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Departing Goldman Exec Aims Stake at Bank's Heart
CNBC.com | March 14, 2012 | 11:12 AM EDT

An executive director in Goldman Sachs’s London office just attempted to drive a wooden stake right into the heart of the firm famously described by journalist Matt Taibbi as a "vampire squid."

Greg Smith, who ran an equities derivative desk for Goldman, penned a devastating Op-Ed for the New York Times today.

“I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it,” Smith writes.

The most damaging line of criticism Smith aims at Goldman revolves around his allegations that the current leadership has overseen a deterioration of the firm’s culture.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

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