He's the former executive director of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) who pulled a Jerry Maguire on Wednesday while resigning from the illustrious Vampire Squid.
In his New York Times op-ed piece, otherwise known as the scorched-earth letter, Mr. Smith explained that he resigned from Goldman because he could no longer abide by the firm's culture of ripping-off clients to line their own pockets.
The blunt frontal assault on the firm he once revered was a career move. What kind of career move remains to be seen.
But before I get into what really goes on behind Wall Street's velvet ropes and what Mr. Smith's pronouncements about Goldman's culture says about Goldman, let me say this about his future employment prospects.
I'd come out of retirement and start a new hedge fund if Mr. Smith would come on board.
In fact, after hearing all the hoopla about how he has burned any and all bridges he might have had as a Goldman alum and how he'll never work on The Street again, I can't help but laugh.
And I'm not the only one.
Bill Singer, a noted New York securities attorney who's not shy about speaking his mind openly and honestly, said to me, "Seriously, if the guy has as little as a $10 million book of business there'll be people all over him to come on-board. Not only that, but there are a lot of firms that would want to throw this in Goldman's face by hiring the guy."
Greg Smith's Jerry Maguire-like moment might just be the best career move he's ever made.
And I'm serious; I think he'd be a great addition to my new hedge fund operation. What do you say Greg?
Nothing New About Goldman SachsOne thing is for certain: as biting as Smith's commentary was on Goldman Sachs, there were no new revelations about how the firm operates.
The bottom line about Goldman, according to Smith's op-ed piece, is that "people [at Goldman] push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client's goals. Absolutely. Every day, in fact."
Like I said, Smith's not delivering any revelations. It's not an insight into just Goldman, either. This mantra is essentially the Street Creed.
Wall Street only needs clients to make money for itself.
If you don't understand that, you don't know how the game is played − or how it's won.