March 22, 2012 at 9:26 AM ET
Here’s the latest act in the Goldman Sachs “Muppetgate” drama.
CEO Lloyd Blankfein told partners in a conference call this week that he is scanning internal e-mails for the term “muppet” and other evidence that employees referred to clients in derogatory ways, according to a Reuters report.
The e-mail review follows the departure of Greg Smith, who left the company last week and penned a withering op-ed column in The New York Times decrying the greedy culture at the bank and alleging that he saw five Goldman managing directors refer to the company’s clients as “muppets” in internal e-mails.
While the term muppet conjures up images of friendly, lovable puppets in the United States, the word in British is slang for a stupid person. Smith was based in Goldman’s London office and had been with Goldman for 12 years.
On a conference call this week, Blankfein said the company is taking Smith’s claims seriously and following up on his accusations about the company.
In a very public and scathing resignation letter, Goldman Sachs executive director Smith called the atmosphere at the massive investment bank "as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."
"Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs," wrote Smith, who before he resigned was the head of the firm's U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in a column titled "Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs."
The public relations headache caused by the publication of the article cost Goldman $2 billion in market value in a single day.
Discuss this story on our Facebook page.