Media Navel Gaze: March 19, 2012

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

Who would have thought that the Muppets would become a popular term on Wall Street last week?  Not many no doubt until Greg Smith submitted his explosive op-ed to The New York Times (was that his first choice, I wonder?) on Wednesday titled, “Why I’m Leaving Goldman Sachs,” where we learned Muppets are what Goldman allegedly calls clients. No real second choice for a job for Smith after that retirement letter, which raised chatter among bankers, Twitter and everyone and everywhere else at the end of last week and really quite a few Goldman defenders by the weekend. (Mayor Bloomberg told the Financial Times that even God would be given a hard time leading Goldman Sachs.)  The piece, which really was a short-term PR nightmare, highlighted lots of issues worthy of discussion like company culture, client service, money and greed and maybe how best to improve the place where you work (bad example here).  But if you want a real juicy attack on Goldman, read the judge’s opinion in El Paso/Kinder Morgan deal.  That’s high drama and seems to have caused the bank to review its policies on transaction conflicts. '

Elsewhere:

  • Encyclopedia Britannica announced it was leaving the stacks and focusing on its digital future, a story that got volumes of coverage showing the nearly 250-year publication has a following;
  • Former Newscorp exec Rebekah Brooks is arrested and questioned a second time on a kind of obstruction of justice charge;
  • A growing number of reporters voiced their concerns that the UK faces another economic shock and many were bracing themselves for what Chancellor George Osborne will slash in his upcoming Budget;
  • An annual study of boardroom gender by the Cranfield School of Management highlighted the lack of women on boards revealing that 10 percent of Britain's biggest companies still do not have any women on their boards; and
  • The Dow ended its best week of the year up 2.4 percent at 13,232. CJP

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