The truth about Goldman Sachs and the Muppets

October 10, 2012

We can trade futures WHERE? (Scott Garfield)

Remember Greg Smith? Back in March, the London trader left Goldman Sachs and accused the firm of maintaining a "toxic" culture where executives frequently referred to clients as "muppets." Well, according to the Financial Times, Goldman has now looked into the matter and...

Goldman responded by launching an investigation into what was nicknamed internally “the muppet hunt”. The investigators interviewed dozens of staff and sifted through millions of emails, finding about 4,000 “muppet” references. But they said 99 per cent of those referred to last year’s movie of the same name.

However, one email sent to Mr Smith did refer to clients as “muppets”. A salesperson wrote: “The muppets don’t understand they can trade the futures through a block with other liquidity providers.” Goldman executives claim that the language, though disparaging, did not mean the salesperson was attempting to take advantage of clients but to help them understand a trade. It continued: “Can you summarise an email on how it works?”

Okay, then. As Cardiff Garcia points out, that works out to around 40 non-movie muppet references...

Related: Read Suzy Khimm's old post for a more serious look at some of Greg Smith's concerns with how banks like Goldman do business.

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Suzy Khimm · October 10, 2012