Greg Smith’s book, ‘Why I Left Goldman Sachs’ has been out for less than two days and already media is luke-warm on the work.
They say it doesn’t reveal the toxic atmosphere at Goldman that everyone was waiting to hear about, and that it lacks scandal — and maybe that’s true.
But if it is, let’s just enjoy the book for what it is: A collection of stories about a place shrouded in mystery. Maybe they’re not hair-raising. But don’t act like you’re not curious.
One story that grabbed our attention, was an anecdote about how a 25 year-old strategist named Venky impressed Gary Cohn, at the time of this story he was the global cohead of the Securities division.
From the book:
Once Gary Cohn…walked onto the trading floor whole Daffey (an Australian partner) was at his terminal, in conference with a genius strategist named Venky, a 25 year-old who’d graduated from the legendary Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). The subject of the spreadsheet tracked, in real time, every possible statistic of every player at the year’s Masters Gold Tournament. Daffey, who loved to bet on the Masters, was in gold nirvana. “Gary, come over here!” he yelled to Cohn.
The floor went dead quiet. It was like one of those moments in a Western when someone calls out the big gun in the middle of a saloon…Gary went over.
“Gary, meet Venky. Venky, meet Gary,” Daffey said…Gary shook Venky’s hand. “Venky is smarter than you and me combined,” Daffey told Gary.
…Venky then demonstrated to Gary how the algorithm on his spreadsheet worked. Gary was also impressed. “Send me a copy,” he said.
Venky went on to become one of people who overhauled the VIX volatility index on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Gary Cohn went on to become the President of Goldman Sachs.
Doesn’t that make you want to open up excel right now?