My good friend and business colleauge Aldon Hynes has been faithfully writing almost daily for many years at Orient Lodge. As a regular reader of his posts, I often wonder with interest what subjects Aldon might be addressing that day. Aldon has frequently encouraged me to similarly record some of my thoughts in a daily post that he and others too could read. I have remained reluctant to do so since writing well has often been akin to pulling teeth. I have also wondered who would want to read about my random thoughts, musings, observations, ruminations and wonders. However, the events of the past week are causing me to reconsider.
Aldon enjoys telling clients of why he has choosen to work with me over more than two decades at Lehman Brothers, Smith Barney, UBS and Toomre Capital Markets LLC. Apparently he has been continually surprised by how I quickly associate "Thought A" with seemingly random "Thought Z". As he tells the tale, it is almost as if one is pulling a random strand of spaghetti from a bowl of pasta and observing what less than obvious gems of thought cling to that strand.
Although Aldon and I have not spoken directly in the past couple of days, I am sure that he (and others) are wondering what my thoughts are about Goldman Sachs and a certain Greg Smith. For those not intimately familiar with the world of finance, this past Wednesday, Mr. Smith very publicly resigned from Goldman Sachs through an opion piece published in the Op-Ed pages of the the New York Times. His method of resignation and some of his assertions caused considerable uproar and discussion throughout the Wall Street community.
Mr. Smith's basic assertion was that the culture of Goldman Sachs had dramatically changed during the twelve years that he was employed there. Apparently, the senior managers were more concerned about generating profits at the expense of the firm's "clients" than they were about an implied fudiciary duty to "do right" for those same trading counter-parties. "It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off," Mr. Smith wrote.