Joe the Banker's picture

    Confessions of an Investment Banker

    It's been kind of quiet and depressing at work, so I've been doing a lot of web surfing lately. It seems like everyone just wants to bitch about how pissed off they are that bankers like me got their bonuses this year. Well, like we say in my biz: go f--- yourselves.

    My bonus is the main part of my compensation, get it? My base pay is only $200K. If I wanted to live in poverty, I would of been a teacher or a bond trader or something. Plus, I've got a lifestyle to maintain. My girlfriend is whining on some support-group site for i-banker girlfriends because I won't take her to Bermuda. And my wife is whining on the same site, if you can believe it, because I can only afford for her to get facials every six weeks. I'm like, don't you bitches get it? My bonus is down 40% from last year. It's almost as bad as 2003.

    Some people act like I don't deserve my bonus, but you buttholes don't get that I work my ass off. When I first started out of college, I was working 80+ hours for only $110K including bonus, and I had to do lots of grunt work and spreadsheets and stuff. Even Mexicans won't work for those kind of conditions. As if Mexicans could even do my kind of work. You have to go to a really expensive, prestigious college. My college was so exclusive that I wouldn't have even gotten in except that I played squash and also my dad went there. So what I'm saying is that I earned my money.

    The other thing is that i-bankers are way too important to not get their bonuses. Companies can't do deals without us. We're the grease that makes their wheels spin. Without us, there's too much friction, so the wheels don't turn, and the cars just sit there revving their engines like morons. OK, so maybe we got a bit too greasy the last couple of years and the wheels kind of spun off the axels. But that doesn't mean that the grease shouldn't get bonuses. Look, we get it that we were too greasy, but it's not like we did something bad. So we made money. What's wrong with that?


    joe, this is funny (i especially like the bond trader line), tho i can't exactly tell how much is facetious here and how much is earnest (im thinking 85% facetious). I absolutely agree investment bankers work their tails off, especially when they're right out of college, and the hourly wages are usually not nearly as impressive as the total compensation sums.

    i don't begrudge employees making money when their companies make money. but so, so much of what the investment banking community did ended up destroying value not creating it, and eventually, the market is going to sniff that out. the gig is up. the business will never be the same. i just hope the industry hasn't brought the whole country down with it.

    Maybe those of you living in close physical proximity to these people have more sympathy for them. But from where I am watching, it's disgusting.  They created, or at the very least took advantage of, a fairy tale bubble. I've heard some say that no one really understood what was happening because the derivatives were so complicated. Fuck. That.

    They understood that they were getting rich while incomes for the rest of us were falling further and further. Now, companies have the nerve to whine about losing the good employees if they don't hand out the bonuses. I'm not sure whether to laugh, throw up, or put my fist through a wall.

    Privatized wealth. Socialized debt. This is not your father's capitalism. And there is nothing about it that doesn't suck.

    Funny piece though.

    More whining.

    The irony is that despite public perceptions, the outcry over Wall Street greed is happening just as the firms are getting stingy. At JPMorgan, Ms. Chau said, management clamped down on office supplies to the point where employees now need to ask a secretary for the key to the supply room for pens.

    They think people are villifying them because they used too many fucking pens?

    Full disclosure:

    1. I once dated an i-banker
    2. A good friend of mine does PR for an i-bank
    3. I am Joe the Banker

    O, it's really not that simple. First, there are many types of I-bankers, and most of them were not dealing in derivatives. Second, I-bankers are not evil people, at least no more evil on average than anyone else. In my experience, they tend to be arrogant and materialistic, partly due to self-selection and partly due to the culture fostered at i-banks. And like rich people everywhere, they often carry a sense of entitlement. But while those are irritating personality traits, and i-bankers are fun to hate, I've never seen any evidence that they're more malicious or selfish than the population at large.

    Do you know anyone who turns down bonuses or raises because they think that they make too much money? I don't. Taking your paycheck is not immoral. Investing in a bubble isn't immoral either. If it were, everyone except for a few dour risk avoiders would be immoral. Bubbles are psychological phenomena which cause a majority of investors to overvalue an asset. It can afflict the best of us. Few people knowingly invest in a bubble. If you knew it was a bubble, you wouldn't invest.

    There are certainly real bad guys out there, like ousted Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, who is duplicitous, hypocritical, and self-serving. But the real cause of the derivative bubble was the unregulated system, not the schmucks who fell for it. Just because many individual actions collectively screwed the nation, that does not mean that the individuals who took those actions intentionally screwed the nation for their own benefit.

    That said, those individuals still bear responsibility for what happened, they're still overpaid, and their bonuses are still coming from Federal investments, so it defies the very notion of "bonus" for them to collect bonuses this year.

    A person who drives drunk and accidentally kills someone didn't maliciously set out to do it either. Probably, the drunk driver is a very nice person who wants to be good. But we don't buy them a Mercedes and say "Everybody deserves a second chance."

    I get that nobody wanted to drive the country into this predicament and that it's never "that" simple. But they can at least stop with the fucking poor me act.

    P.S. I guessed it was you and I thought it was funny. But the people speaking publicly for this group are really starting to piss me off.

    they are really starting to amuse me

    Maybe I'm taking the wrong approach. I should be laughing at the fact that my 401K has likely shrunk so much that I'll be working until I'm 80.

    That you can cry about. But laugh at the poor beleagured i-bankers.

    "I-bankers are not evil people, at least no more evil on average than anyone else." That's a rather damning defense, Genghis.

    I dunno. I read this week about a major i-bank that got jittery and pulled all of its own investments out of Madoff funds, but didn't tell clients it had advised to invest with him to do the same. That's pretty damn evil.

    Syllogistic fallacy. I read a few weeks ago about a mailman who stole mail. Does that mean that mailmen are evil?

    Also, I'm not sure of the subject of the article you read, but traditional i-banks don't usually invest in funds, and their clients usually aren't private investors. None of the big American i-banks were invested in Madoff to my knowledge.

    I did a little googling, and the firm I was referring to is JPMorgan Chase. Do they qualify as an i-bank? Beats me. Apparently they weren't direct investors in Madoff but in hedge funds linked to Madoff. And yes, they got out because they thought he was dodgy but didn't tell their clients.

    Mailmen ARE evil, and not just because they steal mail. You've heard of "going postal?" I believe many are driven insane by breathing in an accumulation of toxins from the envelope glue they are surrounded with, much as hatmakers in the 19th century grew mad from the mercury used in their products. Come to think of it, it's just possible that paper money has some as-yet-undiscovered ingredient that has a similar effect on investment bankers.

    JPMorgan was an i-bank. JPMorgan Chase is a bank that does investment banking. It doesn't sound like the Madoff thing was done by their investment banking services, but it's hard to tell. I-banking is pretty loosely defined. Traditional i-banking usually involves big deals between corporations. Here's the NYT article on the issue.

    Too much googling is also known to be hazardous to mental health. Bloggers are evil.

    I don't believe I ever used the term "evil." But sometimes, villiagers with pitchforks have a valid point.

    Joe, no skin off my nose about your flipping bonus past years.  If the stockholders think it is okay - well, capitalist economy and all that - that is thier problems.  Now you are getting paid with taxpayer money and as a tax payer I say nope, you dope. Tell your girlfriend to get a job as a plane machanic and buy your wife a washcloth.

    PS.  Go post somewhere else.  No whiners here.  Mr. G. will insert proper graphic at in this space.

    Yessssssssssssssssssssssss!! Thank you.

    You probably know how much money you made last month but you do not know how much money you spent. Or do you know how much money you have left to spend this month. If you do not, you’re not alone. Most people have no idea. The fact is most of us spend 10% more per month than we make. That comes out to $431 per month based on the Average American income. How about the bonuses!!??  And if you come out short in money, how are you going to manage your debt relief? This has led some critics to charge that credit counseling is just a tool of the lending industry. The payment system, known as "fair share," has certainly encouraged the growth of credit counseling services. And some agencies, driven by competition, are now openly courting consumers who haven't fallen behind on their debts by promising lower interest rates. This development has angered credit-card companies and often hurts consumers, who may find out too late that such plans can hurt their credit ratings and are often unnecessary.

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