What the Goldman Sachs Letter Was Really About

03/20/2012 10.34 EDT

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One of the highlights of my reading this week was the resignation letter published in the New York Times by Greg Smith, a promising young executive with Goldman Sachs who decided he had had enough with a corporate culture he felt had devolved to the point that he had to get out.  And he thought it necessary to share this with millions of readers the world over.   I read the letter, the rebuttal from Goldman Sachs and some of the online commentary.  I have to say, I found it all fascinating and terrifying.   Fascinating, because a single individual was given a global platform to indict one of Wall Street’s most revered brands.  It’s one thing for a person to post such a letter on the web – that happens all the time.  What was it about this person, this letter, this company that led the Times to provide the writer with one of the world’s biggest bullhorns?  I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that discussion by the Editorial Board – much less the office of the General Counsel.   Terrifying, because in today’s digital world, given the right circumstances, a single person has the power to destroy a brand by writing what is essentially an opinion piece disguised as a letter of resignation.  Or maybe disguised as a job application, as some have suggested.  I have no clue whether Mr. Smith’s accusations have any merit.  How could I? ...