Being narrated by the author made the listen more compelling. He gave a factual account without attacking the character of his collegues named in the book.
Greg Smith's moral integrity triumphed over greed.
Although it has some interesting stuff, it raised some questions as well. The author was refused a promotion before he resigned, which puts his moral concerns about the business in a different light. In order to prevent the elites from getting richer and the poor getting poorer, he suggests more regulation of the financial markets by the powers that be/elites.
That should make you stop and think. According to him, to get rid of too big to fail institutions, we need congress (those people that can not control their spending and borrow from their printing presses) control and regulate the financials. He also seem to have some hope that 115 regulatory bodies of the financial markets is not enough and 116 is going to make a difference. You can read the book about Madoff (Harry Markopolis) to see why regulation does not work (revolving door). The only thing that works is taking the way the gun on the head of the tax slave. Without the ability to dump losses on the tax slaves through the government power structure,
Given he asks for more power for the few, to fight the problems of too much power for the few, I rate this book as a solicitation for a job as a regulator, to become part of the few and stick it to GS, who passed him over for promotion. He also must have smelled that there exists a market for railing against the big banks.
Greg Smith's performance was excellent and the story interesting and easy to follow.
It was not written in a hateful manner. It is information everyone knows is going on but is not written about.
His voice made you understand his up bring in South Africa and the love of his new country.
The truth is always stranger then fiction
This book tackles issues never really addressed in the public eye. It is very interesting and builds up to where the world of finance is going today.
Not a chance
He has a very annoying accent but I guess that is not his fault.
It is an interesting story and all points of view are valid- he is a credible insider to a world that is unfairly reviled by mainstream society.
I am not an investment banker, but I do know some, have worked with some and considered becoming one when I left Oxford. Let us be under no illusions, investment banking is not exactly a client focussed game, nor does it give a lot back to society but it is far from the evil that society (especially Brits) seem to suggest these days.
Greg Smith is obviously very smart, probably credible and he has definitely been close to the centre of one the greatest/ largest investment bank in the world during some pretty major events. However, boy does this guy love himself. Some of the quotes and passages are just cringe worthy- apparently he never put a foot wrong, or if he did it was only once and he learnt from his mistakes. He was the 'go to guy' for just about everything and the greats within the bank showed him enormous respect. I'm just not sure I believe all of that. He just doesn't come across as very likeable.
Not coming across as very likeable would be fine if the book were a well written, well argued insight into the real workings of Goldman Sachs. Sadly, it isn't. The book is basically a life story, rarely exciting, occasionally interesting but mostly just one low level guy's story of working in an investment bank. Most of the book seems to state the obvious- would you have guessed that the recruitment process is tough and stressful for a job that pays 250k a year to 22 year olds or that once you get said job you would be expected to work long hours or pass exams first time?
This book could have been so much more, an academic, well reasoned argument about why Goldman Sachs is bad/ evil/ changed from good to bad. What you get is mostly a whinge from a low level guy who didn't make it. He is clearly in love with the bank and fell out of love when it didn't give him exactly what he wanted.
He maybe right- I just don't know but after sitting through 10 hours of the book, I'm not sure I care. Greg may have a wonderful future ahead of him, he may even be a great guy but he certainly doesn't have a future in writing.
I am a financial crisis junkie and have listened to most of Audible's offerings on the topic. Simply put - those who do not know history are destined to relive it. Matters of finance are so complex that it is difficult for most to grasp what happened. For that reason, it still goes on. We cannot stop what we do not understand.
Tell us about yourself!
I admire Greg Smith's thoughtful account into the people and culture of Goldman Sachs and the broader “Wall Street” world -- you can tell that he is intelligent, hard working and most importantly has a strong moral compass. From a trader’s viewpoint, he has a unique perspective of the markets, futures & derivatives, and how one of the most prestigious firms survived and even thrived in the midst of a potential financial meltdown not seen since the Great Depression. It’s hard not to admire Greg’s courage to tell this story and follow the choices he made. Lesser people would not have done the same.
You can tell that Greg remains a “culture carrier” and remains respectful of the many brilliant and dynamic people he worked with during his career with the firm. There is no bitterness, and he is not naïve -- greed and conflicts of interest occur everywhere. It’s a good read and I recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of what is happening with our economy as the “smartest” people in one sector influence so much of our lives.
The GS manager who asked the female who was crying because a co-worker had been fired, "what did you major in at Villanova, emotionalism?" Typical
Any time he talked about what was said over the Hoot'n Holler.
In an industry where 70% of portfolio and hedge fund managers underperform the market in a good year, where failing bankers get million dollar bonuses, where we get a constant barage of BS artists posing as convincing prognosticators on CNBC every day, can anyone be surprised that Goldman Sachs looks after themselves before customers? Nothing new here, but a fun read nonetheless. This is why Warren Buffet tells recent college grads seeking jobs "to hold your noses and head to Wall Street".
A true wake up call. This industry needs serious reform.
Greg does an amazing job of describing what the big investment firms are all about. There is such a serious conflict of interest but their lobbyist are so strong that you wonder if the "boys club" can be taken down.
Corruption in the financial industry
It tells an interesting story, sheds light on a big problem in our society, and inspires you to be a better person.
The fact that the narrative spans an interesting decade and does a good job painting a picture of all the noteworthy events and changes.