Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Value Proposition

This is a dark storm, no fucking question about that. The ships of all financial institutions are flooding if not capsized already. I've had friends who traded valiantly to their last until the blowhard wind of the Fed toppled the Lehman ship over. After braving wave after wave of job cuts, I've had enemies washed overboard with other ibankers at the H.M.S. MS. It is such a monetary monsoon that my fellow bankers at Smith Barney and even pitiable Wachovia do not even know the name of their boat. The bankers, those daring sailors, are gulped down by the dark current with more suck than the seamen swallowed by our gold digging go-to's.

Something has changed within me. It must be a result of this crisis. I have learned that my brain's frontal lobes, among other executive functions, can focus on the abstract plight of people I don't know. I believe the result is called pity.

Yet, I am still trying to reason through the concept of understanding unknown or incomparable people. This is simply because my life is exclusive to theirs. I asked one of my boys, who happens to be Indian, if it makes me a racist when I think every Indian must be a quant that I see during lunch. (To be fair, BAC has a lot of analysts in the adjacent building where I work and those fuckers travel in business casual packs. Losers.)

While he laughed it off, he texted back, "I like that everyone that is not a banker is a hipster to you." It's kind of true. Frankly, all my life I have had such privilege; my rarity of experience makes life different. One day my bank's stock price went down 7% and I giddily got bottle service for the weekend. Why the fuck not? Someone has to keep liquidity in this economy! I sometimes illusion myself as altruistic for the world economy, and my heart flutters at the concept of some drunk girl who needs to forget about her 401-k for a night. See? My sense of empathy is growing!

Ultimately, the value added of this blog is twofold. The first value I propose is for you to benefit from my thoughts and judgments. Let me tell you a quick story to illustrate my growing awareness of others:
Not a few months ago, I met a banker at a function who somehow managed to wear three different shades of black in his suit. His belt, blazer, and pants all were distinctly dissimilar. To top this monstrosity off, he wore a red shirt. I mean, this guy had it coming.
Then I saw his cute girlfriend. This feeling came besides the selfish lust. It was odd; I felt a need to let his girlfriend know what fucking a banker really was like. What an incredible feeling, I mean, besides banging her, knowing that she was benefiting from my personal generosity/doing whatever the hell I want. Yes, her squealing 'what do you want me to do?' a few times in my ear is exactly the kind of reaction I am hoping the reader will have after reading these future entries.

The second is me. You are a beneficiary but ultimately I am doing this for myself. I had a fellow banker tell me whenever I am in a meeting that wastes time, I get this look on my face (that I have since attempted to mask). He described it as “boredom and disgust.” I objectively judge events and people for a living. I suddenly feel a need to judge more.

So I give you ladies and gentlemen: A Player. Or Nothing. With the rarity of transparency and despite a thinning of the herd, I hope that I can offer some insight on whether something or someone is A Player (PE, Grey Goose Pear with lime, Kravis, Mack, Busson, watches that self-wind ie Rolex, Bulova, etc.) or Nothing (Retail obvi, people that leave the office at 5, lawyers, accountants, artists, most people...).

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