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Goldman embarks on 'muppet' hunt

22 March 2012  |  6935 views  |  3 kermit

Goldman Sachs has begun trawling through internal e-mails searching for the term 'muppet' in a bid to determine whether a former executive's recent high-profile claims about employees using derogatory language to describe clients is true, according to Reuters.

Last week Greg Smith used the New York Times OpEd pages to resign from his role as a Goldman Sachs executive director in spectacular fashion.

Among the many damaging claims he made was the assertion that "over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as "muppets," sometimes over internal e-mail". In the UK, 'muppet' is used to describe a stupid person.

According to Reuters, citing sources, Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein told partners in a conference call this week that the bank takes Smith's claims seriously and is now scanning all internal e-mails in search of derogatory remarks about clients.

Goldman conducts company-wide email review: sources - Reuters

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 22 March, 2012, 18:50

They could start also with clients like that lush Miss Piggy and that crazy Bear that is totally untrustworhy and that Gonzo chap who is just risk personified. Lookout for code names like the Kermit account or perhaps Big Bird you know the one that lays eggs

Come to think of it Goldman have their work cut out and maybe a humble apology and a resolve to their clients might be best. Hanging employees is not what will do the trick if its a ademic culture thing. Glad they are doing something anyway

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Stanley Epstein
Stanley Epstein - Citadel Advantage Ltd - Modiin | 23 March, 2012, 05:14

If Goldman Sachs thinks that trawling for “muppet” referring e-mails will somehow solve their problem then they have seriously missed the point on two counts. First - there are countless derogatory (and often subtle) terms that can be used in reference to clients (and banks for that matter) and second – not all communications are by e-mail.

The point is, that when staff are motivated by the size of the bonus cheque, client considerations go out the window. And whether you call them “muppets” or whatever, clients are all fair game.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 26 March, 2012, 10:38

I think this is a story where Clairvoyance may well be proven correct.... I forsee a misty period of seemly delay for investigation, followed by a revelation to the masses.....from the mountain top...... that there is no evidence of GS staff referring to clients as Muppets. In the meantime, Kermit (who ever he is)  will still need the services of these Merchant Bankers....

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