Goldman Sachs executive’s op-ed lights up blogosphere, Twitter

A former Goldman Sachs executive’s opinion piece in Wednesday’s New York Times is a must-read for anyone who has ever fantasized about dealing a major blow to a grudge-inducing former employer.

In the essay, Greg Smith called the investment bank’s culture “toxic and destructive” and said that he could “no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place [Goldman Sachs] was to work. “

Smith also said that some of Goldman’s managing directors refer to their clients as “muppets” and that the company has become more focused on generating profits than on doing right by its investors.

Smith -- who headed the firm’s U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa -- said he was resigning on Wednesday after 12 years at the company.

The blogosphere and Twitter lit up with reactions to Smith’s scathing comments. Here is a roundup of some of the snarkiest ones.

*The Daily Mash has spoofed Smith’s essay with a piece titled “Why I am leaving the Empire, by Darth Vader.” Most clutch line? “The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of Yoda College that I can no longer in good conscience point menacingly and say that I identify with what it stands for.”

*Deadspin looked past all the article’s condemnations of corporate greed to home in on what it deemed the essay’s real purpose: To tell the world that Greg Smith is a table tennis God.

*Blogger Joshua M. Brown had some advice for Smith in a post titled “How to quit a job without publishing an op-ed.” His pithiest suggestion for coping with a cut-throat corporate environment: “Deal with it or leave and open an Etsy store.”

*On Twitter, Forbes blogger Josh Barro questioned the timing of Smith’s resignation and his essay, saying, “If Greg Smith was that disgusted, he didn’t have to wait until 2011 bonuses had been paid to leave Goldman.”

*After the story had ping-ponged all over Twitter, user Justin Fox joked, “Hey, somebody ought to retweet that op-ed by the Goldman guy in today’s NYT.”

Seen any other humorous takes on this story? Tell us in the comments section.

Sarah Halzack is a reporter and Web editor for Capital Business. She covers the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. Previously, she was a Web producer for the Post's daily business and economic news section. She occasionally writes for other sections at the Post, most frequently in the form of dance reviews, dance features, book reviews and obituaries.
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