• 29 Feb 2012 at 11:31 AM

Bonus Watch ’12: Nightmare On Wall Street

At Bloomberg today you will find a piece that is a bit hard to stomach if you’re the type of person whose heart goes out to the suffering. A bunch of financial services employees’ bonuses were slashed last year and, as a result, their lives have been turned upside down. Perhaps recalling how well their colleagues came off in Bloomberg’s first piece in what is apparently a series on bankers who are down, out, and willing to talk on the record, these people thought it wise to turn to reporter Max Abelson to tell their tale.

First, there’s Andrew Schiff, director of marketing for Euro Pacific Capital. Schiff has almost too many woes to mention but they include having to scale back his Connecticut summer house rental from four months to one; facing the pressure of paying private school tuition for two kids; living in a “crammed” 1,200-square- foot Brooklyn duplex (Schiff and his wife were planning to buy a $1.5 million brownstone nearby but now, who knows); and traffic (“Schiff was sitting in a traffic jam in California this month after giving a speech at an investment conference about gold. He turned off the satellite radio, got out of the car and screamed a profanity. ‘I’m not Zen at all, and when I’m freaking out about the situation, where I’m stuck like a rat in a trap on a highway with no way to get out, it’s very hard,’ he said”).

Then there’s Cobble Hill resident Daniel Arbeeny, a headhunter whose “income has gone down tremendously” and now must buy discounted salmon at Fairway and “read supermarket circulars to find good prices for his favorite cereal, Wheat Chex,” which is one step from giving out hand jobs under the Brooklyn bridge to make ends meet. Hedge fund manager Richard Scheiner had to sell two motorcycles (though because he actually saved some money, Zelda the labradoodle and Duke the bichon frise still get to live the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to at $17,000/year). Michael Sonnenfeldt’s friends are suffering from “malaise and a paralysis that does not allow [them] to believe that generally things are going to get better.” M. Todd Henderson feels sick (“Yes, terminal diseases are worse than getting the flu,” he said. “But you suffer when you get the flu”).

All traumatic experiences to be sure. And yet none come close to that of Hans, whose harrowing story should serve as a cautionary tale to all.

Hans, 27, a trader at Wyckoff, New Jersey-based hedge fund Falcon Management Corp. who said he earns about $150,000 a year, is adjusting his sights, too. After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, he spent a $10,000 signing bonus from Citigroup Inc. (C) on a six-week trip to South America. He worked on an emerging-markets team at the bank that traded and marketed synthetic collateralized debt obligations. His tastes for travel got “a little bit more lavish,” he said. Hans, a triathlete, went to a bachelor party in Las Vegas in January after renting a four-bedroom ski cabin at Bear Mountain in California as a Christmas gift to his parents. He went to Ibiza for another bachelor party in August, spending $3,000 on a three-day trip, including a 15-minute ride from the airport that cost $100. In May he spent 10 days in India…[in March he] plans to buy a foreclosed two-bedroom house in Charlotte, North Carolina, for $50,000.

Earlier this month, a friend invited him on a trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The friend was going to be a judge in a wet T-shirt contest, Hans said. He turned down the offer. It wouldn’t have been “the most financially prudent thing to do,” he said. “I’m not totally sure about what I’m going to get paid this year, how I’m going to be doing.”

Next time someone tells you that people on Wall Street have no sense of how bad it truly is out there, you tell them about Hans. He knows all too well.

Bonus Withdrawal Puts Bankers in “Malaise” [Bloomberg]

117 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (117)

  1. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Handsbridge Capital, please.

  2. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    It's Handbridge Cap, get it fucking right.

  3. Posted by Alt_EST | February 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Picture caption FTW

  4. Posted by Deep Sigh | February 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    If the people in the article really feel the need to discuss their massive financial stressors I'm sure they'd find a very attentive audience at the Burn Unit of Brooke Army Medical Center.

  5. Posted by VanillAnalyst | February 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    The first rule of rich club is, you do not talk about rich club.
    The second rule of rich club is, YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT RICH CLUB.

    The third rule of rich club is, if this is your first time at rich club, you may not whine about not being paid "enough"

  6. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Yes, Yes, and Yes

  7. Posted by The Truth | February 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    No shit. If you're dumb enough to talk to a reporter (about being upset about your bonus no less), you don't deserve to be in the upper echelons of finance.

    -Steve "don't say nothing" Cohen

  8. Posted by not elongated | February 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    You can tell those breasts would be really firm.

  9. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Hans-Bridge Capital

  10. Posted by .Bo | February 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I wonder how many more times the Wheat Chex tag will be used.

  11. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Any word on numbers for first year dictators?

    -Kim Jung Un

  12. Posted by guestosaurus | February 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    tears well up in my eyes, thinking of a lonely Hans giving himself a handy in his $50k previously foreclosed upon 2bed in NC, while his buddy is living it up at that all-you-can-eat-wet-rack-fest…

  13. Posted by guestapo | February 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Yep. 20/20 is hindsight and all that jazz but these people should refer themselves to the "idiots who go on the record" tag, go back in time and shut the hell up. You're an idiot if you think being featured in the bberg article will do you any good.

  14. Posted by RBS MD | February 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    These stories don't even compare. I used to be able to afford Five Guys for dinner every night…now I have to go to 99 cent pizza

  15. Posted by No Pants | February 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    I would tell those breasts that I am already firm.

  16. Posted by CBOE | February 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    a cut in bonus is kind of like a knock out option.

  17. Posted by pazzo83 | February 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Hans Brix capital?

    – Kim Jong Il

  18. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    in my dream world, that picture came from bess' private collection: spring break 2003

  19. Posted by guestapo | February 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    He's not actually living in the 2bd, it's just an investment, but yeah, I feel for him too.

  20. Posted by sme | February 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    It's Hans Blix, get it fucking right.

  21. Posted by pazzo83 | February 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    You think that's bad, I actually had to get a job!!

    – OWS Protester/Liar

  22. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Hans Kullberg, der Uber-Douche.

  23. Posted by guestosaurus | February 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    if you invest in 50k properties you'll spent your weekend there painting the walls and mowing the grass, wearing your old wharton tshirt..

  24. Posted by Abe_Froman_ | February 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Crying about making $350k as a dipshit in marketing at your brothers firm is the NKI

  25. Posted by geoffgeoffgeoff | February 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Ahem, "3/50 is hindsight and all that jazz […]."

    -Stefan "Jazz Hands" Cohén

  26. Posted by Texashedge | February 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Didn't he get killed falling from the 30th story of the Nakatomi Plaza?

  27. Posted by Ray Finkle | February 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    From FB
    About HansWhat you see is who I am. I like to have fun, first and foremost and everything else can just happen. I don't like superficial or ignorant people….you gotta be real. Keep your head on straight, keep dreaming, and always keep the good times rolling. Always find your youth even though you may grow old.

  28. Posted by Texashedge | February 29, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    ^Matt Damon

  29. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I think you people are underestimating the multiplier affect of Hans' cancelled trip to mardi gras. I mean one less stripper contracted syphilis, meaning one less office visit fee for her doctor, one less antibiotic script for her pharmacists, the economic ruin seems endless.

  30. Posted by Texashedge | February 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    "a friend invited him on a trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The friend was going to be a judge in a wet T-shirt contest"

    Ahh, the Momus ball

  31. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM
  32. Posted by Tanker2Banker | February 29, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    What kind of a rathole do you get for 50K in Charlotte? What was he planning on doing with it, flipping it?

    1) Buy foreclosed rathole
    2) ?
    3) Massive profit, bankrolling wet T-shirt trip

  33. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    wait is Hans employed or not? Working in NJ, living in a 50k home in NC? I think bberg should have done a little more fact checking on this guy. sounds a right walter mitty!

  34. Posted by dumb | February 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    you think they have stips?

  35. Posted by Marketing Guy | February 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    You mad?

  36. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Hans is employed in NJ, making 150k per year. He is buying a 50k house in NC not to live in but as an investment. I know it's difficult, but try and keep up.

  37. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Would like to hear Lisa Marie's Riches to Rags story when it's available. Her pet probably has a $1mm expenses budget.

  38. Posted by Rich Bleyle | February 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    You might be surprised.

  39. Posted by BessLevin | February 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    As I told Matt earlier today, Wilbur doesn't do "budgets."

  40. Posted by Beerio | February 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Having met Hans I can assure you he's real – I didn't realise at the time that he was stupid enough to go on the record for a story complaining about how little he gets paid. Even though he doesn't get paid much for a Hedge Fund FX/IRS trader….

  41. Posted by Walter | February 29, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    I slept on the A train last night and am going to have lunch today at the Salvation Army, boo f*cking hoo

  42. Posted by trojan_ | February 29, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    also, getting smacked down by Linda "Smackdown" McMahon in a primary is the NKI

  43. Posted by Eater correspondent | February 29, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Percy's on bleeker has the far and away the best $1 slices in the city

  44. Posted by cleansing analyst | February 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    meet me at minetta food dumpster at 10. i'll be the guy with the mardi gras beads.

  45. Posted by man the f up | February 29, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Wall Streeters whining when things are bad is just as distasteful as our gloating when things are good. Anybody who works in wholesale finance on the US East Coast is a lottery winner, statistically speaking (billions earn less than $1 a day in this world). That wimp who felt entitled to climb out of his car and scream a profanity because he "just couldn't take it" ought to have been run over by an 18 wheeler.

  46. Posted by Ray Finkle | February 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    He left a steady job in St. Paul mentoring young hockey players and sharpening skates, for $150K?

    -G. Bombay

  47. Posted by Dalio | February 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Get at Me Steve

  48. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Being a headhunter and complaining about not making $500K a year, instead of thanking God there are still people who haven't heard of Monster, LinkedIn or the internet in general, is the NKI.

  49. Posted by farcical | February 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    notice how they always do triathlons ?

  50. Posted by Cut Me | February 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    What's a cut in bonus?
    -Every UBS worker

  51. Posted by Marky Zuckzucks | February 29, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    That's the OKI, the NKI is making $40,000,000K owning a piece of a company that thought 'pokes' would catch on.

  52. Posted by Rami | February 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    shit, that's nothing.

    been hit with three paternity tests in the last month

  53. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 29, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Yes.

  54. Posted by Papau New Guinea | February 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    It's all about the love of the canabalism.

  55. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Agreed.

    And if you're going to freak out and jump out of your car in the middle of a California traffic jam, at least do it "Falling Down" style.

  56. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Is he really as douchey as he sounds?

  57. Posted by Han's Travel Agent | February 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Yes.

  58. Posted by Lee Harvey | February 29, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Bess – would it kill you to get rid of the X "after the jump"? Keep trying to get the angle around it

    -Guy always looking for silver lining/pleasant scenery

  59. Posted by geoffgeoffgeoff | February 29, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    +1

  60. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Kullberg does all of that on only $150,000 a year? His Chase debit card must be nearly maxed out.

  61. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    it would be one thing if everyone interviewed was 22, but did these people take a long nap through 2008/2009??

  62. Posted by Herbstreet | February 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Fap hand is cramping, fap hand is cramping!

  63. Posted by guessed | February 29, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    I thought Hans was doing alright with that Men-of-HBS dating site he started?

  64. Posted by superdadinnj | February 29, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Getting a job working for your brother is the NKI #europacificcapital

  65. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Is Andrew Schiff not following his brothers investment advice? Peter does not seem to be having the same problem

  66. Posted by Stacey groupie! | February 29, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I think it's time for a Stacey Hessler update complete with graphs, tables and charts! Matt, are you with us?

  67. Posted by Sleeper | February 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Males who own either a labradoodle or bichon frise should be swiftly lined up and shot.

    – German Shepherd kinda guy

  68. Posted by Nailz6 | February 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I'd use this pic, but I just j/o and c'd to Mandy Drury.

  69. Posted by UBS Quidditch | February 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    $40,000,000K, that's 40 billion, right?

  70. Posted by Jacob | February 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    soup = boobs

  71. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Wall St. headhunter is a good temp gig for an out of work banker. When you find the job you want you know exactly what they're looking for and you position yourself accordingly.

  72. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Who pissed in your Wheat Chex?

  73. Posted by UBS MD | February 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    wait, what was the first one again ?

  74. Posted by 2StopShop | February 29, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Buying Wheat Chex, sans coupon, is the NKI.

  75. Posted by Dope Rapper | February 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Okay Bess, market is closed. Please be a peach and post the phrase to Google which will bring up this picture without the X…

    – Guy who's going 'stranger' tonight

  76. Posted by John Thain | February 29, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    To hell with the 99%

  77. Posted by DingALing | February 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    A Wharton MBA, $120,000. Trips to Ibiza, South America, and a run down house in Charlotte, $63,000. Working at a hedge fund and only making $150,000, priceless. There's some budges Ivy League grads can't budget, for everything else, there's American Express.

    This Message brought to you by John "See you at the bottom" Paulson.

  78. Posted by DingALing | February 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    fuck, that second "budget" should have been "balance". There wen't any potential humor with that comment. Fuck it. Vacation starts this Friday.

  79. Posted by Starving Marvin | February 29, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Gotta get your hands on some food stamp for the middle class i.e. Groupon

  80. Posted by Hans's Friend | February 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM
  81. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Anybody else notice the 27 year old who graduated from 'Wharton' in 2006? That's one young MBA…

    Or, like, whatever.

    -Redacted UPenn Undergraduate

  82. Posted by Piranha 3D Quant | February 29, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Alright Lake Victoria, are you ready for some TITTIES!

    Hit it, DJ Chocolate Thunder

  83. Posted by firmness | February 29, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    prrrrrrrr……..

  84. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    -1

    Not because of what you wrote, but to see how negative we can get that score.

  85. Posted by guestie | February 29, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Got dayum.

  86. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Anyone notice that he graduated from Wharton as an undergrad in 2006 and therefore 27 is completely normal?

  87. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    I'm both disturbed and impressed by your obsession with getting that photo.

  88. Posted by Guest | February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Bragging about 3 shitty trips in the last 5 years. Someone needs to tell kullberg lavish doesnt mean what he thinks it means.

  89. Posted by guest | February 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Damn it, I read Minna and not Minetta

    -BGI analyst II

  90. Posted by uninvited guest | February 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Maybe Schiff can get a loan from his old man Irving, who's on a federally subsidized stipend lately.
    13 year term for tax crimes.

  91. Posted by uninvited guest | March 1, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    that's Irwin Schiff

  92. Posted by WSJevons | March 1, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    You have done God's work. Goldman by chance?

  93. Posted by guest | March 1, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    "…after renting a four-bedroom ski cabin at Bear Mountain in California as a Christmas gift to his parents."

    Bear Mountain:Mammoth Mountain::UBS:Goldman Sachs

    In other words…Thanks Mom/Dad, but not really…

  94. Posted by guest | March 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Or the Bloomberg writer, who likely put it in those terms.

  95. Posted by guest | March 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Ibiza is a pretty fucking cool place, if you're a moderately cultured person who, like, knows about the world outside the US and shit.

  96. Posted by PermaGuestII | March 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    I thought it was full of drunk Brits who flew there on Ryanair and overweight Germans in speedos.

    -Guy who knows about the world outside the US

  97. Posted by Guest | March 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Those posing without their shirts in facebook profiles should not throw stones.

  98. Posted by Guest | March 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Think he was kidding. We all know how cultured you are…

  99. Posted by circ_breaker | March 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Hans seems sharp. Definitely an MBA submatriculation.

  100. Posted by BDUBS | March 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    BOO FU*KIN WHO

  101. Posted by PollyPerkins | March 1, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Covering the "sad banker" beat is the NKI, Max Abelson.

  102. Posted by Anon Corp Dev Guy | March 1, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    You are a gentleman and a scholar.

  103. Posted by Intensedebateworld | March 1, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Oh sweet Jesus

  104. Posted by Hans' friend | March 2, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    Yep, definitely Bess.

    – Spring Break '03 Wet Tshirt judge

  105. Posted by Jim | March 22, 2012 at 3:59 PM

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