Sexism, Discrimination: Wall Street’s Old Normal?

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July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg’s Max Abelson examines Wall Street’s reputation as a discrimination lawsuit filed against Goldman Sachs alleges sexism and discrimination at the firm and looks at whether or not it represents a pervasive attitude on Wall Street. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

Million bonus.

These headlines are really sexy for media to talk about, of course, but what is the biggest distinction between the headlines we see now and five years ago?

When you put things in historical context, it makes things now seem less exciting.

Wall street 10 or 20 or 30 years ago was not exactly a good healthy place in some ways.

But it was a lot of fun.

To your point and alix's point, there was question of behavior.

It is not fun if you are a woman and you are feeling victimized by the culture.

It is a relatively old lawsuit going on for three or four years.

The two women who brought the lawsuit want to make it a class-action lawsuit.

There are court filings where they are asking the judge, we want to make this into a class-action suit?

Why would this be a game changer for goldman sachs?

It is a much bigger threat to goldman sachs than just from one or two people.

What i found interesting is that it has filings from women who worked at goldman sachs and they give first-person accounts of what it is like in the bank.

They give allegations and goldman sachs denies them.

But they describe, almost telling stories, about traders calling women bimbos or a former beauty pageant winner was brought in and the men world mocking her.

The men would go to strip clubs and would not ask the women out to socialize with them, and then when they would, they would mock them.

Does this have some traction, like some of the work that susan until a has done for bloomberg news, or is this just people looking for a payday?

What do the pros say about this specific case?

David wells obviously says, from lloyd blankfein, there is nothing here.

What do the pros say about this specific case?

Adam said he went to princeton and studied under -- which i did not know.

I think some people like you are more swayed by that and the cultural anecdotes.

Max, i want to know what the pros say about the specific case.

People took clients to a strip club?

I don't think lloyd blankfein would approve that.

I don't think that would get approved at goldman sachs.

But you are saying within your article that they did.

The princeton economist says women are paid less as vice president and associates, and the vice -- and the numbers are pretty stark.

It seems that the problem is more broad, and if you are asking about legal opinions, that may be more trouble.

How does that stack up against other banks?

Is goldman sachs really out on a limb here?

Goldman sachs certainly always seems to be the bank that comes up in headlines.

On the other hand, if you stopped and took a look at all the headlines with wall street banks, this one i am not sure is in the top three.

We are seeing one of the biggest banks in europe getting charged for clients doing deals with sudan and iran.

It seems like we are in this moment in global banking where these huge organizations in their different ways are doing things that are illegal and scary to people.

You made the point that there may be the evidence, according to a princeton economist, of pay disparity.

That is economic -- those are hard numbers and they are irrefutable.

That is a much different place from anecdotal he said/she said -- not to underplay that -- but speak to the severity of the pay discrepancy between men and women at goldman.

Goldman sachs, one person familiar with their strategy -- my sense is that goldman sachs says do not trust the statistics.

However, in the report we have, it lays out clearly that using statistical analysis of goldman sachs' vice president and associates from 2003 two 2011, women were paid 21% less than men, and were statistically less likely to be promoted even when they had the same types of employees.

That is wrong.

That i can understand.

That to me is crystal clear.

That is plain wrong.

Equal work, equal pay.

And when do we have the same talent leaving and where do they go?


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