Friday, January 21, 2011

Has Goldman Sachs Become a Cult That Is Dangerous for America?

Okay, I admit it. Yes, I have dated a couple of Goldman Sachs women. I define Goldman Sachs women as not only those that work there now, but those who may have done so in the past. There really is not much difference. The loyalty to Goldman is something to witness.

I mean, I know women at the Fed. I know women at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Wall Street women. When I tell a Fed women that I am one of those guys that thinks the Fed should be abolished, they laugh. When I told a BLS gal that the BLS should really be called BS, she laughed. The same humor appears to exist with women I know at primary dealers such as Citigroup, Credit Suisse and HSBC, but not so with Goldman women.

Goldman Sachs women don't laugh, they operate, and part of that operating means that you must take Goldman seriously all the time. Now on dates, when I am bored, I will prod and probe. With Goldman women, you can get bored pretty fast. They hold on their face what I would call a corporate version of a hare krishna smile. You can say the most absurd thing and they will hold that smile. You can say the most insightful thing and they will hold that smile. It's almost as though they don't know the difference between absurd and insightful, so they just smile.

But outside of the little niche of Goldman that they work in, they don't know much. In order to prove they are one of the "guys", they may show an unusual knowledge of and seriousness about football. One Goldman gal told me she dumped her last boyfriend because he wanted to have sex during the Super Bowl. "What kind of guy is that?" she asked me.

They are mostly about control.  If you are out for a casual relaxing dinner with a Goldman gal, don't count on it. She will be ordering the wine and telling the waiter what kind of water to bring before you realize she isn't even talking to the waiter but the busboy.

They calculate everything. I was out with one Goldman gal, who of course took the water ordering chores into her own hands and ordered tap water. Looking at her amused while she was doing this, she finally realized she didn't include me in the decision making, so she gave me the Hare-Goldman smile and said, "I need the fluoride in the tap water for my teeth." I didn't even attempt to explain my view on fluoride.

Now what brought all this to mind was this post at Business Insider:

Apparently there's an unspoken rule among the ladies at Goldman Sachs that it's not cool to wear a lot of make-up.

To look professional, it's best to wear no visible make-up with your hair pulled back.

"Going into it, I thought you were supposed to [wear makeup]," a young woman at Goldman says, "I thought they'd want you to be all done up [in order to] look good."

"I thought they'd wear their hair down too," she says.

"But no one does."
Anyone that has this hardcore of a dress code, or word seeps out that this is only what is accepted wear, seems pretty cultish to me.

Then when you have a conversation with these women, and you realize their complete blind allegiance to Goldman. It is astounding. To them, the only reason Lloyd Blankfein visits the White House and the Treasury  so often is as a civic duty to ease the burdens of the President and Treasury Secretary
Now, my guess, is there's probably as muchcuktish attitude going on with the men at Goldman. Though the men I know tend to be higher ranking and I would consider them more cult leaders than followers, so it is a different perspective.

But word is out that a Goldman hire isn't made until at least after 6 interviews. I would have to think this has to do a lot with making sure any hire is willing to jump through a lot of hoops without asking questions. I mean, who really needs to be interviewed a minimum of 6 times before a decision can be made? I suspect it's all part of the intimidation game that Goldman uses, get the really smart people but make sure they will be sheep when needed. There's a great line in the movie Syriana , where the senior partner at a powerhouse law firm remarks that the firm is full of sheep wearing wolves clothes. That's what Goldman is about. When the top players at Goldman hint at a new direction, the sheep and the sheepettes fall in line.

Lew Rockwell asked me during a recent interview why I thought the Federal Reserve was more likely to create massive inflation now, versus during an earlier period when Paul Volcker was brought in at the Fed to fight  inflation. I thought a lot about that question and finally reached the conclusion that the people around Jimmy Carter when he was President were worldly people, knowledgeable people with a sense of history. Walter Wriston at Citibank was an elitist and power player back then, but he would have understood that a great inflation wouldn't be good for the country or for Citibank. He would have urged President Carter to put Volcker in at the Fed.

Now, I don't think we have those kinds of power players around President Obama. Lloyd Blankfein, outside of knowing how to run his crazy cult, sounds like a buffoon when he talks outside the cult. He has never uttered an inkling that he has any knowledge of how inflation comes about or why it is dangerous. For him, as long as Bernanke is willing to float him billions in loans, he's fine with the Fed. It's a simple view, but the one he appears to hold. As with all nutty cults, though, it is likely to crash and burn with that simple distorted view. The problem is that Blankfein will end up taking us and  the entire economy down with him, with his self-serving, cult boosting advice to the President.


  1. Pretty funny I've heard the same thing. My buddy at GS always laments about the odd-unspoken rules. The gents have to wear ties and suit coats even though the rules state you can "dress casual (aka no tie) for a day or two a week"...
    I guess the legions eyeball you to no avail if one is caught without a tie.

  2. o aurthor:

    did GS kick you out? Did you fail interview with them?

    and no - i'm not a "Goldman Sachs woman"

  3. @Anonymous 5:06

    No, they just robbed me and every other taxpayer, and in the process have done a pretty good job of making a mess of the economy.

  4. I don't think its going to be too far down the road that having any conection to Goldman will probably get you tarred and feathered. If you're lucky.

  5. Now, Now, Sheeple...Be good little puhblik skewl girls and boys and don't give Your Rulers any trouble or they will stick you in a cage.......

  6. Yep, the 'Hare-Goldman smile' captures it. A completely humorless, read, unreflective bunch -- male and female -- in my experience. Agree they recruit the bright but docile, no other explanation. And, because no other organization can provide comparable levels of de-humanization and ego stroking, folks never 'leave'. I encounter these souls four, five, ten years into careers outside 'the firm' and they never stop talking about GS. Why anyone hires them is a mystery to me.