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Wall Street’s Latest Campus Recruiting Crisis
The New York Times | March 16, 2012 | 06:26 PM EDT

Wall Street, once a magnet for America’s best and brightest, is facing a recruiting problem.

The industry’s cachet, which was tarnished during the financial disaster, has been further stained by the lingering economic slowdown and a series of highly publicized industry scandals that have drawn critical attention to the big banks.

The most recent public relations storm stemmed from a resignation letter this week on The New York Times Op-Ed page, written by Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive director. Mr. Smith, who took the bank to task over what he described as a “toxic and destructive” culture at the firm, said his moment of ultimate realization had come while extolling the benefits of a Goldman career to college students.

“I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work,” he wrote.

The controversy has raised fears — perhaps within Goldman itself — that skittish clients and down-in-the-mouth employees could bolt. But financial firms should also worry that the incident might scare off college and business school students, some of whom are looking askance at once-prestigious jobs in finance.

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