Goldman Sachs Flags Employee Emails For Swears, Talk Of Clowns

List of email terms flagged by Goldman's compliance department susses out potential fraud and unhappiness.

Traders in the Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. — REUTERS
Jun 17, 2016 at 10:38 AM ET

Are you a Goldman Sachs employee about to send an email to a client guaranteeing something won’t happen again? Expressing your lack of faith in your boss? Displeased with a recent camping experience? Do you have something to say about clowns? If so, make sure you’d be okay with your employers reading that email—because that’s likely what will happen.

CNBC got its hands on a list of words and phrases that Goldman Sachs flags in its automatic surveillance of employee emails. It’s not a new list—CNBC says it dates back to 2008 and has surely been updated by now—but it does give some insight into what Goldman Sachs thinks is worth keeping tabs on in its employees’ communications. Basically: potential fraud and discontent, both from employees and, from the looks of it, in emails from their clients.

There are about 180 phrases on the list. You can see them all at CNBC’s article, but here are a few highlights:

  • Clowns managing my money
  • embezzled the account
  • frustrated as fuck
  • Goldman Sachs will make up the losses
  • how could this happen again
  • how could you possibly lose so much
  • I am extremely vexed
  • I am not a happy camper
  • piece of shit
  • report the matter to the SEC
  • These managers give me a really bad feeling
  • time to dump
  • we guarantee this will never happen again
  • who the fuck do you think you are
  • you are a piece of shit
  • you will be hearing from my lawyer

There are plenty of swear words on the list, but it’s safe to say Goldman Sachs added more to it in 2010, when it ordered employees not to swear in their emails at all (including swears with asterisks instead of certain letters).

Please also consider this your daily reminder that employers everywhere have the right to read all of your emails, so be careful what you say in them!