Goldman Loses $2B In Market Value After HF Advisor’s Op-ed

Mar 16 2012 | 10:02am ET

Greg Smith’s letter of resignation from Goldman Sachs may have cost the firm $2.15 billion in market value.

Goldman shares lost 3.4% in New York trading on Thursday, a day after the former Goldman exec and hedge fund advisor bid farewell to the investment bank in a widely read New York Times op-ed piece on Wednesday. 

“It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off,” Smith wrote. “Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over internal e-mail…No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding.”

Smith laid the blame for that erosion firmly at the feet of Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary D. Cohn. Responding to Smith’s letter, the two Goldman execs wrote:

“In a company of our size, it is not shocking that some people could feel disgruntled. But that does not and should not represent our firm of more than 30,000 people. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But, it is unfortunate that an individual opinion about Goldman Sachs is amplified in a newspaper and speaks louder than the regular, detailed and intensive feedback you have provided the firm and independent, public surveys of workplace environments.”

Smith, who was based in London, oversaw Goldman Sachs’ Europe Middle East and Africa hedge fund operations.

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