This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Goldman's Greg Smith Is the Latest Buddhist Convert From the 1%

It's ironic that the op-ed came a day after the release of the Federal Reserve stress tests and a major rally in the banking sector, as some firms on life support just three years ago after the subprime meltdown announced major dividend hikes and share buybacks with the Fed's blessing.

Indeed, it's the market analysis of the latest Goldman negative headline that may say the most, and the 3% decline as many other banks rose, seems like the real damage. I don't think it's because of what Smith said, but rather the subtext.

"People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm -- or the trust of its clients -- for very much longer," he wrote.

The attack on Goldman's toxic culture designed only for making money also comes during a week when President Obama and the Congress are trying to push through a piece of legislation that will erase investor protections built up through decades and strengthened in the past decade in direct response to Enron and the bubble, a "jobs" act viewed by critics as doing the bidding of the banks and venture capitalists.

In the post-Vampire Squid era, with the bank ban on proprietary trading and the boring old world of commercial loans and mortgages back to being the bread-and-butter of the financial system, it's that much tougher for Goldman to do what it does best in gaming the constrained but still convoluted world of trading. That world is changing, but not enough to make a Buddhist of a capitalist, a member of the 1% a member of the 99%, or add even more tentacles to the Vampire Squid.

Consider this: One of the ironies of the Smith Goldman "dis" is that neither Warren Buffett, his compatriot in calling out Wall Street greed, or JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs' peer company, would likely hire him, the latter being an opinion expressed by Bloomberg's William Cohan on Tuesday, who called Smith "toast" as far as all of Wall Street is concerned.

Buffett is famous for deriding the same "toxic and destructive" nature of Wall Street called out by Smith, just not specifically when it comes to Goldman. Which one of them is right? The right answer might still be both of them, and it's just that Goldman's tentacles will always have the longest reach.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Eric Rosenbaum.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Eric Rosenbaum.

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,067.56 -30.89 -0.18%
S&P 500 2,002.28 -1.09 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,598.1880 +17.9170 0.39%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs