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Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story (Anglais) Broché – 22 octobre 2012


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Broché, 22 octobre 2012
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

A portrait, in Proustian detail, of a world and a mentality that is utterly alien, and should be infuriating, to most of us on Main Street.

-- Mark Gongloff, Huffington Post


A personal tale of one person caught up in a wave of greed, betrayal, and a complete disregard for the standards that had made Goldman Sachs the most trusted name on Wall Street.

-- David Siegfried, Booklist

[Greg Smith] did what we would all hope that our own banker would do: he spoke out publicly about something that was wrong.

-- Hamilton Nolan, Gawker


An insider's take on Goldman Sachs strikes a nerve....it provides a rare inside look into a career path to which many aspire: from nothing to Wall Street affluence. It will also be read because of its characterisation of Goldman's integrity. Where once it profited from helping clients prosper, the bank shifted, Mr Smith contends, into an entity that profited from clients.

-- The Economist


...Smith has written a field guide to the culture of Goldman Sachs and a fly-on-the-wall account of Wall Street on the skids.

--USA Today



The author's personal account of the many facets of daily life at Goldman Sachs gives his memoir the power of persuasion and conviction.

-- Kirkus
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur



On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell Op-Ed in the New York Times titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society -- and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago. Smith now picks up where his Op-Ed left off.

His story begins in the summer of 2000, when an idealistic 21-year-old arrives as an intern at Goldman Sachs and learns about the firm's Business Principle #1: Our clients' interests always come first. This remains Smith's mantra as he rises from intern to analyst to sales trader, with clients controlling assets of more than a trillion dollars.

From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world's most powerful bank.

Smith describes in page-turning detail how the most storied investment bank on Wall Street went from taking iconic companies like Ford, Sears, and Microsoft public to becoming a "vampire squid" that referred to its clients as "muppets" and paid the government a record half-billion dollars to settle SEC charges. He shows the evolution of Wall Street into an industry riddled with conflicts of interest and a profit-at-all-costs mentality: a perfectly rigged game at the expense of the economy and the society at large.

After conversations with nine Goldman Sachs partners over a twelve-month period proved fruitless, Smith came to believe that the only way the system would ever change was for an insider to finally speak out publicly. He walked away from his career and took matters into his own hands. This is his story.




Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 288 pages
  • Editeur : Grand Central Publishing (22 octobre 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1455528250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455528257
  • Dimensions du produit: 15,2 x 1,9 x 22,9 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 131.386 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par Robert Lissaur le 2 mars 2014
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The writer indicates from experience that GS has and shall for the time being continue to eat its cake from various sides. Unbelievable that these practices go unpunished from a legal point of view, in spite of fines which are always levied without admitting to anything. The latter will not even start to stop borderline criminal actions by all banks, GS in particular.
Enjoyed the book as I did others on the subject of GS and the Wall Street banks. Easy reading.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 155 commentaires
49 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent and 100% Accurate Portrayal of Wall Street Excess - Spot On! 30 octobre 2012
Par JK - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Well written and completely accurate portrayal of the excesses and improprieties of Wall Street culture. I can say firsthand from my own experience on the Goldman trading floor, Greg Smith must have really held back in this book. There are so many more outrageous stories and examples that could have gone into this book. But nonetheless, I don't think the book was meant to be an SEC complaint with specific indictments but a mere snapshot outline of what is wrong with Wall Street today, and Goldman Sachs in particular. The book reads easy, does a great job explaining some of the trader terminology, and is really best suited for those with little to no exposure to Wall Street who are looking for a "no B.S." account of what is plaguing the institutions behind our global financial system.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Good Read but I expected more focus on Bigger Issues 13 mars 2013
Par epublisher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
First, the book should have been titled "My career at Goldman Sachs before and after the financial crisis" since the author's reason for leaving the firm occupies only the last quarter of the book. Too much of the book is spent on personal anecdotes on individuals, client stories and parties. If the purpose was to open GS to outsiders who care about the personalities of VPs, MPs, Associates etc., then the book is highly informative. I had hoped that the book would also offer an insider's view of the big "financial crisis" issues: such as:

* Why was Goldman operated as a hedge fund with leverage levels that made it vulnerable to collapse?

* Why does the firm still have a net derivative exposure 7 times its risk-based capital, the highest among all federally chartered banks and seven times greater than Morgan Stanley?

* Why was it OK for the taxpayers to cover Goldman's counterparty risk with AIG derivatives?

* If Goldman and others are operating a rigged casino to fatten up partner and associate bonuses (total 2012 GS salary, bonus and perks spending was reported to be $13 billion, or about $400,000 per employee), then should the government ban proprietary trading?

* Have the hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivative products peddled by Goldman and others merely set the stage for a worldwide financial system meltdown when the Central Banks cannot stop future runs on the counterparties and banks?

These and other issues related to conflicts of interest, sleazy ethics and non-fiduciary conduct are of greater importance for reforming the financial services industry.

I give the author a great deal of credit for writing the book and op-ed piece since he is very cautious by nature and would even ask colleagues for advice on simple things, like whether to attend a colleague's bachelor party. He is also an honorable man who appears sincere but in many ways still sees Wall Street people as basically good but that they work within a corrupt system.

Another view of the conduct he reveals (e.g., giving self-serving recommendations, taking the "axe off" Goldman's balance sheet) is that GS staff are acting like con men. People who embezzle thousands of dollars get multi-year jail terms while Wall Street traders who intentionally fleece clients out of millions of dollars walk away rich after a few years of pirating.

I hope that this Mr. Smith can come to Washington and work for the structural reforms that are desperately needed. The author wrote many market profiles while working for the firm; perhaps, future books and articles can explore solutions for the problems that remain. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into the hidden world of Goldman Sachs.
27 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The knowledge of good and evil 22 octobre 2012
Par Afia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The book almost could be titled, "Why I Left Government." It's about a career in big finance. After years working with elite financial professionals, Greg Smith's values came in conflict with the business. Customers and the public get disrespected because we're often gullible when it comes to financial instruments.

Goldman Sachs (GS) had a storied and honorable tradition. Things changed during Smith's 12-year tenure. GS's corporate culture now reflects the corruption and cynicism of our society, only on a scale defying imagination.

Be warned that the author, in my view, is not a natural storyteller. It's easier to stay with a story when the characters are brought to life. My review is based on the audible version which is unabridged and narrated by the author. I always appreciate it when the author is the narrator. Smith's personal style is that he doesn't speak with a lot of passion.

Smith started as a competitive academic high-performer when he was 21-years old in 2000. He describes the selection process as if coaching college students to make the cut with big-name firms. Candidates get subjected to extreme pressure and embarrassment. Smith later learned GS did this to assess candidates for integrity, as it's tempting to make stuff up under pressure in an effort to save face. Despite the state of the stock market at the time with the dot-com crash under way, those were idealistic and innocent times compared to now. In some respects, Smith's book is sincerely flattering to GS.

I feel that Smith's turning point came when his best friend Lex asked one simple question. Lex was concerned about Congress passing TARP and bailing out Goldman Sachs along with other elite firms. Lex asked, "What about the other people whose 401Ks are getting decimated. Where's their bailout?" This question planted the seed. Smith began to understand that big winnings at GS were due to its quasi-government status and not delivery of superior service to clients.

The former Goldman Sachs chief lobbyist, Mark Patterson had been brought in as chief of staff to Timothy Geithner at Treasury. GS's link to the welfare of its clients was gone. GS was in the DC power structure so realities on the ground had quietly shifted. Taxpayers made good dollar-for-dollar the enormous AIG bailout that went mainly to GS. The public would simply have to wait down the line for some kind of bailout, if it ever comes. And if it comes, John Q. Citizen might not immediately recognize it because trust was wiped out. That's what Smith seems to be trying to repair.

Smith's depiction of GS tracks with the Wall Street culture famously described in Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis. Entry into the culture of Goldman was exactly like entry into Salomon Brothers per Lewis. Young candidates were treated almost as dismissively as military recruits in boot camp/basic training. You're ready to graduate from the training when you can verbally stand up to your tormentors without violating the culture rules. I was fascinated.

Smith's account lends support to some extent to Robert Kiyosaki's assertions that GS runs the government. Kiyosaki is author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. I got the impression that GS can get the rules changed in its favor. Clearly Smith's book gives GS partners something to worry about though. No client likes to be taken for a sucker. GS once had a stellar reputation, seems so long ago.

(Recommended reading: Declare Independence from Party Affiliation)
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Important Story 19 avril 2013
Par Jumper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Some reviewers have commented on the fact that this book does not provide any smoking guns or grand revelations - which is true - however I found it to be a smart and honest depiction of a day to day worker, chasing his dream and finding success only to become disgusted on how the business erodes his integrity. Anyone who has ever worked for a large corporation will identify with the hypocrisy of values and ethics preached to the grunt workers, while the top office makes decisions based solely on profit.
The book does not try to explain the complexities of financial instruments, but Smith does enough explaining to tell his story. A few reviews have complained that Smith is writing to trumpet his own success, but really it's necessary to understand his positive experiences, so that we can appreciate the enormous decision he makes to leave.

The book left me asking--was banking always corrupt, and he was just too young and naive to see it? Or is there something in our modern culture that has degraded standards and ethics, so that behavior once considered unacceptable and shameful is now tolerated for the sake of short-term profit?
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great book but author is more reserved than you'd expect 3 janvier 2013
Par Seabreeze - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is a great portrayal of life in Wall Street. You'd think that Wall Street is so big and full of "smart" people that there would be more people like Greg Smith who come out in public and speak their conscience about how business is done. Not the case, Wall Street remains a very secretive place with a lot of deals done in a dark room with 5 or 6 guys shaking hands. I applaud this guy for doing it. Most of the big firms are far more concerned about reputation than the law (and rightfully so) and this makes the book even more significant. I found this book to be a very accurate portrayal of life in the street. Being in the financial services myself I was able to relate to a lot of the stories regarding training and being a young trader at GS. Also, it was easy to identify with stories about office politics and how business is done at GS. Anyone looking to buy this book should know that Greg is no Michael Lewis but this is probably a good thing. Some of the stories are a bit dry but at the same time accurate. I found Michael Lewis fun to read but some of the stories are highly exaggerated. But I digress.....

My only complaint about the book is that it does not go far enough. Some of the anecdotal stories that Greg recounts regarding ridiculous behavior on the parts of the managers and partners are really standard practice in Wall Street. Anyone working in the financial services will quickly learn that there is an abundance of a holes and irresponsible behavior is often rewarded well. Also, the main point of the book that clients are viewed as the enemy is again standard practice in the street. This was more so the case before 2008 but even nowadays there have not been a lot of changes. In many cases the hedge fund stars are the salespeople who bring in all the money and not the guy that manages the portfolios. I would have liked to see a bit more of the irresponsible behavior in the book and am not sure why Greg did not go all the way. A good reason for this might be because as I mentioned above there is no trail for these types of shenanigans....you really have to be there to see it and believe it.

Finally I was surprised at all the negative press that this book got which really supports the author's thesis. I saw Greg in an interview with Maria Bartiromo and she just wouldn't shut up about why the author stayed at GS for 11+ years and then wrote this book. It's a valid question but that's really all she focused on. I can say from personal experience that you really need a good 5-6 years to really understand what really is going on in terms of how things work in a big firm like GS and in Wall Street. And it might be that he postponed it a bit for personal reasons (US papers maybe?) or other reasons. Whatever the reason is the fact that there is gross disrespect for clients in Wall Street remains true. What's really disturbing is that it's common practice and yet you don't hear many if any people point it out.
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