The Cutline

Greg Smith’s op-ed on quitting Goldman Sachs inspires instant Star Wars parody

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Darth Vader is escorted by storm troopers while touring the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec. 22, 2009. …

The New York Times on Tuesday published an op-ed by Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, entitled, "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs."

Smith, who is stepping down as head of the firm's United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, writes:

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs.

After almost 12 years at the firm—first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London—I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world's largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

Not surprisingly, Smith's op-ed has sparked a lively discussion on social media, and--within hours--inspired a pitch-perfect "Star Wars" parody: "Why I Am Leaving the Empire, by Darth Vader."

The evil leader writes:

TODAY is my last day at the Empire.

After almost 12 years, first as a summer intern, then in the Death Star and now in London, I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its massive, genocidal space machines. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, throttling people with your mind continues to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making people dead.

Click here to read Smith's entire op-ed, and here for the brilliant parody.

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