Monday, February 4, 2008
A bunch of whining losers.
If traders are the toddlers, investment bankers—and the CEOs they report to—are the tweens of the system, plagued by attention-deficit disorder. As we speak, your typical Wall Street managing director is glancing at CNBC in his office, intermittently checking six computer screens, thumbing out e-mails on his BlackBerry, barking out orders to a personal assistant, all the while furiously working out on the elliptical machine. Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Bear Stearns take great pains to distinguish themselves from each other. But they all lurch together from hot financial trend to hot financial trend the way tweens ditch yesterday's pop stars for today's (goodbye, Britney; hello, Hannah Montana). Like proto-teens, bankers are incapable of exercising independent judgment. Which is why every bank—from the staid Swiss to the sharpest trading houses on Wall Street—got caught up in the subprime debacle.
From the best article you'll ever read about investment bankers.
Party Like It's 1929."Well, since you're going to be 29," I said to Ava a few weeks ago, "why don't we do a 1929 party -- dress up like Scott and Zelda and hit a speakeasy?" This was before I got The Bungee Cold and spent the day fever-dreaming about Linda Darnell. (Yes, I know--there are worse ways to spend a Friday.) So, like John Henry Holliday suiting up to join the Earps at the OK Corral, I suited up and joined the Babes at BFlat on Church Street, where I nursed a couple of beers and tried not to sound like a broken air conditioner whenever I breathed.
Oh yeah--there was some stupid sports thing this weekend too.