You may recall the infamous Senate hearings looking into Goldman Sachs a few months back, where Senator Carl Levin repeatedly quoted an email about how something was “a shitty deal.” Included during the discussion was this fun exchange between Levin and Goldman Sach’s CFO, David Viniar:
LEVIN: And when you heard that your employees, in these e-mails, when looking at these deals said, God, what a shitty deal, God what a piece of crap — when you hear your own employees or read about those in the e-mails, do you feel anything?
VINIAR: I think that’s very unfortunate to have on e-mail.
(The gallery bursts out laughing.)
LEVIN: On an e-mail?
VINIAR: Please don’t take that the wrong way. I think it’s very unfortunate for anyone to have said that in any form.
LEVIN: How about to believe that and sell them?
VINIAR: I think that’s unfortunate as well.
LEVIN: That’s what you should have started with.
VINIAR: You’re correct. It is.
Well, now it appears that Goldman Sachs has figured out a way to try to prevent that “unfortunate” situation from occurring again. Rather than not selling shitty deals while pretending they’re golden, it’s putting in place an email filter to block swear words from being sent over email. The filter will apparently even block out **** for those who try to textually bleep their swear words. That’ll fix things.
To be fair, the whole “shitty deal” comment did get blown out of proportion. It certainly does look bad, but Goldman Sachs was correct in that it was not acting as an advisor in that situation. Its job was merely to sell the client what they wanted to buy. But, even so, it does seem kind of amusing that the response to this getting publicity is to try to stop the swearing…