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Goldman's Releases Walkthru "Toolkit" Of How It Will Respond To Second Coming Of Greg Smith's Muppetgate

Tyler Durden's picture


Ever since Goldman was publicly (if very much ineffectively) crucified in the spring of 2010 by Carl "Shitty Deal" Levin for the firm's credit bubble CDO transgressions, Goldman Sachs did something very uncharacteristic, if wise: it evacuated the contents of its inksac and literally disappeared from the public spotlight, reappearing only periodically to report on its quarterly performance which until this quarter had been very ho-hum. Since then the firm has been very much delighted that the public's attention shifted far away from the firm that Matt Taibbi immortalized as a bloodsucking mollusc, to other bailed out banks embroiled in epic cases of money laundering, those caught performing epic trade gaffes named after yet other marine creature, and many others.

Yet it all came back with a vengeance in March when a former employee of the firm, VP Greg Smith, made waves with a NYT Op-Ed alleging the firm was abusing its clients. This in itself was no surprise to anyone. What however did come as surprise subsequently, were the details of Smith's departure from the firm, which painted him as a vindictive hypocritical malcontent, whose sole purpose in life ever since fortune smiled upon him and some NYT editor decided to publish his letter, was to ink a multi-million book deal (which in turn has spurred a media flame war against Smith by various other less fortunate financial journalists, and we use the term very loosely). Well, that book is now out, and as a result Smith, Goldman, and the infamous muppets are about to get their second half-life of 15 minute fame, starting with Smith's interview by the just as dramatic Anderson Cooper in this weekend's episode of 60 Minutes. And while nothing new will be disclosed about Goldman this time, the firm will for better or worse, be watercooler talk for at least a few days. The result is that after having to write a memo to his employees once already providing marching orders on how to handle the first iteration of muppetgate, a few hours ago Goldman again released a "briefing toolkit" titled "Media Interest in Greg Smith's Book" in which it prepares its employees for the coming brief if acute storm of renewed public criticism as a result of Goldman once again being in the headlines, if only for another 15 or so minutes.

The core of the internally and now externally circulated memo, is the following:

 In the days ahead, Greg Smith, a former vice president of the firm who wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in March 2012 on the day he resigned, will be publicizing a book about his time at Goldman Sachs and his views of the financial services industry.


Greg is scheduled to appear on various television and radio shows to attract publicity for his book to drive higher sales. Some of these news outlets have signed deals with Greg’s publisher, which give them exclusive access to the book in advance of its publication, and we expect them to tell a more one-sided story than they might otherwise. We have provided the following statement to any media program that has requested a response from us:


"Mr. Smith’s op-ed portrayed a firm that is unrecognizable to us and directly opposite to the culture we work hard to foster, but we took his claims seriously and conducted a thorough review of them. That review found no evidence to support his claims, but did find that Mr. Smith appeared to be frustrated about his career and future prospects at Goldman Sachs."


At the heart of Greg Smith’s complaint is an assertion that the firm’s culture and values have deteriorated, and, as stated above, we take those issues very seriously. That is why we did an extensive review of his claims, as vague as they were, and found no evidence to substantiate them.

And so prepare for even more drama and distractions, and absolutely nothing new of substance. Just as has been intended.

Full memo below



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Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:24 | 2905894 Earl of Chiswick
Earl of Chiswick's picture

f cooper

smith's a loser

                   and Goldman sucks


Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:48 | 2905927 no taste
no taste's picture

Goldman Sucks is to integrity, as the the presidential shambates are to debate.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 23:38 | 2906027 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture

"We have no recollection of stealing taxpayers' money"

Fuck you Goldman.

btw, fuck you Bernanke.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 01:24 | 2906091 economics9698
economics9698's picture

"Mr. Smith’s op-ed portrayed a firm that is unrecognizable to us and directly opposite to the culture we work hard to foster, but we took his claims seriously and conducted a thorough review of them. That review found no evidence to support his claims, but did find that Mr. Smith appeared to be frustrated about his career and future prospects at Goldman Sachs."


We have found out who MDB is!  Exposed.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 10:47 | 2906268 ReallySparky
ReallySparky's picture

I think you are on to something. Good eye.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:14 | 2906301 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

First rule of finance (everything, really):  shoot the messenger . . . hard.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 09:41 | 2906205 Observer
Observer's picture

Earl of Chiswick. That was succinct :-) encapsulates the saga

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:20 | 2905897 Neethgie
Neethgie's picture

Goldman seriously have the most inept pr guys ever, If they had ignored the fucking book, a few people would have bought it.

But no they decided to character assasinate him and say THAT GUYS BOOK IS FULL OF LIES DONT BUY IT, making everyone in a rush to buy it.

Seriously the vampire squid could not look more dim witted than it does right now.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:46 | 2905924 Popo
Popo's picture

Not to mention that we already have plenty of evidence to support his claims. It wasn't Greg Smith that brought the public the concept of "muppets" first. Nor was it Smith that revealed the emails which described paper as "shit" prior to offloading it to clients. Nor was it Mr.Smith who revealed what went down in Jefferson County Alabama. And the Squid was invoved in Greek finances as well. And continues to be the largest source of U.S. political bribery. (sorry, "support").

We knew all about Goldman before Greg Smith. Goldman's response is clueless because they clearly believe that their image was clean prior to this book. Far from it.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:37 | 2905976 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

" The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist."


Minority of the shuppets know who Dimon and Blankfein are. And the Squid Masters should rather keep it that way.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:56 | 2905931 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Meet Richard "Jake" Siewert. Soon to be former Managing Director, Public Relations at Goldman Sachs. Former Counselor to Tim Geithner at Treasury.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 23:44 | 2906031 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Neethguy...genius commentary

 Nobody would care about the book, right now.  There are far bigger issues in the world, right now, than the fate of some muppets.

But the Squid brought attention upon itself and now the conspiracy theorists and socialist redistributors will be all over this.

Shooting thyself in the head couldn't be executed (no pun intended) by a better group of guys.  Well, except maybe the Obama administration, but that is a different type of lowlife. 


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:08 | 2906404 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

How can a firm critically examine itself when its first statement made is that the firm is unrecognizable? The answer is to spin and fog and use words and phrases as diversions to nonsense that tests well. Each piece of a shattered bridge may be true, but you will surely fall in the drink. Winning!

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:31 | 2905910 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

At the heart of Greg Smith’s complaint is an assertion that the firm’s culture and values have deteriorated...

Not possible. How does scum deteriorate? How does slime further degrade? imo GS is filled with the worst moist vile creatures on the planet and they can sink no lower because they are already as depraved as a human can get.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:44 | 2905922 Osmium
Osmium's picture


Don't sugar coat it though.  Tell us how you really feel.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:33 | 2905969 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

The best bit is when the GS traders get jiggy with the goyim topless models and blankfein has a shower with benny.
Wish I was doing Jehovah's work

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:34 | 2905912 Insideher Trading
Insideher Trading's picture

Our review showed that Greg did not provide any negative feedback on any of his reviewees in any of those years.

No shit. Providing negative reviews about your company gets you fired.

HR in any big company is really more-or-less like the secret police arm of a fascist regime.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:19 | 2905954 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@Insideher Trading

Word. You can add Internal Audit to that, too. Of, thanks to that wonderfully useless legislation that is Sarbannes-Oxley, you inform management of any fraud, the investigation begins and ends with you.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:19 | 2906318 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

There was no negative feedback on his reviewees because according to Greg's op-ed, the criteria were as follows:

"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."


Apparently all of Greg's employees were doing well in these categories.


Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:35 | 2905914 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I was looking @ " Marble Caskets" and ended up here?

   Greg Smith says the culture @ G.S. has deteriorated.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:40 | 2905916 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

now that we know that gs has conducted an internal interview, we can rest assured that smith was all lies....

blankfein: whale, did we ever cheat our muppets?

london whale: no

there you have it folks, their internal investigation, including outside sources, shows absolutely no fault.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:08 | 2905946 mendigo
mendigo's picture

soon we will be treated to shapiro's account of all the valiant efforts she made and the true cause of the financial meltdown and what steps need to be taken - almost guaranteed aneurism.

abolish the fed and the sec

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 10:17 | 2906229 DavidC
DavidC's picture

Unless you're being ironic and I missed it, the whale was a J P Morgan trader, Dimon's lot, Blankfein is GS.


Fri, 10/19/2012 - 21:52 | 2905932 realtick
realtick's picture

A Nation That Doesn't Make Things Is Not A Real Nation

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 23:00 | 2905996 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Your choices are Abomination and Rumination.

Because a Pollination is far off.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 09:45 | 2905944 Call me Ishmael
Call me Ishmael's picture

Is this guy planted to make benign criticisms about the Squid so that people don't listen to it's real victims? The fact that it staffs governments to rape it's citizens? (not literally). Or that it, and the banking cartel create OUR money out of thin air to charge us interest that can't be paid back to take our houses with? Just to name a few.

I feel like I'm on crazy pills!

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:17 | 2905952 Duke of Con Dao
Duke of Con Dao's picture

Prez Obama's indelicate use of the language:   (plus Hill covering her wide behind)


YouTube - "Things Screw Up" says Prez Obama, "Gaddafi promised me a Bugatti and left me with Bengzahi instead!


The mother of an American diplomat killed during a terrorist raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has hit out at Barack Obama for describing the attack as 'not optimal', saying: 'My son is not very optimal - he is also very dead.'

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:40 | 2906368 Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

Just how is this related to the posted article????

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:26 | 2905955 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Llord Blankfein faced with another disgruntled junior officer that thinks The Empire isn't sensitive enough.  Do that thing where you find his, "lack of faith disturbing," then you choke him using The Farce.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 00:26 | 2906058 NeedtoSecede
NeedtoSecede's picture

hh, are you sure you are getting your movie references right? In this racket don't you think they would use The Schwartz?

May The Schwartz be with us all to survive this shitstorm.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:25 | 2905957 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Expecting GS to self-identitify or self-report any problems found in an "internal investigation" is like expecting Lindsey Lohan to sober up and obey driving laws.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:25 | 2905959 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Goldman Sucks. Put Blankfeind and the ChairSatan in prison. They are about to get their asses kicked out of Europe and I'm watchin to run the Rawhide drum roll when it happens.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:33 | 2905967 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I think this story is a HUGE deal with the potential to release a FLOOD of what really goes on "in the name of media relations." we shall see if Greg is the iceberg that takes out the partnership...but clearly the reputation of the firm has been obliterated beyond hope of repair. New York City is just one scandal away from BIG TROUBLE. This story isn't big enough to bust the metropolis..but clearly no one will ever have wanted to know the name "Goldman" after the Facebook fiasco and "Hackerfest!" et al. Lloyd has been the public face of Social Media since day one...CATASTROPHIC. And the Mayor lording over "former rail lines" no less? Hey...we LOVE that business up here. At least that network is still secure. WE HOPE!

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 22:54 | 2905994 DavosSherman
DavosSherman's picture

I'm going to send Goldman Sachs some free PR advice: They should dress Lloyd Blankfein in a Catholic Cardinal's outfit (yes I know he's Jewish) and have him appear alongside all the priests who raped little boys and tell him he too is doing God's work and that no one should believe Greg Smith.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 23:28 | 2906020 rustymason
rustymason's picture

And this just in ... KKR is STILL not dead!

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 00:08 | 2906045 stairmaster
stairmaster's picture

Let me get this straight, back in the day, when I was a known axe murderer, I realized I had a serious PR problem.  So rather then changing from the pure essance of evil that I am, I will commit to "renewing our focus on reputational excellence". Seriously, who do they write this stuff for?  Anyone reading it knows it bullshit and anyone who is busy watching "The New Norma"l is clueless either way.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 00:27 | 2906060 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 00:30 | 2906065 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

As a reminder:


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 02:37 | 2906115 Pike Bishop
Pike Bishop's picture

I'm going to parse this, but IMHO, it gets to the guts of the interpretation of this. just a few courses up from Psych 101, there is a operational definition-type distinction between reactive behavior to rejection and betrayal.

This guy rejected GS. Why did it majorly piss-off GS. Because the way he did it, neutered GS's ability to capture it early-on and spin/work the living shit out of it.

What's the distinction. There is no inter-bond of trust. This guy is dogshit the minute he doesn't perform. No ifs ands or buts.

There is no "your last two years were monkey shit, but when we hired you, we picked you because you were the best, and we're going to invest a few more years to get you to your max performance. A guy's wife gets killed by an axe murder and his kids are in comas, and its going to effect him."

Fuck that.

"We have a Pension Group coming in Thurs. Will you need a whole day for your wife's funeral?"

I'm sure that neither party was naive enough to have some deep belief that the connection had anything to do with something beyond the most recent TTM of performance.

Did this guy violate some blood oath?

At some point, some jerk-off at GS is going to say GS was carrying him even though his performance sucked in some way.

Then you know you have located Bullshit Central. That would never happen.

I can't know what the guy saw, but he sure as hell was clear on the reasons he quit.

If anything he's following the GS credo. Do what you have to do, to make the company and you money. Nobody will count dead bodies. Make your money in the industry, and then get the fuck out by 40.

If some fuckshit peer in your company tells you he thinks you're an asshole and he doesn't want you near any of his projects. you congratulate him for not being a passive-aggressive asshole and making the situation clear, and ya then can work around it. That's rejection and you could give a shit.

You come home and find your best friend ass-fucking your girlfriend or wife. That's how a lot of people end up in manslaughter charges. That's betrayal of trust and the reactive behavior is on a whole different level.

He'll get his 15 minutes and a chunk of money.

GS will just go on ass-fucking their clients and counter-parties.

That's betrayal because of the trust of fiduciary responsibility to clients. It's sublime that the first thing that gets called on him is betrayal.

BTW, GS didn't at first go silent running because of internal strategy. The CEO's and Boards of the other Banks wanted Blankfein to stop digging in public.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 04:10 | 2906127 bigwavedave
bigwavedave's picture

Joe Biden owns the Muppets. End of Story

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 04:17 | 2906131 jack stephan
jack stephan's picture

Of course wb7 nails it.. I read that ms. Silicone story and was disappointed, he'll that was a Saturday night dive bar with some fake titty substitute school teacher story back in 2003, all that money and nothing original to do with it. Shameful shitty storytellers, for shaaaaame. I can do that. I'll take that money, Now to get as ridiculous as the days and nights permit.

Enjoy your weekend zh before someone tries to steal it.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 08:33 | 2906180 Isotope
Isotope's picture

Can someone translate this post?

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 08:10 | 2906167 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

You don't know you are working for a company with ethics until you work for one without them.  I  have worked for both and just briefly for the one without them.  Ask a man to lie to sell a product/service.  Don't deliver said product/service in timely manner as SOP and one thing leads to another and your whole sales force is corrupt.  You wouldln't let any one of them near your family.  I think outright lies and bullshit have become so acceptable in all areas of life that just now people are waking up and saying WTF happened to our country?  If we become every man for himself if SHTF it will not be pretty and we will not enjoy it.  You have your word and your reputation and if you lose either they are hard to get back.  Enjoy weekend.

Sun, 10/21/2012 - 09:38 | 2907545 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Where have you been since --- oh, 50 years ago?

Truth was murdered by lawless power (quantified in wealth) and the entire population has been exactly what you say -- "a poisoned sales force," since. The question is really what the fuck did the Boomers do to assure this country rotted???

They empowered corruption and demise by doing absolutely nothing.  Not one fucking thing.  JFK, Vietnam, deficit spending, fucking the poor, war on drugs, war on terror, wars for lies and profit, unfettered greed, and gutted education..   

Your country is now a cuntry - a pithy old flap of used worthless skin no one wants.  

Now someone is taking notes about truth?  What a fucking surprise joke.


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 08:24 | 2906176 Pope Clement
Pope Clement's picture

Talking points can be effectivr in molding the linguistic consciousness of scared rabbits and would be sell outs of the race but great art will always define a culture...thanks BillyBanzai and Tyler.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 09:10 | 2906193 d edwards
d edwards's picture

"Muppet" is no doubt trademarked/copyrighted. I, for one, want to be sure Big Bird gets his royalties every time the word is used. Then we taxpayers won't have to support him.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:36 | 2906358 Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

But wait...!!!

Isn't Romney trying to starve Big Bird?

Yes! Give Big Big his 'propers'. He will need it.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 09:08 | 2906192 GoldbugVariation
GoldbugVariation's picture

I really like that when GS went through its internal emails, all the references to "muppets" turned out to be discussions of the TV show and movie of that name.  Phew!

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:13 | 2906298 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

the other day some talking head or goldman apologist says something like: "in the UK, the term muppet isn't, well, I won't say term of endearment, but it isn't condescending"

love that spin but if someone says something like that to me face to face, i am gonna throw a punch

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 09:55 | 2906213 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Fixes article heading…

Goldman's Releases Dress Rehearsal "Firewall" Of How It Will Respond To Second Coming Of Greg Smith's Muppetgate Exposure.


Sat, 10/20/2012 - 11:10 | 2906291 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Goldman's view:

Trading is a very dangerous so in keeping our customers' best interests in mind, we always make the trade ahead of them to make sure nothing bad happens, and then we make our customers' trade.

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 12:46 | 2906455 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

'Tis the season for Monetary Treason!

Sun, 10/21/2012 - 12:23 | 2906461 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

What could GS possibly be worried about? They are doing GOD'S WORK. They have never cared what people or the press said or wrote about them. They have never cared that they frontrun their clients and do exactly the opposite of what they have reccomended to them. That they smirkingly refer to their clients as "the muppets", and that they have a contempuious, snide, indifferent attitude towards them. Maybe Mr. Smith has some REAL DIRT on Blanky Boy  and the minions. Hmmm...

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