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Why I Left Goldman Sachs Audiobook

Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story

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Publisher's Summary

On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell op-ed in the New York Times titled Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs. The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society - and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago. Smith now picks up where his op-ed left off.

His story begins in the summer of 2000, when an idealistic 21-year-old arrives as an intern at Goldman Sachs and learns about the firm's Business Principle Number One: Our clients' interests always come first. This remains Smith's mantra as he rises from intern to analyst to sales trader, with clients controlling assets of more than a trillion dollars.

From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction - Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world's most powerful bank.

Smith describes in page-turning detail how the most storied investment bank on Wall Street went from taking iconic companies like Ford, Sears, and Microsoft public to becoming a "vampire squid" that referred to its clients as "muppets" and paid the government a record half-billion dollars to settle SEC charges. He shows the evolution of Wall Street into an industry riddled with conflicts of interest and a profit-at-all-costs mentality: a perfectly rigged game at the expense of the economy and the society at large.

After conversations with nine Goldman Sachs partners over a twelve-month period proved fruitless, Smith came to believe that the only way the system would ever change was for an insider to finally speak out publicly. He walked away from his career and took matters into his own hands. This is his story.

©2012 Greg Smith (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (459 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jiri 07-13-15
    Jiri 07-13-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Everyone who listens to the end is a hero!"
    Would you try another book from Greg Smith and/or Greg Smith?

    No, I would not.


    What could Greg Smith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He could have learned some economics, and history in order to understand what were the real causes of financial crises in 2008, 1929, etc. and what is the reason why people on Wall Street behave in the way they do. The guy is completely clueless which actually very telling about what kind of business can possibly Goldman do with employees like him. You must understand the role of central bank in all of this, of artificially low interest rates, of bail outs by government if something goes wrong. These are the reasons behind the short term mentality of the Wall Street gamblers. You won't fix this with regulations. Greg understands none of this, he even cheers Hank Paulson for the bail outs.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Greg Smith’s performances?

    No way. His voice and pronunciation (his pronunciation of the word "year" just tears my ears - it is probably just my personal dislike) make the listening even more tormenting.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment in the first place, but also happiness after I finished it.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 04-06-15
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 04-06-15
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    "Great Read - Narration Lacking"

    I do love reading about Wall Street - especially during the crash of recent years. It is just fascinating to me to hear how great it all was, how high everyone was, and how everyone was so devastated when it fell. So few believed it could happen. Greg Smith tells his story, the rise from nothing, to greatness, to the great fall. His accent helps deal with the monotony of his voice. He really could have added more emotion into this, It is HIS story after all. But you can get through it. Still a good book. I would recommend it to those that like the Wall Street Fairy Tales that were...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 04-08-14
    Todd 04-08-14
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    "Great Read to Learn About the Ins and Outs of WS"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Listed to it over two days. At first I thought that Greg Smith's accent was going to bug me, but I think he was the right person to read the book as his passion came through at different points. I found the story fascinating coming from a kid in South America, to getting a scholarship to attend Stanford (Which he would not have had enough money to attend), to an internship with Goldman Sachs, to a job with GS and his ups and downs throughout his career on WS (thoughout the financial crisis). For those of you into finance and investments this is a must read. He gives you a real world perspective on what goes on in these big banks and not always good. He also appeared on 60 minutes about the content in the book as well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori 09-22-13
    Lori 09-22-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A Culture Story"

    Greg Smith describes how an organization's evolving values make their way into everyday behavior which over time become personally intolerable (both the behaviors and the values).

    appreciated the level of detail in his descriptions of the characters and Wall Street life. It does not read like a rant. It reads like a sad break up story.

    He seems hard working and smart; maybe not the warmest guy on the planet...I enjoyed his intelligent thinking and phrasing.

    I learned a lot about Wall Street, which was one of my objectives. I am not delusional that he is entirely blameless, at the end of the day, but it is also obvious that there is plenty of blame to go around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodrigo CHAPEL HILL, NC, United States 09-20-13
    Rodrigo CHAPEL HILL, NC, United States 09-20-13
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    "pretty good book"
    If you could sum up Why I Left Goldman Sachs in three words, what would they be?

    worth a read


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Why I Left Goldman Sachs?

    they author/reader's accent is pretty cool


    Which character – as performed by Greg Smith – was your favorite?

    him


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    not done with it yet


    Any additional comments?

    i would not mind re-listening to this again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    clemens Roskilde, CA, United States 09-13-13
    clemens Roskilde, CA, United States 09-13-13
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    "Rare inside view, somewhat self-promoting"
    Where does Why I Left Goldman Sachs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not the BEST account of the financial crisis, however a very interesting take on the shift in culture that have taken place on Wall Street.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The rare look inside one of the most important financial institutions in the world.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really. However, the key changes inside GS is nicely accounted for. However, it may be a bit narrow, due to the authors limited access to guys at the very top. It's more descriptive than offering actual explanations.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth using a credit on if interested in the inner workings of one of the most opaque yet influential institutions in the world. Not groundbreaking and the author seem to think very highly of Himself in se passages.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 08-20-13
    Andre SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Boring"
    Any additional comments?

    I love bio books about wall street, this one was just especially boring without any real substance or stories that kept me interested. In fact I quit after just 2 hours of listening, the first time I have done that in 2 years. His voice is mono chromatic which I could have lived with had the book had anything of value.

    There are far better options about the subject with far more interesting authors that I would choose over this title, but that's just my opinion

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Louisville, KY, United States 02-11-13
    Brad Louisville, KY, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Fascinating Read on Goldman Sachs"
    Would you listen to Why I Left Goldman Sachs again? Why?

    Definitely would reread some parts of the book. Especially the details explaining derivatives/SWOPS and how GS was involved in 2007-2008 Financial Fall.


    What other book might you compare Why I Left Goldman Sachs to and why?

    Lords of Finance-Great book on the 4 major world powers in the early 1900's on they dealt with Gold Standard.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Explanation of GS involvement with the whole 2007-2008 Financial Fall


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter COLUMBUS, OH, United States 02-01-13
    Peter COLUMBUS, OH, United States 02-01-13
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    "An anecdotal experience, but compelling story"
    Any additional comments?

    This was just one man's experience and the reader risks confirmation bias, but it was a compelling story and well-told. For an interesting look into one man's journey through his career at Goldman, this book is a great choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Mccomb Ft Collins, CO USA 01-02-13
    Dave Mccomb Ft Collins, CO USA 01-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "One side of the story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Helpful if you want to get some insight into how Golman Sachs works internally. To get the other side read (unfortuneately no audio available) "Culture of Success" (although its a bit dated)


    What about Greg Smith’s performance did you like?

    I like books read by the author and this one in particular, his South African accent is a big plus.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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