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Are Goldman Sachs bankers only any good when they’re at Goldman Sachs?

Is there really any point hiring anyone out of Goldman Sachs?

It’s a reasonable question to ask after the demise of MG Global, which has just filed for bankruptcy.

Jon Corzine, the former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, who joined MF Global as chief executive last year, appears to have been instrumental in its downfall. Bloomberg pointed out last week that Corzine told analysts on the firm’s last earning’s call that its positions and judgments about risk-mediation were his, “personal responsibility.” Corzine is said to have ramped up trading and risk in an effort to drive profit and emulate Goldman.

Needless to say, it didn’t happen. And Corzine isn’t the only Goldman banker to have come unstuck after leaving the firm. John Thain’s tenure at Merrill Lynch ended with the bank’s emergency sale to Bank of America. Thain also hired Tom Montag from Goldman to run sales and trading. At Goldman, Montag tripled Japanese profits in two years, but BAML’s sales and trading division seems to be doing particularly badly this year. Excluding DVA, revenues plunged 72% quarter on quarter in the three months to the end of September.

Headhunters say rivals can be loath to hire from Goldman: not only are its people hard to move, but they can lose their worth outside the Goldman group-think environment. True, or false? If you have an opinion you are welcome to express it below.

Comments (17)

Comments
  1. Black n yellow black n yellow black n yellow
    Yh
    Aha
    U know what it is
    Everythin ah do yh ah do it big

  2. You can’t win a war only with a first-class general, you also need first-class troops. Goldman has the latter, MF Global tried to combine the former with 3rd tier troops,

    Here is another analogy: You can’t take a Math professor from Cambridge, send him to Glasgow Caledonion Polytechnic and expect the undergraduates to suddenly perform at the same level as the Cambridge Mathmos?

  3. I’m Ray Charles to this rubbish

  4. GS bankers are like sheep, they have to work in teams, cannot stand on their own feet and think independently.

  5. Pro..Ex GS ..Wtf was he doing going long greek bonds?

    Honestly

    WTF

    Long Greek bonds

    WTF?!

    Who on Earth was like yh, that soudns liek a great idea John..Exactly what we need?!

    WTF?!

    No keys..Push to start
    Yh, aha
    U know what it issss
    erythin ah do ah do it biggg

  6. Sarah, Corzine came unstuck while he was still at Goldman:

    “In 1994, with Corzine as co-head of fixed-income, Goldman Sachs’s pretax income fell by more than 80 percent as the company lost money on wrong-way interest rate bets”

  7. Its really childish to think the that world revolves around Goldman Sachs. Seriously grow up!

  8. Maybe it’s not the people that work there, but the extent to which the company can cheat, cook its books, and socialize its losses.

  9. Black n yellow black n yellow black n yellow
    Yh
    Aha
    U know what it is
    Everythin ah do yh ah do it big

  10. @Nadie

    touché

  11. I know someone who works for GS: she is not at all impressive a performer but, hey, she knew someone working at GS, so she sent him a resume and he got her the spot. So now, I always have doubts when they say GS is only for the best in class…

  12. @anon – everyone lost money in the bond market in 1994. Except for Charlie of course who claims he was short 10 year notes against Corzine’s advice and made a fortune. Well possibly enough to get a new pair of Ferragamos.

  13. its all about PR! say your good say ur good say ru good and people will say ur good, when ur probably worst or same as them. Another example of this VTB, PR dept there bigger than trading floor . they say they r good but only prints -P&L which u dont see

  14. The really good people are the smart entrepreneurs who make millions with nothing … like Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, etc. etc. but GS bankers usually are posh, had a good education and the network to get in. Obviously they are very capable … but not more than others who did not attend Harvard but went to Uni of Ohio

  15. and so What? Jay Corzine has still made a fortune in bankrupting MF

  16. When will it become a criminal offence to massively mismanage financial risk? That is the root of all these problems. Powerful ego bankrupts firm – where have I heard that before?

  17. “You can’t win a war only with a first-class general, you also need first-class troops. Goldman has the latter, MF Global tried to combine the former with 3rd tier troops”

    Well, a first-class general ought to know the kind of troops he has at his disposal!

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