by the fraudsters as you are.

    No place is so sacrosanct that it can’t harbor bad people – governors’ mansions, church pulpits, elementary school classrooms, public parks, doctors’ offices – there’s scum everywhere.

  3. Helsa Poppin

    No, Goldman is the most corrupt of the corrupt. Big clue is how many people they have placed in government. Haven’t you ever known anybody who’s worked there?

    • In 1979 or so, my dad gave up on Wall Street, saying he no longer understood it. I think that, until then, he thought it an honest market place (albeit with crooks on the edges) but as executive pay soared and perks abounded, he no longer saw shareholders being rewarded. He died in 1988, and missed the real fun.

  4. Inagua

    Goldman has always been run by a cabal of contemptible hypocrites.

    Just one recent example from the Michael Lewis book: When a client wanted to short a synthetic CDO, Goldman got AIG to write it at a 1% premium, and then charged the customer 2%. That’s a 100% commission. How is this possible? Only in an unregulated market. Why was the market unregulated? In part because two Godman CEOs who became Treasury Secretaries (Rubin and Paulson) testified against regulation to Congress, and the financially illiterate leading members of the relevant Congressional Committes like Barney Frank and Chuck Shumer got huge campaign contributions from Goldman.

  5. Anonymous

    The whole thing makes me sick!! What is happening to the world!!

  6. Peg

    Christopher, I must admit up front that I am way too ignorant to understand all the machinations of today’s Wall Street. Yet, I have enough intelligence to understand this: something is rotten, and it ain’t in Denmark.

    For those who work hard, create something, steer a large corporation to great success, help clients to earn wealth – let them reap rewards, too. This is capitalism and free markets at their best.

    The Wall Street that we have seen for some years – and frankly, corporate governance, too – makes a sham of all this. I do not understand how a CEO of a company that ends up with mediocre performance earns tens of millions – or more – per year. I do not understand how a company can take in billions for themselves as their clients go down the tubes – particularly when evidence is good that they knew they were sending their clients southward. I do not understand why the system works in such a way that a few in power are able to make billions from financial manipulations, with seemingly little benefit for others than themselves.

    Like I said – I really am ignorant of all the inner-workings. But – that being said – to a common sense, Midwest girl, something really does seem to stink.

    And, it seems that these people are fouling the nest for all the rest of us who do yearn for a Wall Street that worked as it did in the days when your dad was there.

  7. Founding Father

    “We do God`s work.” Lloyd Blankfein C.E.O. Goldman Sachs.

  8. Fly Girl

    My ex worked for Goldman from the late 70s to the mid 90s. He hated the culture inside and really dreaded going to work with people he neither liked nor respected. I’m sure that’s why he got let go but he says it was the best thing that ever happened to him (yes, above marrying me!) I couldn’t stomach the Goldman Wives Club – ugh, most of the women were the beyond egregious, many thrilled their husbands worked long hours so they didn’t have to put up with them at home. As one wife said to me years ago “size DOES matter – the size of the paycheck!” 🙂

  9. armonk

    I worked at Merrill when they acquired White Weld. I was assigned to the WW office at 300 Park Ave in Manhattan as Assistant Mgr and worked there with some great people from 1980 to 1983.

  10. shoeless

    SEC suits against financial firms will be good for Greenwich real estate, right Foobar?

  11. Greenwich Gal

    Puh-leeeze! You think all this financial chicanery is just in recent times??!! Ha! I suggest you re-read your history. Financial scandals abound through the eras – just pick one. It is human nature, unfortunately.

  12. out looking in

    CF-

    GS MDs are the sharkiest of the sharks, not necessarily the brightest. That is some myth spun from who knows where..but they do know how to make money!! if absolute power corrupts absolutely- then the race for “absolute” wealth certainly enhances the probabilities of “unethical” behavior..but something has certainly happened along the way in American culture- not sure if it is hero worship or lust- but wealth’s status has certainly climbed to the top of the list of this society’s values pyramid…oh well, I have to jump now to see what Oprah and Clooney and Dowd and Frank Rich and MJ and Tiger and Trump and Wynn and Cruise have to say on ET tonight so I will know what to say and think tomorrow!!