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Old 03-14-2012, 02:32 PM   #21
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I do take him seriously. He was obviously sharp enough to A) get a scholarship B) graduate with honors C) Get on at Goldman D) Rise to a very high position E) Get chosen for the recruiting role as a great "face" of Goldman to outsiders and so on...he's proven his mettle IMO.
As for A, B & C, that would account for almost everyone outside the mail room at Goldman.

D is not really true, he was a Vice President at GS, while that sounds high, at GS that is more middle manager.

E just proves he is good looking.


Also, I work at a financial firm that always puts the funds and the investors first. I cannot tell you how many times in a meeting you would hear someone question whether or not doing something is in the best interest of the investors. Some firms may be after the almighty dollar, but some firms really do put investors first.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:36 PM   #22
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(Edit: I see that he is in fact an Executive Director and Head of US Equity Derivatives etc. I stand corrected on that point, which only makes the next point all the more true).
From this link:
Goldman Rejects Claims Made by Outgoing Executive - Deal Journal - WSJ

Quote:
Mr. Smith described himself as an executive director and head of Goldman’s U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


A person familiar with the matter said Mr. Smith’s role is actually vice president, a relatively junior position held by thousands of Goldman employees around the world. And Mr. Smith is the only employee in the derivatives business that he heads, this person said.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:45 PM   #23
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That's amazing...and confirms what G4G posted.
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Mr. Smith described himself as an executive director and head of Goldman’s U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A person familiar with the matter said Mr. Smith’s role is actually vice president, a relatively junior position held by thousands of Goldman employees around the world. And Mr. Smith is the only employee in the derivatives business that he heads, this person said.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ChiliPepr View Post
From this link:
Goldman Rejects Claims Made by Outgoing Executive - Deal Journal - WSJ


Mr. Smith described himself as an executive director and head of Goldman’s U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


A person familiar with the matter said Mr. Smith’s role is actually vice president, a relatively junior position held by thousands of Goldman employees around the world. And Mr. Smith is the only employee in the derivatives business that he heads, this person said.



Oh, make it stop. It's too funny.

But it does explain a lot . . . how young he is, why someone would be disgruntled at still only being a VP after 12 years, and the naivety with which the article is written.

Just one example: "Axe"

An axe is a trading desk term for transactions a trader is trying to execute. Axes can be buys or sells or a package of both. The desk could be trying to execute these transactions for any number of reasons. For example, Goldman has a customer who wants to buy a block of IBM calls at $??. That trader is now "axed to buy IBM Calls." Salespeople are then motivated and compensated for "filling" that axe (finding someone to sell IBM calls at the right price). It's hard to see why executing a customer order is a bad thing.

Other axes could be to offset risk exposure on the trading book. This need not be because the trader thinks the risk is bad. Oftentimes while providing liquidity to customers, traders end up with positions or specific exposures ("I'm long Vol") that they didn't want to take. "Axes" that do nothing other than "flatten the book" are common. Other axes could be positions the trader wants to enter as a speculative bet, they could be part of a complicated arbitrage, and yes, they could be trying to get out of positions where the trader is "long and wrong."

An Axe is just a term for something the trader wants to do. It's shocking how a VP at Goldman would take what I've described and say this:

Quote:
a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:48 PM   #25
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My DW (not quite a VP yet) shares a cube with a VP at a different I-bank - that should tell you the level VP's are at in i-banks.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:57 PM   #26
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Ripping off clients? What else is new?
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:00 PM   #27
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My DW (not quite a VP yet) shares a cube with a VP at a different I-bank - that should tell you the level VP's are at in i-banks.
Congrats!

Don't worry, you'll see her again eventually.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:02 PM   #28
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there goes the name calling...can't say that surprised me.

Good info though on his level being lower than I had thought. I'm a Director at my MegaCorp, and I'm considered to be a "senior" executive...but the word "senior" doesn't mean what you think. Here's a better way to think of it...

We have "salary grades" from 3 (no college degree, no experience) all the way up to 13 (Vice President and Officer). I'm a 10. You can decide for yourself where that puts me...it seems Goldman uses titles differently than we do. I would estimate we have around 40 VPs in our corporation, and we're a Fortune250 company with about 45,000 employees.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:09 PM   #29
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there goes the name calling...can't say that surprised me.
Who's calling names?
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #30
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I have trouble taking seriously a critique of 143 years of culture at the firm ....
Does that include 143 years of a culture that gives thousands of its junior employees the title of "vice president"?
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:24 PM   #31
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Does that include 143 years of a culture that gives thousands of its junior employees the title of "vice president"?
It's a "Street" thing.

Nascent Masters of the Universe start their careers at a place most mere mortals can only aspire to.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #32
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there goes the name calling...can't say that surprised me.

Good info though on his level being lower than I had thought. I'm a Director at my MegaCorp, and I'm considered to be a "senior" executive...but the word "senior" doesn't mean what you think. Here's a better way to think of it...

We have "salary grades" from 3 (no college degree, no experience) all the way up to 13 (Vice President and Officer). I'm a 10. You can decide for yourself where that puts me...it seems Goldman uses titles differently than we do. I would estimate we have around 40 VPs in our corporation, and we're a Fortune250 company with about 45,000 employees.

Banks and investment banks are a lot different than regular corps....

I bet there are 45K VPs or higher at a place like Citi, Wells or JPMorgan...
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:31 PM   #33
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I'm a Director at my MegaCorp, and I'm considered to be a "senior" executive...but the word "senior" doesn't mean what you think. Here's a better way to think of it...

We have "salary grades" from 3 (no college degree, no experience) all the way up to 13 (Vice President and Officer). I'm a 10. You can decide for yourself where that puts me...it seems Goldman uses titles differently than we do. I would estimate we have around 40 VPs in our corporation, and we're a Fortune250 company with about 45,000 employees.
In an I-Bank, a VP is lower than a Sr VP (and I do not believe GS has Sr VP's), which is lower than a Director, which is lower than a Managing Director, which is lower than an Executive MD.

In many industries a VP is higher than a Director, but not in Banks... I think it may be because hey want anyone that meets with a client to have at least VP on their cards...
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #34
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Congrats!

Don't worry, you'll see her again eventually.
Ha ha - she's not one of the high paid wall st types - merely a back office employee earning relatively mediocre peanuts (with great benefits!), and works her 40 and logs out. She picks the kids up from school at 3 every day.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:20 PM   #35
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I know the Borowtiz response was a satire, but it ran pretty true. At various times I've owned Goldman Sachs stock, my theory was you if you can't beat them join them. On the morality scale I put Goldman one step above DeBeers and perhaps two steps above Enron, and most Russian firms and well below most other companies.

I've pretty much always expected Goldman employees to be smart, greedy, bastards who make a lot of money first for themselves, and some of it trickles down to the shareholders. Most clients existed solely to be fleeced, and I depend on the cunning of the GS employees to convince the clients that they are getting a good deal.

Mr Smith going to Goldman seems as charmingly naive, as Mr Smith going to Washington. My guess is that not much has changed at Goldman culture over the last 12 years (certainly it sounds no different than Goldman Lewis described in Liar's Poker) it is just his exposure and awareness of the reality of the firm has increased. I suspect that most client know that Goldman is ripping them off, but just like nothing is more expensive than 2nd best lawyer, I figure clients are willing to pay for the smartest crooks investment bankers.

I hope Mr Smith has LBYM and can ER at young age, no way I would hire him. I also hope that GS does a better job of making sure that their new hires check their conscious in at the door in the future.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:26 PM   #36
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... new hires check their conscious in at the door in the future.
I've heard of brain-dead employees, but this requirement is over the top...
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #37
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Does that include 143 years of a culture that gives thousands of its junior employees the title of "vice president"?
I'm guessing that the whole VP thing centers around certain requirements that many of the transactions they do must be performed by an 'officer of the company'?

I can recall a vendor informing us of an upcoming disruption in their supply chain, but if we could provide a 'letter of intent', even w/o signed purchase orders, we could assure that a certain amount of supply would be allocated to us. The 'letter of intent' had to be signed by an 'officer of the company'.

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Lying, cheating & stealing are far more common now than they were when most of us were kids, no comparison...
I don't know if you are right or wrong, but what do you base that on? Personally, I kinda doubt that thousands of years of human nature has changed much in just 50 years, and in many ways, there are more controls and transparency in place today. I think lying and cheating may be harder to get away with in many cases today.

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Old 03-14-2012, 04:38 PM   #38
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I'm guessing that the whole VP thing centers around certain requirements that many of the transactions they do must be performed by an 'officer of the company'?
Or helping their young junior personnel get dates by handing out business cards, I was thinking...
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:39 PM   #39
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Or helping their young junior personnel get dates by handing out business cards, I was thinking...
Two birds (so to speak) with one stone?


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Old 03-14-2012, 04:46 PM   #40
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Or helping their young junior personnel get dates by handing out business cards, I was thinking...
More typical to stuff $20's in g-strings.
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