Watching the Greg Smith story with interest

Friday's Reuters bulletin that Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs has landed a book deal confirms my earlier prediction about Smith's likely future. I should hope that by now he's got the first draft banged out and is working his way through the editorial process - time is money. My finger-in-the-air estimate is that they'll announce a release date and maybe serialise a chapter in the second half of April. Time is money.

For anyone who hasn't already read Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis, I strongly recommend doing so before Smith's new book is released. It will be instructive to compare Salomon Brothers in the 80's with Goldman Sachs in the Noughties. Smith and Lewis have a surprising amount in common - joining the firm more or less straight from university, belonging to a London branch of a USA-based bank, and eventually resigning rather than being fired or head-hunted away. Both GS and Salomon were going through turbulent times in the media when their employee left, and it's notable that Liar's Poker was acknowledged by many as being instrumental in the downfall of Salomon's CEO Gutfreund - Gutfreund himself confessed as much to Lewis when they eventually met, as Lewis notes in "The Big Short". One can only speculate as to whether Smith will be enjoying such a lunch with Lloyd Blankfein in 20 years time.

I remain sceptical that Smith can write as well as Lewis, whose books and articles I would rate rather highly. Still, let's see what the chap can come up with.

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