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Forum Post: Greg Smith Resigns and Spills The Beans on Goldman Sachs! Is OWS's message starting to resonate?

Posted 9 years ago on March 16, 2012, 3:15 a.m. EST by Odin (583)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Greg Smith was the executive director and head of Goldman Sach's US equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa......and this past Wednesday on the 14th of March, Mr. Smith resigned. It wasn't just his resignation that made news, but it was the spectacular way he did it. His resignation appeared in the New York Times op-ed page..... and in his letter he slammed the unscrupulous practices of Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Smith said, "I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people, its identity. And I can honestly say that the enviroment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.....To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money..." Mr. Smith went on to say that in the past year, "I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as muppets [British for a stupid person]."

One of Mr. Smith's other jobs at GS was recruiting talent from business schools, and managing the summer intern program in sales and trading. He said, "I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work."

Adding to Mr. Smith's resignation are students in Yale and Harvard.... when the the big banks came a calling....they were holding up signs and chanting things like, "Take a chance, don't go into finance." At Princeton University, a group affiliated with OWS interrupted sessions by JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs, urging their fellow students to rebel against what is "the campus culture that whitewashes the crooked dealings of Wall St. as a prestigious career path."

In Austin, Texas a panel convened which was called, "Keeping the Kids off The Street: Wall St. vs. Start-ups. and the question that was posed was whether the finance industry was to blame for what it called a, "failure to nurture a culture of innovation." One student named Ben Pruden who is in his second year at McCombs School of Business in Austin said, "I have no interest at working at Goldman," he also said, "I want to build something. I don't want to be working in an industry that effectively leeches off other industries."

Getting back to Greg Smith, one of his friends on facebook said, "Wow courageous stuff Smithers!", another friend put it very succinctly when he said, "I am proud of you Greg. You are showing the World their higher selves."

I don't think that I would be going out on a limb in speaking for the Occupy movement in saying, 'We are all proud of you too, Greg." It is time we all look to our "higher selves" in making this a better world.



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[-] 5 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Goldman Sachs, the poster child of the Wall St. criminal culture.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23396) 9 years ago


[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Why NYCGA has been focusing on BAC while Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are the mega-criminals is beyond me.

Further they both would have gone out of business without a U.S. taxpayer bailout and they still haven't learned humility -- thus earning widespread and deserved hatred. To build a movement you focus anger & education on current existing sources of anger, you don't invent a cause.

[-] 3 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

BoA was probably the bank that preyed on unsophisticated borrowers mostly...and pushed their most sophisticated sub-prime loans on them....even though they often qualified for standard loans. Goldman was more involved with the screwy investment products that came out of those low doc and no doc loans. So who should be held the most culpable is a crap-shoot. They all stink, and I think that they should all feel our heat.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

'Odin' : As per your post, two relevant links ;

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 9 years ago

Thanks for the additional links!

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Yes, thanks. I did read both of those before putting up the post, but read them again here. Like I implied in one of my comments though, I think that Goldman began spiraling down soon after thr Financial Modernization Act was passed, if not before.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 9 years ago

My congressman won't answer my question about the Financial Modernization Act. It was one of the first bills he voted on upon his entrance to congress in 1999. I've asked him if he could explain why he voted for it and how it has been beneficial since it has passed. I also told him to keep in mind that it helped lead to the financial crises we've seen over the years. I asked him this question via email, letter, and phone calls to his office. I have gotten no response.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

It sounds like you can be fairly certain that your congressman did indeed vote for the Financial Modernization Act since it passed with an overwhelming veto-proof majority. I guess nobody wanted to be labeled 'Old Fashioned!' Senator Dorgan of North Dakota I know was one of the very few who voted against it, predicting in ten years time, we will regret having passed this law. It's great that you're putting your congressman on the hot-seat, as I have done this myself with my representatives in telling them that I blame them for the sewer that Washington has become.


[-] 0 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

OK, I see your point. One facet I've been hoping would come out more are the false fronts that the megabanks ran their dodgy mortgage businesses through (or so I've heard). I'd like to see names matched with names.

However is was the "screwy investment products" (across the board, not just linked to mortgages) that crashed the world economy. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were the big players here.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

BoA's close relationship with Countrywide was a marriage made in hell...but I would have to do more research on that. And yes you're right these repackaged mortgage securities were packaged in with other crap to sell to unsuspecting investors...amazingly they were all sold as investment-grade products as they were somehow given AAA ratings by Fitch, Moodys, and S&P. And because of these unrealistically high ratings, many people lost their chance for comfortable retirements, tuition money, etc. The whole thing was corrupt beyond belief.

[-] 2 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

The rating agencies are a whole other center of rot. They should be nationalized and then sold off as nonprofits. Currently they have every incentive to collude with bankster criminals. We have a system designed for and by crooks.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I agree, ratings agencies are a "whole other center of rot," and were just used as a tool to further the bankers criminal dealings.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23396) 9 years ago

Good point. They really are the worst, although BAC is pretty heinous as well. Too many places to focus anger on, unfortunately.

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

It's not really unfortunate that there are "many places to focus our anger on." Rather it proves unquestionably that these perfidious groups were not just an isolated aberration to the way business was conducted, but rather it was a systemic problem....that was brought on by BRIBES paid to our politicians....or in euphemistic terms called 'campaign donations!' So my conclusion being...we should amplify our anger.....only then will we get that "beautiful world."

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23396) 9 years ago

Well said, Odin.


[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 9 years ago


[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Goldman may be the poster child for greed but Smith isn't a very good poster child for the opposite. It only took him 12 years to figure out that Goldman was staffed with crooks? I worked at Goldman at the headquarters in lower Manhattan in 2001 in the restricted stock transfer department. I was a tiny fish in a tiny backwater of a huge pond and from my position I could see the rampant theft and 1% classist attitude. Mr. Smith started his career at Goldman at roughly the same time I was leaving to return to media. That it took him 12 years from that point makes it clear that he isn't very bright. He may have been a skilled and useful tool for his bosses, but the culture he described as missing was never there, at least by the time I arrived.

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

There is no doubt in my mind either that in the twelve years that Mr. Smith was at Goldman Sachs that he was part of the problem, but I believe that people can redeem themselves...and that he did just that in what I believe was not only a most courageous, but in a very constructive way..... that adds to the potential of making things RIGHT....For that....I can forgive him for any of his past indiscretions at Goldman Sachs.

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

I agree if he continues. But I suspect he'll disappear from the scene on this issue and resurface a year from now when he's opening his first Manhattan restaurant with Japanese water features and a menu inspired by Wolfgang Puck.

I'm not sure, but I'm beginning to think that, maybe, I'm a bit jaded. ;-)

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I did some research on Smith's background, and what I found was a lot of people including former teachers, friends, a high school principal that had nothing but kind words to say about him. Hence, I would be very happy to eat in his restaurant in Manhattan....providing it wasn't in mid-town...where the prices are outrageous. Hopefully, it will open in Greenpoint!

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

I've seen the same things and I think his moral compass is superior to most of his colleagues. I just think he was naive to believe that Goldman was anything like what he described. I think he saw what he wanted to see as an intern and young executive. And as he grew and matured he chose to see reality more and 12 years later we get a nice op-ed in the Times. I think it's great that he did it and I appreciate his ethics. I just think it comes across as naive to those of us who have know these things about Goldman for decades.

He's getting book offers now and it would be really huge if he gave us a detailed accounting of exactly how Goldman has been rigging the system in their favor, at least as far as he was able to see it from his mid-level perch. Perhaps he could work with an investigative reporter and talk to other former Goldman employees and put together a grand indictment on their business practices along with a prescription for bringing about the by-gone Goldman culture he was taught about. That would be lucrative and an important public service.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Given the time frame of his employment at GS...I agree with you, I don't think that it was EVER a good place to work.... in terms of doing the right things for their clients....as he started about the same time as The Financial Modernization Act came into being. I do believe that it got progressively worse though, or more corrupt as time went on..which culminated in his conscience finally kicking in.

More than three years out from our near complete financial melt-down....and unlike the Great Depression...or even the Savings and Loan Scandal of the '80s....no investigation still. I don't hold out much hope of a thorough examination of what led up to this near catastrophe...other than a white-wash of course. Then again...hope.. that is why I am here.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Good points all around.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago
[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Thanks,that was a good parallel story of the same kind of abuses that took place in the financial industry also taking place in the health-care industry. GREED being the key word...and to hell with people. It's good to see these people trying to redeem themselves for their past wrongs. Although I hadn't seen this essay, Bill Moyers did a great interview with Wendell Potter a while back.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Thanks shooz as always you provide good food for thought.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Shooz I copied out the article as the link page was wider than my screen. Trying to get it all on the page.


Wendell Potter Blog Lack of Leadership at the Top of Corporate Ladder

by Wendell Potter on March 19th, 2012

Health insurers or investment banks, the values are still misplaced.

As I was reading former Wall Street executive Greg Smith’s bombshell of an Op-Ed in the New York Times last week, I mentally inserted the names of the big for-profit health insurers — two of which I worked for — in place of Goldman Sachs, where Smith worked until resigning on the day his column was published.

Smith wrote that he decided to leave Goldman-Sachs because it had veered so far from the company he had joined straight out of college that he could no longer say in good conscience “that I identify with what it stands for.”

He put the blame squarely on Goldman’s current CEO and president. It was during their watch, he wrote, that “the firm changed the very 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.”

Had Smith been an executive at any one of the big investor-owned insurers that have come to control the U.S. health care system, he could have written the same thing.

Like Smith, I came to realize toward the end of my career that the companies I had worked for had changed so much during my two decades with them that I could not in good conscience continue to serve as an industry cheerleader and spokesman.

Shortly before I turned in my notice in 2008, the human resources manager who had hired me nearly 15 years earlier turned in his as well. He told me that in his exit interview, his boss, the head of HR, told him — not with regret but with pride — that the company he was leaving was not the company he had joined. He was right, which is why that HR manager and I and many other former colleagues have left in recent years, dismayed at what the leaders of health insurance companies have come to value more than anything else: making big money for themselves and their companies’ shareholders.

Smith wrote in his op-ed that “not one single minute [at Goldman] is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them.”

In the many executive-level sessions I participated in over the years — including with peers from other companies at trade association meetings—I cannot recall one time in which we talked for a single minute about designing health benefit plans that truly were in the best interest of consumers. We talked instead about making sure policyholders had sufficient “skin in the game” to ensure “profitable growth.”

Smith soured on common practices at Goldman like persuading clients to invest in mortgage backed securities without mentioning to those clients that the company had already bet against those very same securities. By doing this, Goldman was guaranteeing itself a profit, even as some of its clients were losing a fortune and many of the rest of us were about to lose our homes and our jobs.

Similarly, I soured on common practices in the health insurance industry like refusing to sell coverage to children and others with “pre-existing conditions,” cancelling peoples’ coverage when they got sick and spending less and less every year of policyholders’ premiums on their medical care because of pressure from Wall Street analysts and investors.

As I wrote in Deadly Spin, “when your top priority is to ‘enhance shareholder value’… you are motivated more by the obligation to meet Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations than by the obligations to meet the medical needs of your policyholders.”

What finally led me to begin questioning what I did for a living was the expectation that I would persuade people to believe things that I knew were not true — like the idea that shifting every American into what the industry euphemistically calls “consumer-driven health plans” would be in everyone’s best interest.

Marketing executive chose the term “consumer-driven” because it sounds better than what they really are: plans with high (and often extraordinarily high) deductibles. These plans are very profitable because people enrolled in them often have to spend thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for their medical care before their insurers will pay a dime. As a consequence, growing numbers of Americans — 30 million at last count, according to the Commonwealth Fund — are now finding themselves underinsured.

At a leadership retreat I attended a couple of years before I left my job, a vice president of a large insurer was trying to explain the benefits of consumer-driven care to a room full of colleagues who were hearing about the industry’s “consumerism strategy” for the first time.

During the Q&A, he was peppered with questions about how the plans could be a good deal for people with chronic conditions and people who didn’t have extra money to put in a savings account or otherwise meet high deductibles. After half an hour of nonstop questions, he finally said, “Look, you’re just going to have to drink the Kool-Aid.”

Sadly, most of them did. By doing so, like Smith’s fellow employees at Goldman Sachs, they had made a conscious decision to think more about their own compensation and their company’s bottom line than what is best for the rest of us.

Wendell is a Senior Analyst at the Center for Public Integrity where this first appeared on 3/19/2012.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Thanks DKA. This should be read by everyone, wanting to understand the truth.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

It is representative of the industry ( wallstreet ) thinking as well as most major corporations and the fossil fuel business.

This must be understood and the information is coming from people who used to be on the inside.

The corrupt can not deny that they are, and the public needs to see and hear the truth.

We go forward in education & outreach in support of awareness.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Here in the circus of our political season, it's important to remember why we are here. Stop all the corruption at it's original source.


[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

They are the current Poster Child for Rampant Corruption.

No bout adout it.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 9 years ago

Don't think for one second they are resigning out of moral crisis. They're abandoning ship homie, nothing more, nothing less.

"Look, I'm on your side guys". I believe they call them, 'Turn Coats'

[-] -2 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Why would they be abandoning ship at this point? It seems early to me.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 9 years ago

it's peaking. Last gasp. Greece just cut it's bond value in less than half, most of the banks holding those bonds are the same banks that got bailed out.


Forget about denominations of said currency, what is being discussed is the instant cutting of something like 80% of the $Value. American investors will take a hit immediately.


[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago


[-] 1 points by RayLansing (99) 9 years ago

Whether or not OWS had more to do with this, it is nice to see a corrupt system collapsing in on itself.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Yes...it's one of the first internal cracks in the flimsy foundation of the corrupt financial world, and I expect there will be more to come. It is very heartening to see the young business students rejecting this perfidious way of doing business too.

[-] 1 points by enough (587) 9 years ago

Greg Smith speaks out but the POTUS, the SEC and the Justice Department continue sit on their hands. Once bought by Wall Street, the government stays bought. Hey sellouts, Main Street is wise to you.

[-] 0 points by GumbyDamnit (36) 9 years ago

Oh you are wrong, POTUS and DOJ have been prosecuting people like crazy over all this! I watched Holder on TV say so and that means it must be true.

I think the civil statute clock has run out in many cases, and if not, it will very soon.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

And that is what is so infuriating...a government that should be promoting an equal playing field ...justice.. is itself so venally unjust by its inaction.

[-] 2 points by enough (587) 9 years ago

That's what happens in a plutocracy. The wealthy few and their government enablers band together to subvert democracy as they prey upon honest citizens.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

And the next step is facism...right?

[-] 1 points by enough (587) 9 years ago

Plutocracy + Police State = Fascism

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago
[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Confirm what reports?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

these stories are hard to believe so I did a search

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

It's hard to believe that Wall St. executives would refer to clients as "Muppets?"

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

us carny folk call them rubes

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Ah, I see. A problem with the proper use of colloquialisms. Well, I think people start to mix it up after a while. Saying "rube" a couple hundred times a day can get pretty boring. ;-)

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

I knows they got books up in those ivory towers

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Well, if you've spent significant time on Wall St, you know that most of those mooks would be lucky to rub two brain cells together. They may be skilled but they're far from sophisticated.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

In the Albany, NY and north area it is 'gilder', and it comes from an early aristocratic family, the Van Gilders that did not marry outside the family much.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

thanks for the lesson DK....for a minute, I thought you guys had the gall to disagree with me!

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Oh Hell No. ( laughing )

Not without good reason 1st anyway.

[-] -1 points by HCHC4 (-28) 7 years ago

" Mr. Smith went on to say that in the past year, "I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as muppets [British for a stupid person]."


[+] -4 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

Yeah right. Goldman is evil because some associates used the word 'muppet' to describe their client? Seriously, if only I had a nickel every time I got pissed at my client and called them names behind their back or every time I clients got unhappy over something and called me names, I would just retire.

And Smith alleges that Goldman is all about making money? So what did he think? Did he think it was Make A Wish Foundation?

[-] 5 points by enough (587) 9 years ago

You're trying to defend the indefensible. Only fellow bankers like this shit. The rest of us hate their guts.

[-] -2 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

I am not trying to defend. I would try to defend only if we gave a shit about you so-called 'attack'. It's not gonna affect Goldman or any wall st firm one damn bit.

[-] 3 points by enough (587) 9 years ago

Yeah, that's why they are spending so much money on public relations and campaign contributions. Damage control is a bitch. It used to be so much easier before the house of cards came crashing down. When push comes to shove, the politicians will throw the bankers under the bus, if the Main Street Americans don't do it first.

[-] -3 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

We will see when that time comes. Right now, I am enjoying a mojito and making fun of occutards.

See I dont give a shit about the politician and wall st nexus. Its there for sure. But every other group tries to influence politicians, whether it's Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Labor unions, the Israel lobby, the India lobby and what not. Wall St does its bit too and does it well, i daresay.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

we'll see

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

For God's sake you banana brained ibanker. Aren't you oh so funny and clever? Make a Wish Foundation! That's a good one. Ha-ha ha. Oh so smart and humorous!

"Muppets" is hardly the biggest problem and you know it. Nobody cares about the name-calling and money making. It's about corruption and reckless and criminal greed. Creating bubbles that they profit from that destroys parts (or the whole) of the economy. Selling product as something that it was not. AAA security that is riddled with no doc loans is not AAA. And they damn well knew it. If not, it was grotesquely obscene negligence. But they did, so it's called fraud.

Seriously, are you stupid? Do some research Cupcake.

[-] 1 points by enough (587) 9 years ago

Ignore the punk. He's been playing video game 'cops and robbers' and likes the bad guys. That's what happens when you don't have a life. He idolizes douche bags on Wall Street because they never seem to get caught. The problem is that douche bags who hurt innocent people burn in hell for eternity. What goes around always comes around.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

Too funny. I'm actually a little curious how far he will take his silliness. Maybe he's just totally ignorant of reality. Sometimes ignorant of reality means mental break. As in the mentally ill. I would never make fun of the mentally ill. But he seems somewhat coherent. We shall see!

[-] -3 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

So you believe in hell? er... Well then let me put it this way. I already know I'm going to Hell. So, at this point it's go big or go home. And in first class.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

That sounds like an excuse to be as shitty as you wanna be.

Heaven and Hell and probably way overrated anyhow.

How about doing good for the sake of doing good?

[-] -2 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

If you take greed out of wall st you have nothing left. Investment Banks exist to advice their client on making more money and managing their money well. It is all about money, thats the business dear.

As for bubbles, those happen in every business whether tech (2001) or housing and infra, just about anything. And the housing bubble isnt entirely the fault of the financial industry, govt mandated compulsory lending and low interest rates contributed massively to it. As for fraud, well every industry has it's bad apples.

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

"Investment Banks exist to advice [sic] their client [sic] on making more money and managing their money well."

And yet you seem perfectly comfortable with the idea that Goldman didn't advise their clients well, but instead advised them to dump money into carefully constructed time bombs. You want the patina of being Mr. Fiduciary Responsibility while simultaneously condescending to people who are "shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."

Well, which is it, tough guy? Are you legally required and morally bound to treat your clients and their money with the utmost respect and fiduciary care at all times or are you some Captain Renault who expects everyone to know that it's all about appearances?


[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

That link was funny and appropiate. I think April and ibanker are having a martini though.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

I think you're right. Thanks.

[-] -2 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

If GS did something wrongly, if they sold products that they knew would tank, then they should be prosecuted as per the prevailing laws. And yes, such cases have come to light recently and full inquiry should be made (though I find it a little funny. I can't sue a used car salesman if he sells a bad car nor can I sue a restaurant for serving bad food and charging me a fortune for that shit). But some of it is just populist sentiments.

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

Au contraire, mon capitan. Have you not heard of "lemon laws?" Basically any form of consumer protection that provides penalties against retailers that knowingly sell defective merchandise is known as a lemon law and it mostly varies by state, though there are some federal laws, most famously the new financial consumer protection laws that Elizabeth Warren helped build as a direct result of the CDS scandal. Unless you're saying you want to sue the dealer because you changed your mind after driving the car for a while, if it's actually defective, you can sue alright. You betcha.


I see from your answer and your chat with April that you're not the sock puppet I originally surmised. My apologies for judging a book by its apparent cover. Still, it's a more complicated country than most people care to acknowledge. You may have a tremendous knowledge base in your area of expertise but that doesn't mean you know how everything works. Lemon laws for instance. It may not seem like it but many of the people here have open minds to legitimate arguments. But you have to do the homework like the rest of us.

[-] -1 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

Ohk, I did not know about lemon law. Read about 'market for lemons' in econ but didnt know there was a law for it. Cool.

My knowledge only extends to a narrow area but indepth in those few areas, or so I would like to believe.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

That parallels the knowledge and experience of most adult Americans. We have become a nation of specialists with deep knowledge of narrow subjects, leaving the big picture to be exploited by those who can see it and control the message. I'm one of very few generalists left. I have a BA in liberal arts, a broadcasting certificate, a teacher's license and a firematics certificate (volunteer FD). The rest of my education comes from books and experience.

I've worked in countless industries, from health care and food service to fashion and cosmetics to broadcasting and multimedia. And the thing that I find more often than not is that the people who live and breathe their industry have no interest in learning about anything else. I know people at my old places of employment who honestly don't know that this is a Presidential election year and honestly don't care. It is the rare bird that leaves the flock for a unique experience. I hope to see you around more often.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (475) from Brooklyn, NY 2 minutes ago

I think you picked an unnecessary fight here. He admitted to not knowing about Lemon Laws and therefore, admitted that his narrow focus on his industry precluded his knowledge of other things at times. My point was that he simply do the homework on the subjects he's engaging on, as we all are expected to do. I don't think it was necessary to antagonize him or suggest he's stupid, which you essentially did. I agree with you almost 100% of the time DKA, but this was not one of your finer moments. ↥like ↧dislike permalink

I am sorry if I have offended you. I believe though over time you will get a better feel for this character or his type of character. Look around through the posts you will see a pattern ask others whom you like in their participation. I could be mistaken. But experience says otherwise.

BTW - keep up your good work.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

I've been arguing online since 1994 so I'm pretty good with troll-sign. I don't get that feeling from ibanker. I could be wrong, of course. I wouldn't say you "offended" me but I do think it was an unnecessary turn of events. He's not going to agree with everything but he's been more reasonable than your parlay would suggest. Of course, the two of you could have much more water under the bridge than I surmise and then I'm the one being presumptuous. I'm sure I'll find out over time. ;-)

Thanks for the encouragement. Enjoying your contributions as well.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Thank you. Conversing in text makes it more difficult in some ways to garner intent. I try to be careful and balanced.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Time and long past time to broaden your knowledge Base by taking a good long look at the world in which you live. Try to get an education in reality. It won't help you sleep better at night but it may open your eyes and change your perspective enough that you might consider doing something good for someone else in your day to day activities.

[-] 0 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

Dont you think that was a little condescending? I mean there are people in this forum who believe everything from Bilderberg Group, to jewish conspiracy to 911 conspiracy and what not. As a student I have won a few quizzing contests, essay writing contests among other things and subscribe (and read) more than half a dozen newspapers (my job requires that).

it's just that I have the honesty and good sense to admit that I do not know everything there is but it also doesnt mean I woke up yesterday. As for doing good for others, for the time being I need to do good for my clients (or rather my boss) and that should suffice. Sure, I could do a lot of other things and may be some day I will.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

You yourself describe yourself as being narrow minded. I am just agreeing with you. If you don't want encouragement to grow you should keep such things to yourself. It is good to do the best that you can in the work that you do. As long as that work in itself is a good thing to do.

[-] -1 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

narrow minded? i said my day to day focus is on a limited number of things that get my job done

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Seems like an admittion of limited ( narrow ) knowledge to me.

[-] 0 points by ibanker (-22) 58 minutes ago

Ohk, I did not know about lemon law. Read about 'market for lemons' in econ but didnt know there was a law for it. Cool.

My knowledge only extends to a narrow area but indepth in those few areas, or so I would like to believe. ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink

[-] -2 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

yes it is. sadly i donot have ur breadth of knowledge, oh great one.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Sarcasm - WOW.

Did you hurt yourself?

Take a couple aspirin. It helps dilate the blood vessels. Wouldn't want you to have a stroke.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 9 years ago

I think you picked an unnecessary fight here. He admitted to not knowing about Lemon Laws and therefore, admitted that his narrow focus on his industry precluded his knowledge of other things at times. My point was that he simply do the homework on the subjects he's engaging on, as we all are expected to do. I don't think it was necessary to antagonize him or suggest he's stupid, which you essentially did. I agree with you almost 100% of the time DKA, but this was not one of your finer moments.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

Yeah, Wall Street bankers are such fragile flowers. The big bad government forced them to securitize those bad bad mortgages. Such fragile flowers those bankers are. : (

Unrestrained, unregulated capitalism leads to greed. You think it's just a co-incky-dink that Wall Street and the economy had 80 years after the Great Depression without a major financial crisis? And 8 years after the repeal of Glass Steagall - the economy went kaboom. Just coincidence huh? Or, did ya ever notice how investment banks operated really well as partnerships for like 100 years, when the partners money was at stake? But shortly after Bear and Lehmann went public - kaboom. Now what does that tell ya Cupcake? Bankers cannot handle responsibility for even their own survival, let alone care about their client interests or the interests of their fellow citizens, or their country or the world. That they have the power to destroy.

Bubbles happen because bankers make them happen. They don't appear magically by themselves. But I suppose you think we should leave Wall Street banks unregulated.

We'll never eliminate greed any more than we can eliminate poverty. But it needs to be restrained. For the good of overall society.

Every industry has fraud, yes. But not every industry has the power to destroy the economy with it. A few bad apples! I just about spit my diet coke all over my keyboard! Ha-ha-ha, that's another good one Cupcake!

[-] -2 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

Yeah I am a fragile flower. Would you like to indulge this fragile flower in a cup of coffee or may be a martini, cupcake?

And you guys give Glass Stegall way more credit than it deserves. As for partnerships, well Goldman was among the last firms to convert into a public limited company from a LLC. But other firms like Morgan Stanley etc were already shareholder owned companies by then. And even now, their employees do have their money at stake because a lot of salaries are linked to the stock price.

As for regulation, it has to be there. But there has to be a balance. Too much or too little regulation are both harmful. But thats another story and enough people have said enough on this.

[-] 3 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

You buying? You big strong wealthy investment banker you! And how did you know I'm a martini girl? Impressive. Must be the same skill that makes you good at finding opportunities to exploit in the market. : )

Glass Steagall was a protection. Where the crisis may not have been as serious if the banks were operating separately.

Admit it. You agree! There was not, is not, enough financial regulation. Bankers cannot control themselves and act responsibly. Not even for their own survival!! They have the power to destroy the whole economy and they'll do it to make a fast buck in their own pocket even as it destroys everything around them!! Yes yes yes!!

[-] -1 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

How I guessed you liked Martini? Well you are opinionated woman, quite well read all of which implied some degree of sophistication in you. Hence a martini. Further, if you are a somewhat older woman, you have a fine taste in cocktails and if you are a young woman (say 21-25) you are stylish and prefer a flavored martini. Did I get my analysis right?

In a lot of other countries, commercial (or retail) banking and investment banking operate under the same umbrella and it works for them.

As to whether we can control ourselves, well you need a particular bent of mind to be in banking. You have to be driven by money. I guess that's a little unhealthy and may be makes outsiders uneasy. But when you are in the business of money, it doesnt take long to develop such instincts. However, I would agree that investment banking as a whole needs to get more responsible, long term greedy as against short term greedy.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

Awww, shucks ibanker. I'm in the 30 range. But I like your attempt at age flattery. I like flavored martinis, not too sweet though. A Cosmo is just about right. It depends on the day. Sometimes I like my vodka straight up.

Interesting that commercial and investments get along in other countries. I'm guessing they also have stricter regulations, or at least more effective, higher capital ratios?

ok, so you're not so mentally ill or stupid, like I first thought.

I can understand if you get a little super giddy with all that money flying around. Maybe that you realize there needs to be more responsible - dare I say ethical?? - behavior you can spread that unique concept around to a few of your morally bankrupt friends.

But y'all have already proven self regulation is not possible. With disasterous consequences. Y'all will have to be strictly regulated by the government. And if we go a little overboard on that regulation, cut into profits a little too much, well, that's a risk I'm willing to take. Because the downside risk of not enough regulation is far greater.

[-] -2 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

Yes other countries have more regulations and many allow only the most simplest of derivatives.

And self regulation is a farce. Anyone given a chance to make money will just do it and then invest rationalizations to justify unethical behavior. But I dont agree with the usual banter that is going on here in this forum or in the media in general.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

My God, you may actually have a human-like soul. You're gonna get kicked out of that club Cupcake! You better get yourself a back up plan.

Don't take all the ranting about Wall Street so personal. It's warranted given the circumstances. I'm not saying we should end capitalism or anything like that. And Wall Street is fighting regulation tooth and nail. What's up with that? Of course people are gonna be pissed. Wall Street brings this on themselves.

But, I'm far from being about defending anything Wall Street related. It's really just a reaction to the lack of accountabilty. Nobody has been brought to justice. It's just wrong on so many levels. It's the government's tacit approval of criminal behavior. People are pissed that government is not doing one of it's basic job functions. Making sure justice is done. We're a country of laws. We believe in justice. If we don't have that, what then? Just because it's a complicated white collar crime, the criminals get away with it. They/you know this.

Wall Street brought this on themselves. They made the bad choices. Selling flaming piles of horseshit like candy. And then have the nerve to cry about regulation like little babies. They are cowards and babies. That can't take their medicine. We'll have to shove it down their throats while they're kicking and screaming all the way.

[-] 0 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

You will be surprised to know that most people here are like me. The arrogance is just there on top (guess it comes with the lifestyle and the sudden wealth) but inside we are like everyone else.

Yes Wall Street is fighting regulation but that our job. Its a negotiation and we cant let populist congressmen steamroll us.

Also I would agree to an extent about the nexus between SEC and Wall Street, not good for the long term. But what you read in the papers is usually an exaggeration of facts.

And I like the baby and medicine allegory. Nice imagination.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

Most people there are like you? It doesn't matter if you all are angels from Heaven above. Form shapes content. Not the other way around. The form is destructive greed.

The arrogance is there on top? It's more than arrogance. It's vicious destructive greed. And form shapes content. If you choose to be a part of that, it will shape you too. I hope you're not fooling yourself. It's not like you can leave your soul on the shelf at home when you go to work. It will be chipped away. Just like you said, the arrogrance, and worse, is at the top. How do you think they got that way?

Ahhh! I see. So Wall Street has suddenly developed a spine to fight that evil regulation! But 10 years ago the government was "forcing" them to securitize bad mortgages, they just couldn't find the strength to stand up to the government.

Wall Street's job is to fight regulation? The fight is over. Wall Street won. Dodd Frank passed. Wall Street needs to take it's medicine. The medicine they prescribed for themselves. Bought and paid for. And still they fight? wtf??

Something tells me that if Dodd Frank were implemented in it's entirety, those fragile flowers on Wall Street would somehow manage to survive.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 9 years ago

As far as I'm concerned, Dodd-Frank is only one of several new regulatory measures necessary to keep this mess from happening again, including a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and a whole host of new laws covering the trading of OTC derivatives and CDOs. The fight is in no way over; we've won the first battle but the war is far from over and we're going to have one of the biggest battles yet in 2012.

iBanker is right: Wall Street currently has a self-imposed mandate to fight any and all oversight and regulation. Why? Because its main goal is to profit from ALL the things right this instant. A drive to make money is fine, but somewhere along the line someone has to put checks and restraints on it so that it can only really profit from actual positive investment rather than exotic financial instruments or some of the more interesting schemes we saw in the leadup to the crisis. As expected, Wall Street itself has proven woefully unable to do that, and so DC needs to step in.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

Completely agree. I said somewhere above. There is no such thing as too much regulation for Wall Street. The downside risk of too little regulation is far greater than the downside risk of too much.

[-] 0 points by jewboy (-6) 9 years ago

No. The idiot wasn't getting a bonus and he was going to get fired from Goldman so he decided to go out with a bang. Egotism at work here people. That is all.


[-] 2 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

Admit it. They took flaming piles of horseshit, sprayed it with some Lysol, wrapped a ribbon around it, and sold it like it was candy. Weren't they oh so smart and clever!

Tell me. Is it against the rules in investment banking on Wall Street to have a soul? Or even the teensiest bit of morals or ethics? Does that get you kicked right out of that club?

Where's my martini big guy?

[-] 0 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

As for the martini, well how about Ulysses in Stone st? ;-)

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 9 years ago

lol. You're making me google. I'm not THAT sophisticated.

Ulysses Folkhouse - NY Ulysses NY city search Ulysses on Stone Street

I'm not finding anything here with vodka in it.

[-] 0 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

oh there is.

[-] 0 points by ibanker (-99) 9 years ago

yup that one

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

OK...Mr. ibanker..... first I have to assume that 'ubanker'.... so I am a bit surprised that you think that..we think GOLDMAN SACHS is EVIL... just because.... a few of the 'managing directors' called their clients 'muppets' while screwing them out of their money. Where have you been the last six months? You have a lot of catching up to do.

You could start by digging up some of the old comments, and posts from back in September and October where GOLDMAN'S CORRUPT ACTIVITY is clearly outlined in either a real 'down-home' way or, in a more sophisticated way...your choice. Better yet...you should take a trip to Zuccotti Park/Liberty Square, where you could find 19 and 20 year old kids who could explain the whole thing to you from the sub-prime loans where unsophisticated borrowers were targeted...all the way to AIG backing the crappy mortgage securities that were bundled up by GOLDMAN and sold as investment grade products. And if you are really lucky...you may even get one of the profs who conducted many of the teach-ins... from NYU, Columbia, or Fordham University (where one of my daughters graduated from, magna cum laude I may add)...to explain how not only GOLDMAN SCREWED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, but the other big banks as well. And if you are supremely lucky....;you may find yourself there on the day that they are dishing out some really great chili..and/or Ben and Jerry's ice cream! Are you familiar with Chocalate Chip Cookie Dough?

You will definitely find yourself amongst a different class of people from those banksters that you are defending. Although we may seem a bit bedraggled to you because of the struggle that we are in...keep in mind that we know what the word INTEGRITY means...and we also know that some things in life are worth fighting for.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Did GOLDMAN buy out youtube?

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

It is getting harder and harder for those in power to keep denying that criminal conduct has been happening.

It will soon become so obvious that even a new born will cuss like a Drunken Sailor, at the sound of another denial.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Yes...I know the denials are getting more and more difficult for them to justify...mostly because so many of us regular folk now know what 'went down." I remember reading about the whole f....ed up thing in 2009, and could not understand the lack of outrage. It looked like these kind of shady dealings... which cost citizens so much pain... was just going to be another scandal that was going to fade into the sunset like the S&L scandal of the 80s, and the tech bubble of the early 2000s. The bankers and politicians had good reason to feel confident, and even arrogant from this history.

On another note, I like using those maritime metaphors too...charting a new course..a sea change in the way we do things..a ground-swell of support..a different tack...batten down the hatches..clear the decks of these criminals..These are all good..all very positive....BUT "Drunken Sailor"....? I think you went a little 'over-board' on that one, as I was a merchant marine for over thirty years....and well..even if that metaphor is accurate..I just don't like to hear it! I mean, what would you do if you were going to be weather-bound for a couple of days...play tiddlywinks? :-) lol

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Laughing - I am sorry for that metaphor -not as sorry though as I would have been if I had used my original thought which was M M.

Yes the public is wakening, now to get it involved.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Your apology accepted. lol I never made it to your neck of the woods...Lake Superior, but I do remember...somewhat vaguely.. really nice nights weatherbound in Toledo, and in Mackinaw City where I met a lovely young lady who was attending the University of Michigan in Lansing. There were no 'tiddlywinks' in sight.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Work related good times.


Not as many as there should be.


[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

No definitely not. I always remembered though one of the first lessons I learned on the boats from the two Norwegians who broke me in..and that was have all the fun you want...just remember..the job comes first. That lesson and my adherence to it kept me out of having any real problems throughout my career.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

I was raised like that - not by a couple of Norwegians - but to have good values. One of those good values is that if you are going to do a job - then do your best at it. If you don't like the work leave but do your best till the time you leave.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

We were both lucky to have good parents, and mentors. So many kids never recover from not having that, and the love that goes with it.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

This is what we need to restore in our lives in our children's lives. That there is good in doing good. For ones own self worth as well as for ones neighbors self worth. Money is not a goal a good life is. The possibility of having a good life is diminishing and the kids they can see it. They are not as unknowing as many would like us to believe.

Let us make it possible once again to be able to support a family on a single income in relative prosperity. This loss has ruined many families and many children. We need to rebuild community.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Yes, I agree that kids are very perceptive and how we conduct our everyday lives is very important if we want this world to get back to the values that it has seemed to have lossed. In many ways..we as a society have to take some of the blame for our financial and political worlds having become so polluted, either by our tacitly approving the life of materialism and greed...and/or by doing nothing to try and change it long before this.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

And so we are here and in other forums addressing these same issues.

We are making progress though it may be hard to see yet.

I believe it will become more apparent as we go forward.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

It is difficult to see that progress sometimes which makes it discouraging...but i belive we are making progress. These things are difficult to predict as Chris Hedges...who covered the up-risings in Eastern Europe has said.

Some people in OWS are launching a new web site at the end of this month that will reach out to the mainstream. that is something that some friends and I tried to do, but ran into too many road blocks. There are no big egos here for the most part...and people just hop on where they can to help further the cause. Web sites are great...but only if people go to them...so I am going to suggest to them what we had planned on doing for our web site, and that is to constantly blanket libraries, super-markets, senior centers, etc. with flyers promoting this web site.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Communications are essential. Low tech and High tech.

This is key. to use all that is available.

And share and forward good information and direct action opportunities.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

No 'reply' showing up under your last comments again. Thanks...I was fishing for that.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

I calls em as I sees em. That is strange when you say no comment below what do you mean?

When a thread ( string of comments ) gets to a certain length the system will end reply opportunities and make you start a new thread. When this happens I will copy that last comment that I am responding to and place it in my reply. I will scroll up to the last comment made ( with a reply button available ) by whom I want to reply to and place it there.

Is this what has happened? Got to the end of a thread?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Yes that is what happened. There is just no reply to click on, under the last comment you made. That's Ok though as I might start reading other posts to see what I can learn and/or reply to. It's been good though.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Yep I enjoyed the conversation. There are plenty of very smart and good contributors if you don't mind wading through the trolls.

Catch ya later.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Yes...that need for good communication is vital and people have been working on that over this winter...when many people thought this movement was just fading away.

[+] -7 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Just so.

This is only one of many communication Hubs. Things do not happen without communication.

I love this forum.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I wish that I were a better writer, as I do get frustrated sometimes that I cannot express myself as well as I would like. I know one thing though, and that is I have learned a lot in the last five months since I have gotten so involved with OWS. Anyone who wants to copy my stuff can feel free to send it off wherever they like.

[-] -1 points by jewboy (-6) 9 years ago

Nobody wants to. Stop inflating your own ego.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

You do just fine and the more you do the easier it gets. You do better than just fine. You contribute and that is excellent.

So be sure to stick around.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

There was no reply under your last comment. I love this forum too. It is the first and only one I have ever been on, although I have written many letters to the editor over the years....both here in NJ and in VT.

[+] -7 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

This is letter writing to the extreme. Anyone who likes your material can join in. Copy it and send it off somewhere else.