SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
25
September
2013

Week 3- Why I am leaving Goldman-Sachs

The major idea of the article was that the morality of Goldman- Sachs has diminished enough for a very influential employee to quit. Winerip argues that it wasn’t always like this but gives many examples of Goldman employees planning on ripping off their clients.

Text 1: “What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.”

Response: This stood out to me as a rather alarming statement. At Goldman you aren’t rewarded for doing the right thing, but rather doing a calculated process in which money is made quickly and unethically. While I can appreciate how this kind of viewpoint is toxic to employee morality and a company in general, I wish Winerip would talk about the alternatives. Some questions I have are “What are the other options for the company?” and “Are there any other companies in the same field that are acting more ethical?” In other words, if you graduated with a degree in finance where is a better place to work? What is Winerip going to do after quitting? Retire?

Text 2:“It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.”

Response: I really appreciate this line because I think it is so true. As someone who has worked in retail I’ve never told a customer that something looked great when in fact it doesn’t for the purpose of selling more. Maybe it is because I didn’t work on commission, maybe it was because I’d like to think I am an honest and moral person, and maybe it is because being nice to a customer and gaining their trust is the most effective way to get them to come back to the store.



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