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Very Late Lunchtime Links: A Goldman client acknowledges that Goldman staff are far more intelligent than he; young women shame young men for aspiring to be bankers


Goldman clients have begun calling the bank pretending to be Miss Piggy. So says the Financial Times, which also says that the firm’s clients are cognizant of the fact that the Goldman bankers they deal with are individuals of superior intelligence.

“They are highly competent,” an unnamed senior executive at a ‘large European industrial company’ told the FT. “If you deal with Goldman you always have to keep that in mind and then you can’t complain if the more intelligent guys are sitting on the other side of the table.”

This may be a problem in itself. Justin Fox, editorial director of the Harvard Business Review says banks were fine historically because they only attracted the bottom third of the class – modest folk with limited ambitions. And then:

“….the combination of bigger paychecks and higher college and grad school tuition began driving the best students into finance…the culture of an organization composed entirely of people who are really, really smart and know they are really, really smart may be bound to turn toxic eventually.”

Separately, the photograph below, originally included in a New York Times article on how students are being deterred from banking careers, illustrates an interesting reason why the best students may decide against banking careers in future: women won’t like them if they do.


Hypocrisy as a business model. (Epicurean Dealmaker) 

Hector Sants becomes the latest person to resign from the FSA. (Evening Standard) 

Hector Sants is a little bland. (Ian Fraser)

Hector Sants is a man of integrity. (The Guardian)

Actually, it is JPMorgan that people most want to get out of. (Fortune)

Stephen Hester says the government should sell its RBS stake quickly [thereby enabling the bank to start paying well again]. (Telegraph)

Nomura has made Paul Norris, its global head of markets research, redundant. Equity and fixed income research will now be run by Hideyuki Takahashi, global head of research, out of Japan. (Financial News)

George Osborne looking evil. (GeorgeOsborneLookingEvil)

Comments (4)

  1. Sarah, will you please stop posting articles? I want to go home. As Miss Piggy is my role model, I have to say that I would relish taking on GS. Or whatever. Cleverer than us? In the manner of trained monkeys, in most instances. After all Greg Smith didn’t know what a derivative was when he joined. People who Think they are Really Really Smart have got us into a fine mess, Ollie. Oy, mixing my comedic metaphors. Time to go home and hit the Pinot…

  2. Er no, they actually are NOT ‘really really smart’. They merely know the job they are doing (which they have spent months/years being trained into), whereas an ‘industrial company’ client isn’t going to be an expert on finance, therefore clients feel less intelligent because they haven’t got industry specific (i.e. financial) knowledge, thus making it difficult for them to understand and object to the ‘fantastic investment ideas’ Goldman is selling them.

    If anything the majority of Goldman staff are heavily brainwashed and operate as though they were a cult. They are walking clones/drones and spit out the same spiel day in, day out.
    How Greg Smith managed not to succumb to this cult for 12 years is extraordinary.

  3. Like :-) AgathaLopion vvv much. Best sense on this on web. Having an insider (but not employee view) of GS, there are a large number of people who were/are worried about the direction the firm has taken since it’s been run by traders. Lloyd B etc. But IBs are great at throttling the opposition. Greg Smith spotted a fragment opportunity and grabbed it. It remains to be seen if he has a future in banking. Wish him well. OK, OK, I’m going home now, and its only because I love eFC that I keep on posting. Sob. Sad, innit?


  4. really smart at what? at bringing the world to it’s knees with the global recession.

    it’s a bit like saying a drug dealer is a very smart business person.

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