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Goldman Sachs Fires Analysts For Cheating On "Compliance" Tests

If you know anything about Wall Street you know that the culture is one of honesty, integrity, and transparency. 

That’s important because after all, in a world that has become almost entirely financialized (to the point that pushing around numbers on a screen and trading paper that references other paper is more important than creating tangible assets), the failure to maintain an appropriate level of moral discipline among the institutions entrusted to create, market, and manage financial products could lead to disaster and the destruction of wealth on a massive scale. 

But just because no one has ever manipulated, fixed, or otherwise rigged any markets yet, doesn’t mean they won’t try, which why it’s nice to know that honest firms like Goldman are on the job when it comes to watching for any kind of nefarious shenanigans. Like analysts cheating on training and compliance tests.

Here’s Bloomberg:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is dismissing about 20 analysts globally in offices including London and New York after discovering they had breached rules on internal training tests, said people familiar with the matter.


The analysts, who had been working in the investment bank’s securities division, have either already been dismissed or are in the process of leaving the bank, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private.

Now, spot the inconsistency in the following two passages: 

  1. "This conduct was not just a clear violation of the rules, but completely inconsistent with the values we foster at the firm."
  2. Bankers throughout Wall Street often assist each other on basic training and compliance tests because these are seen as time consuming and repetitive, according to separate people with knowledge of the process.

So it’s completely inconsistent with the values Goldman fosters other than the fact that it happens so often as to be considered standard operating procedure in the industry. 

Got that?

Of course the ultimate punchline here is that "compliance" tests are seen as essentially a waste of time, although we suppose Wall Street is just being honest with itself because if the last seven years have taught us anything, it's that the word "compliance" doesn't ever factor in to anyone's decision making process at a bulge bracket bank.