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Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith quits in Times op-ed piece

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Most employees give a letter of resignation to their boss in a private meeting. But a Goldman Sachs exec decided to say "I quit" in a New York Times op-ed.

Greg Smith, a Goldman executive director based in London, wrote the piece titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." He wrote that the environment at the Wall Street giant had become "toxic and destructive" and so corrupted by greed that he could no longer work there.

"These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, 'How much money did we make off the client?'" Smith wrote. "It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave."

Smith went on to say that the junior analysts in that situation wouldn't "exactly turn into a model citizen."

The public flogging of Goldman sent shock waves through the financial world.

"Look, the [Goldman Sachs] piece was devastating to me," tweeted CNBC financial analyst Jim Cramer. "I don't want to believe it. But it was a bitter pill and a sad one."

Business Insider's Joe Wiesenthal called it "another PR nightmare for Goldman Sachs."

A Goldman Sachs spokesman told the Times after the piece was published: "We disagree with the views expressed, which we don't think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful."

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