After Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith quit his job with a loud and blistering New York Times op-ed, Wall Street is once again at the forefront of the national conversation. Questioning Wall Street definitely isn't new—we've been calling the stock market greedy ever since it was founded in 1792, and even more in the past year with the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement. “When you’ve been around 40 years, you always say things were better back then,” said David Dreman, a veteran money manager. “But it is different now. There have been enormous changes on Wall Street. ... Unless the client is very sophisticated, the client gets clipped.”
The public shaming of Goldman Sachs wasn't limited to the op-ed claiming that the financial giant favors profits over clients—Bloomberg Businessweek wrote a long pieceon the company yesterday, and many major newspapershad lead stories on the firm this morning. Goldman's stock slipped 3.4 percent in the wake of Smith's departure. Right now, the company is in damage-control mode, vowing to look into Smith's claims and disputing the more damning of his accusations. What does this mean for the future of Wall Street? As Bloomberg Businessweek points out, "It’s quite possible that only continued, relentless public shaming will force the leaders of these firms to make the kinds of cultural changes necessary to bring their actions in line with normative behavior."
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Chart of the Day
Who are the top buyers of U.S. exports? Surprisingly, Canada and Mexico. Goes to show that proximity still plays a big role in trade despite our globalized economy. The top exports include auto parts to Canada, gold to the United Kingdom, and soybeans to China.
Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning
Undoubtedly the best part of a big international leader visiting the U.S. is the gift exchange. David Cameron gave Barack Obama a custom ping-pong table during his visit this week, and the president in turn gave the British prime minister a high-tech grill. Sounds like the makings for a second beer summit.