At Goldman Sachs, cutting costs means accumulating charges at Embassy Suites

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Staying at the Embassy Suites hotel in Lower Manhattan has its perks: The Night Manager’s Happy Hour features free beer and popcorn. Flash a room key and win a seat at the free all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and 10% off at the Mexican-style Chevy’s restaurant next door.

Customers can also rub shoulders with bankers from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which recently ordered its employees to stay there when visiting New York headquarters.

A far cry from the more lavish digs that Goldman employees enjoyed at the Ritz-Carlton and the Carlyle. But cutting costs and government oversight means finding out how the other half lives.

Some bankers are not happy with the change. “No one is supposed to complain out loud, but let’s face it, we’re spoiled,” says a Goldman employee. “They turned us into hotel snobs.”

Last night, a dozen Goldman employees in the Chicago office gagged him at happy hour, which begins at 5:30 p.m. sharp. The group was gathered around three tables in a cafeteria-like room overlooking the headquarters of Merrill Lynch & Co., now owned by Bank of America, drinking free Budweiser from plastic cups and eating pretzels and tortilla chips. Another night the topics of conversation around the bar ranged from reinsurers in Bermuda to hedge fund fraud.


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