And If You Would Take A 98% Pay Cut In Order To Work At Citi, That’s Okay Too**

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?

(hidden for your protection)
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70 Responses to “And If You Would Take A 98% Pay Cut In Order To Work At Citi, That’s Okay Too**”

  1. UBS MD says:

    Intermittent hot water? What a show-off.

  2. DingALing says:

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

    -Marsellis Wallace

  3. Matt Levine says:

    Please add more charts.

  4. Donkeybanger says:

    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. Guest says:

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

  6. Put_Option says:

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

  7. 2_Small_2_Bail says:

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

    -Citi MD

  8. Baffled in Bayonne says:

    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?

  9. Penn St. Alum says:

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

  10. Guest says:

    Earning 100% less + leftover snapple while mowing down OWS

  11. Poor choices says:

    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.

  12. pool boy says:

    "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.

  13. unreal says:

    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

  14. Kegels123 says:

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

  15. agreatdaytothink says:

    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.

  16. pazzo83 says:

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

  17. agreatdaytothink says:

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

    – Every UBS Employee

  18. pazzo83 says:

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

    – Former Zuccotti Park Resident

  19. momentus says:

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

    –That guy

  20. Mixinapplesw/oranges says:

    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

  21. merkin_capital says:

    Young Wyatt,

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


  22. UBS MD says:

    UBS literally sucks

  23. UBS PEON says:

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

  24. UBS PEON says:

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

  25. Insider trader says:

    Equador=on the run
    guy who has been there

  26. WillyStrohhütte says:

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

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

  28. huN3Ak I appreciate you sharing this blog article.Thanks Again. Awesome.