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The Goldman Sachs/Greg Smith Matter: Readers Respond

Stocks in this article: GS

When it comes to the historical Buddha, one reader noted that he renounced all of his wealth and lived his life as a penniless monk once he found enlightenment, and some readers are reserving judgment until Smith announces he is forking over every penny he made at Goldman to charity:

"I find it interesting that Smith's moral outrage did not cause him to return any of his millions of ill-gotten gain from his work with GS," writes reader Smokey48. "If he's really that outraged maybe he should take those millions he earned on the back of greedy, unethical Goldman Sachs and return it to the clients that were ripped off."

For some readers, the big "rip off" otherwise known as Wall Street raised a more fundamental question about human nature:

  • Are the rich by nature less ethical than the poor?
  • Reader BunnyNSunny thinks this is the case, writing, "Recent research has found that the rich are more likely to "break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to raise their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work."

    The scientific data isn't on the side of a "profit-at-all-cost gene" in our nature, according to Alex Couseins. While there is scientific research about this and while the point seems common sense, "it's actually a fallacy if you look for peer-researched articles on the subject. There is every reason to believe that Mr. Smith's idea of what was 'wrong' was not something that only sprouted from his brain once he was rich.

    My colleague at TheStreet John DeFeo noted that the rich are also more likely to steal bagels .

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