Goldman expos falls short of hype
The tell-all book that Goldman Sachs Group Inc former equity derivatives salesman Greg Smith has delivered may end up being remembered more for the marketing skills he picked up at the Wall Street bank than for any bombshell revelations.
Smith created a furor earlier this year when he resigned from the blue chip Wall Street firm, alleging in a New York Times Op-Ed column that the firm had engendered a toxic culture of treating clients as muppets - slang in Britain for idiots - and relieving them of their money.
Smith then promised a book about the bank, building up expectations of an expos with new insights about the culture at Goldman. The threat prompted a public relations campaign and internal inquiries at the bank, as it tried to avoid another hit to its image after suffering a barrage of bad publicity in recent years.
Smith reportedly received $1.5 million as an upfront payment for the book, which is being published by Grand Central Publishing, a unit of Hachette. He has lined up a series of interviews, including one with Reuters, to talk about the book Why I left Goldman Sachs, which will be released on Monday.
Early reviews of Smith's 288-page book are now in, and they aren't good. Reviewers, who received copies of the full book, have panned it for being a sleepy read with no big revelations – or worse, misleading.
The tawdriest revelations are about a bachelor party in Las Vegas with a topless woman, and Smith having seen Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's chief executive, in the buff after showering at the gym.
There were no examples of a toxic culture at work, no actual names of morally bankrupt people and no examples of a client getting ripped off, wrote James Stewart, himself the author of top selling business books such as Den of Thieves, in his column in the New York Times.
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