Goldman Sachs Scans E-mail for ‘Muppet’ Mentions

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Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., listens during a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009. The summit of various leaders from government, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations runs until Friday, Sept. 25.
Photo: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reuters reports that Vampire Squid/Master of the Universe Lloyd Blankfein told partners on a conference call this week that Goldman Sachs has begun scanning e-mails for references to "muppets" and other not-nice things I-bankers have said about their clients. In his explosive resignation in the Times, Greg Smith wrote that he saw at least five managing directors refer to their clients as "muppets" (idiots, in non-British parlance). 

DealBook has a rather prescient article tonight on how Wall Street regulates its own social-media universe.

Morgan Stanley has a list of approved tweets that employees can select in the event that they'd like to let their Tweeples know what they're up to.

One such scintillating okay'd message: “Next stop Dow 57,757? Don’t count on it but Tuesday’s bullish session is in the books.” You know, because everything is coming up roses for the free market!

Big banks have hired software and social media start-ups, like Socialware in Texas, to ensure that bankers don't say anything on the Internets that could get their firms in trouble. Last year, a broker in California was fired for praising certain stocks on Twitter without informing her firm first. Now, banks' social-media departments are developing regulations that date, the Times notes, "to a sleepier era of communication."

Still, banks are (surprise!) patting themselves on the back for their forays into the big scary world of social media. Quoth Lauren W. Boyman, head of social media at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney: "We’re trailblazing, so to speak."