March 15, 2012 2:31pm PT by Jordan Zakarin
Goldman Sachs Resignation Letter Spawns Pop Culture Parodies
With the world still low on sympathy for Wall Street titans Goldman Sachs, the long teeth of satire came out quickly on Wednesday when a long-time, mid-level employee of the bank published a scathing letter of resignation in the New York Times.
Greg Smith ripped his former employers, saying that the company's environment had become "toxic" and "destructive," and that he could no longer work there in good conscience. But his insistence that the firm was once a place of integrity with dedication to clients and a positive culture the "secret sauce" to its success -- as well as his boast of a bronze medal in ping pong -- made it quite easy for many to mock him.
Quickly, a parody letter written from the perspective of Darth Vader, called "Why I am leaving the Empire," popped up on the site The Daily Mash. "To put the problem in the simplest terms, throttling people with your mind continues to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making people dead," the fake op-ed read.
"The Empire is one of the galaxy's largest and most important oppressive regimes and it is too integral to galactic murder to continue to act this way," the letter continued. "The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of Yoda College that I can no longer in good conscience point menacingly and say that I identify with what it stands for."
SNL writer and star Seth Meyers tweeted the article soon after its publication on Wednesday, then added "You can go work for one of the other banks or come to the bank where even your resignation letter makes the NYT.
Then there was Stephen Colbert's take on the op-ed, a predictably "angry" condemnation Colbert called Smith "Banker-dict Arnold" and said that he violated a sacred trust of "The Street."
"Once he found out Goldman had a culture of greed, he left immediately after 12 years at the firm," Colbert teased.