When Greg Smith left Goldman Sachs in March with a public condemnation of the way the bank worked, was he incensed by its culture of greed or piqued by a failed bid for a pay rise and boost up the corporate ladder?
We may never know. But as the ex-Goldman executive director prepares to tell the full story of his stint at the bank, leaks from within the Wall Street giant suggest that months before he walked out, Mr Smith had asked to be paid more than $1m. He had also sought a promotion in a December 2011 meeting with a manager.
The revelations are reported to have come from an internal Goldman review of Mr Smith's claims – including his suggestion that the bank profiteered from its clients – in the New York Times opinion piece entitled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs". A follow up from Mr Smith, in the form of a book called Why I Left Goldman Sachs, is due to be released next week. Mr Smith said he would not be making any statements about the book before its publication.
According to a Goldman source who spoke to Reuters, Mr Smith did not receive the pay rise or the promotion.
The March piece painted a picture of an institution where greed was rampant. "If you make enough money for the firm (and are not an axe murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence," Mr Smith wrote.
Earlier this week, the bank said it had conducted a review of Mr Smith's claims and "found no evidence to support them".