As you may have heard, many of your colleagues in the financial services industry will be laid off in the coming months, if they haven’t been already. Wall Street is in the process of cutting 200,000 positions, and those who aren’t escorted into a room with an HR representative and a box of tissues should consider themselves lucky, particularly if they need money to live, have a family to support, and/or like their jobs. For others, however, being told they have 20 minutes to box up their things, walk out the door and not come back unless they want to tussle with security turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to them. These would be people who’ve either been suppressing a nagging voice telling them to go after a passion that doesn’t involve working on Wall Street or for whom the appeal simply lies in not spending the majority of their day fantasizing about life that doesn’t so closely resemble hell. Among those who fall into the latter category, coming into the office has gotten so bad that if you gave them the option to leave their current situation to take a 95% pay cut and run the risk of death by stabbing, they’d go jump at the opportunity. Wyatt Laikind knows what we’re talking about.

Laikind, 26, made three times as much in his first year out of college working at Citigroup Inc. (C) as his single mother earned when he was growing up in western Massachusetts. “It was like winning the lottery to get that job,” said Laikind, who worked as an associate on the New York-based bank’s high-yield credit-trading desk. He got a job on Wall Street because he “was under the impression that it was a more meritocratic environment,” and “my hard work and intelligence would be paid off,” he said. At first, he liked the excitement, he said. Then, after financial regulations curtailed proprietary trading, the job became “less appealing.” He said he didn’t like smiling at clients while having to figure out how to profit from them. In July, after a vacation, he called his boss to quit, he said in an interview from Quito, Ecuador, where he is now working for Equitable Origin LLC, a start-up that offers a certification system for oil exploration. His salary is less than 5 percent of what he made at Citigroup, he lives with intermittent hot water, and he was robbed at knifepoint last month, he said.

“I feel happier on a daily basis,” Laikind said.

As a thought experiment for the group, so you can keep it in the back of your mind, let’s explore our personal thresholds as it relates to theoretically working at Citi.  At what level do you figure you could honestly say, I’d be happier [insert scenario here, for example: earning 98% less and being mugged walking to my car; earning 50% less and being relieved of my iPhone on the subway; earning 86% less and having limited access to indoor plumbing; earning 99% less and dancing for my dinner] than working at Citi.

Wall Street Unoccupied With 200,000 Job Cuts [Bloomberg]

**Where do you work now?

70 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (70)

  1. Posted by UBS MD | November 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Intermittent hot water? What a show-off.

  2. Posted by DingALing | November 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    "That's Pride fuckin' with you. Fuck Pride."

    -Marsellis Wallace

  3. Posted by Matt Levine | November 22, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Please add more charts.

  4. Posted by Donkeybanger | November 22, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Getting banged by donkey in a Tijuana brothel for 98% less than working at Citi. Then again, if you said UBS, the sacrifice might be 99.99%

  5. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    So he's still in the top 1%, but just in Ecuador?

  6. Posted by guest | November 22, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    More like in the middle class in Ecuador.

  7. Posted by Silence the lambs | November 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    You mean like moving from Cholera to Bubonic plague?

    Bubonic plague was introduced via the south passage by seamen. FYI.

  8. Posted by Put_Option | November 22, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Going from sitting on the High-Yield desk to being happy, but robbed at knife point is the NKI

  9. Posted by 2_Small_2_Bail | November 22, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Strange coincidence… robbing someone at knifepoint was actually how I got my bonus this year.

    -Citi MD

  10. Posted by Baffled in Bayonne | November 22, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Somehow this math does not add up. Let's say his single mom earned 20k a year for 18 years. That's 360k. Three times that is just over $1mm. That would mean he's earning 50k now. Makes sense I guess? But you're telling me a Citi analyst made $1mm his first year out? That kind of money is reserved for Tepper's personal ball scratcher.

    Or, maybe the article is referring to the mom's annual salary. OK, 3x that number is 60k. Low. But not low for a kid who was told he was working on the "high-yield credit-trading desk", but actually worked back office and approving wire transfers in Jersey City. That would mean he's making less than 3k a year now.

    Am I missing something?

  11. Posted by Penn St. Alum | November 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I'd be happier in the YMCA showers with Jerry Sandusky

  12. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Epic fail

  13. Posted by Silence the lambs | November 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Dude, it's too early in the morning for this kind of analysis. Oh, wait.

  14. Posted by guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    +1

  15. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Earning 100% less + leftover snapple while mowing down OWS

  16. Posted by Poor choices | November 22, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Quito, Ecuador or Zuccotti Park? He could have had all the muggings, water outages and the reduced income plus he at least could have banged Stacey under the Emapthy Table had he stayed here. Moron.

  17. Posted by pool boy | November 22, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    "He did'nt like smiling at clients while having to figure out how to profit from thrm"

    In other words, puss boy could not close a deal.

  18. Posted by Bess Levine | November 22, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    I leave that to you, hubby.

  19. Posted by unreal | November 22, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Dude, a quick check on Linkedin reveals……Wyatt Laikind!!! Wyatt…WTF!!!!….and he went to …….wait for it…….REED College…..OMFG…….is that not the homo capital of the universe……what was this complete d-bag trading…..high yield fing strap on dildos I imagine…..hahahaha, where do they find these guys to interview…….omfg…….as a side note, if in fact a Reed graduate was in deed hired to work on any high yield desk, was this not the most obvious indicator to short the entire financial industry?!!?!@#@ How did the Governement miss these types of blatant clues!…….I cant stress enough of my WTF and OMFG reaction

  20. Posted by pazzo83 | November 22, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Maybe try switching to decaf tomorrow morning.

  21. Posted by J. Skowron MD | November 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    So put another way 99.8% pay decrease to try and post a Dealbreaker comment while simultaneously experiencing a stroke and a grand mal seizure?

  22. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Haven't those poor tortoises been through enough.

  23. Posted by PermaGuestII | November 22, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Sounds like he picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

  24. Posted by Kegels123 | November 22, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    I'd be happier earning 98% less and going down on Lynn Tilton than working at Citi

  25. Posted by Guesticles | November 22, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Tell me, what is a deal?

    UBS MD

  26. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    "When he was growing up" does not mean "throughout the entirety of his childhood, sum total."Ragging on the back office while working in the back office is the NKI though, I bet your pending wire queue is pretty serious after all that thought brah!

  27. Posted by agreatdaytothink | November 22, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    I was happy to take a 100% pay cut to keep my job at Citi. I might even pay them if they asked me to.

    – Vik, who isn't going let respect make him one of the 200,000.

  28. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    To be fair, he is writing from Bayonne. Probably called in sick today, decided not to show up to his plush Jersey City banker job.

    -Generic Paramus commercial bank teller

  29. Posted by pazzo83 | November 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    I'd rather be an MF Global account holder / about to take a dive off the GWB than work at Citi.

  30. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Alumnus. There, fixed that for you.

    – guy who knows you went to Penn St

  31. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Careful what you wish for!

    – Bob Rubin

  32. Posted by agreatdaytothink | November 22, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Wait, so there's an opening on the Citi High Yield desk?

    – Every UBS Employee

  33. Posted by JEF Quant | November 22, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Makes sense, but please show all your work. Not just the net number.

  34. Posted by Anthony Soprano | November 22, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    There are bankers in Jersey City? Who knew.

    Tony S.

  35. Posted by pazzo83 | November 22, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    I'd rather bang on a drum and bitch about percentages than work (anywhere).

    – Former Zuccotti Park Resident

  36. Posted by BessLevin | November 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    I feel like you could stress it a little bit more if you really wanted to.

  37. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Obvious fake.

    Everyone know if Bess & Matt got married, Matt would take Bess' last name.

  38. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    I though southpark was kidding about super AIDS…

  39. Posted by momentus | November 22, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    The blow is materially cheaper in Ecuador. And much, much better. Just saying.

    –That guy

  40. Posted by Mixinapplesw/oranges | November 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    At CitiSmithBarney (pre MS), brokerage branch managers made X. After the merger and 'so-called layoffs', a few of the best branch managers were assigned multiple branches. The majority were knocked to various sales manager status, and were told to take a 50% haircut or take a hike. The majority of management was NEVER laid off. (which by the way, is why the banks can't get out of their own way. There are still so many layers of faaaattttt…AKA middle managment. They just keep on shuffling the decks)

    So clearly the answer is "at 50% less than X, I will still take your paycheck and be miserable"

    -whew I feel so much better

  41. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    " – guy who knows you went to The Pennsylvania State University"

    There, fixed that for you.

    – UBS Abbreviations Quantitative Analyst

  42. Posted by Confused Commenter | November 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Furiously stressing it.

  43. Posted by Put_Option | November 22, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    It's definitely weak, but I have a feeling if we do enough of it, we'll be okay.

    – Dorrian's bathroom Pat Bateman wannabe

  44. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks for that.

    -guy who feels worse after reading your drivel

  45. Posted by C. Gasparino | November 22, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Son?

  46. Posted by merkin_capital | November 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Young Wyatt,

    Come back under the umbrella. We are, after all, the Quito of New York.

    -VP

  47. Posted by Tomaski | November 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    You're such a pazzo!

  48. Posted by Fixed Income | November 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    You and I both have a fever and it needs more ellipsis.

  49. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Could not close a deal?!? We get closed out of many deals.
    -UBS MD

  50. Posted by Broccoli Rob | November 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Cool story, bro.

  51. Posted by guest | November 22, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    CurrencyTrader? Is that you? Did you forget your intensedebate password?

  52. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    No surprise someone from bayone assumes a single mom only makes 20k a year.

  53. Posted by Abe_Froman_ | November 22, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Actually it may be a comp increase

  54. Posted by Danker_Banker | November 22, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Yes. A brain.

  55. Posted by UBS MD | November 22, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    UBS literally sucks

  56. Posted by UBS PEON | November 22, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    I can vouch for that…

  57. Posted by UBS PEON | November 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Sounds like he picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

  58. Posted by UBS PEON | November 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    making 5% of what i used to make is the NKI

  59. Posted by RichieRich | November 22, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Cocaine is a helluva drug.

  60. Posted by Guest | November 22, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    No, the new NKI is working for a 22 yo Brown student:
    http://maingreen.tv/2011/05/04/david-poritz-2/

  61. Posted by test | November 22, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    This is a test

  62. Posted by lordchariot | November 22, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    this is another test

  63. Posted by Stones | November 22, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    and the free coffee is for closers

  64. Posted by PermaGuestII | November 22, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    So is this.
    [youtube NRxrCBvt7TM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRxrCBvt7TM youtube]

  65. Posted by Insider trader | November 22, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Equador=on the run
    guy who has been there

  66. Posted by WillyStrohhütte | November 23, 2011 at 5:52 AM

    So wait he's actually making less than his mother does?

  67. Posted by JT Marlin | November 23, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    Somebody get this kid a happy meal

  68. Posted by DatingA1Percntr | November 23, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    I guess things have changed if being robbed at gunpoint in Ecuador is still more appealing than a job in the US.

  69. Posted by Office Space Fan | November 25, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Didn't get that Citi interview you felt you should have in your senior year at a middling institution, I gather?

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