Yesterday it seemed the entire Western world was glorifying a NYT op-ed by Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs executive who basically outs the firm as "toxic and destructive" in his piece that was published on his last day of work. I thought the text was more of an accountability-free manifesto by a gatekeeper with amnesia who has miraculously transformed into an enlightened whistleblower.
In Smith's op-ed, titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs," he somehow fails to fully admit and explain his own inherent involvement and collusion in his history with GS, instead just giving what most 99-percenters want to hear right now: a former 1-percenter abandoning all sense of the category in a self-righteous, "I-now-see-the-light"-manner.
I know I'm not alone in noticing how so many former 1-percenters (as well as former "wannabe" 1-percenters) are all of a sudden embracing the 99-percent bandwagon, clearly because it's the "cooler" concept to adopt right now. And though Smith is one of the highest higher-ups who are joining the masses he once loved to screw, these former cronies are also creeping out from much lesser positions of prestige. Yet one thing they all share in common the past decade is their gatekeeper mentality of getting ahead at the expense of their own teams.
Of course it's ultimately a positive thing when people start realizing the failures of their past materialistic and desperately-greedy ways, but the lack of personal accountability in most of these gatekeepers-at-heart only continues their disgusting, spineless behavior -- quite a reveal of their convenient amnesia.
Good for Smith and his personal revelations, no matter how many clients he ethically and financially failed. But as one writer puts it: "If you're going to be a whistle-blower, you need to acknowledge upfront your complicity in any malfeasance, be it legal or ethical. Smith's op-ed doesn't come close to doing this."