Only 375 or so of Goldman's 35,000 employees are partners, The New York Times reported. Winning partnership can be seen as a ticket to permanent success, with former partners including former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin.
Losing partnership can cost an executive millions of dollars in bonus money. Goldman does not announce de-partnering, and some executives even try to conceal the loss of partnership, letting on that they're still part of the inner circle.
"It is something you just don't talk about," one former Goldman executive said.