Why Was Executive Greg Smith Shocked by Greed at Goldman Sachs?

Yet again, Goldman Sachs has seen its reputation plummet in the public eye. A scathing resignation letter-cum-opinion piece by a disgruntled midlevel executive published in Wednesday’s New York Times quickly went viral and was the talk of the financial town. And it was quite the letter, filled with accusations of a “toxic and destructive” culture, of executives expressing unmitigated scorn for clients, including referring to hapless ones as “muppets,” and general disdain for anything except profit and more profit, whatever the ethical or moral costs.

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Banks Are Hurting? It’s All Relative

The latest out of Wall Street-land is a warning by analysts at Citibank that profits at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley (and to a lesser degree at other banks as well) will show a sharp contraction for the second quarter of 2011. Leaving aside the inside baseball nature of one Wall Street firm issuing a negative report on other firms, the decline in profitability stands in contrast to the widespread perception that banks and investment houses are booming while the rest of the economy is suffering. Or does it?

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The Insider Trading Scandal: Is It the Crime or the Prosecution?

The media is abuzz with the news that the former head of McKinsey consulting, Goldman Sachs director and current board member of Proctor & Gamble Rajat Gupta has been charged with insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He is now the highest-profile individual to be implicated in the widespread investigation driven by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that has already ensnared dozens of lower-level traders and Raj Rajaratnam, former head of hedge fund Galleon.

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