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]

(hidden for your protection)
Show all comments

119 Responses to “Bonus Watch ’12: Nightmare On Wall Street”

  1. Guest says:

    Handsbridge Capital, please.

  2. Alt_EST says:

    Picture caption FTW

  3. Deep Sigh says:

    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.

  4. VanillAnalyst says:

    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"

  5. Guest says:

    Yes, Yes, and Yes

  6. not elongated says:

    You can tell those breasts would be really firm.

  7. .Bo says:

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

  8. Guest says:

    Any word on numbers for first year dictators?

    -Kim Jung Un

  9. guestosaurus says:

    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…

    • guestapo says:

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

      • guestosaurus says:

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

  10. RBS MD says:

    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

  11. CBOE says:

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

  12. guest says:

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

  13. pazzo83 says:

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

    – OWS Protester/Liar

  14. PermaGuestII says:

    Hans Kullberg, der Uber-Douche.

  15. Abe_Froman_ says:

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

  16. Ray Finkle says:

    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.

  17. guest says:

    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.

  18. Texashedge says:

    "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

  19. Tanker2Banker says:

    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

  20. Guest says:

    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!

    • guest says:

      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.

    • Beerio says:

      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….

  21. Guest says:

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

  22. Walter says:

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

  23. cleansing analyst says:

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

  24. man the f up says:

    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.

    • PermaGuestII says:


      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.

  25. Guest says:

    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.

  26. Cut Me says:

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

  27. Marky Zuckzucks says:

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

  28. Guest says:

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

  29. guest says:

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

  30. Herbstreet says:

    Fap hand is cramping, fap hand is cramping!

  31. guessed says:

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

  32. superdadinnj says:

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

  33. Guest says:

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

  34. Sleeper says:

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

    – German Shepherd kinda guy

  35. 2StopShop says:

    Buying Wheat Chex, sans coupon, is the NKI.

  36. Dope Rapper says:

    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

  37. John Thain says:

    To hell with the 99%

  38. DingALing says:

    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.

    • DingALing says:

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

  39. Starving Marvin says:

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

  40. guest says:

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

    Or, like, whatever.

    -Redacted UPenn Undergraduate

  41. Piranha 3D Quant says:

    Alright Lake Victoria, are you ready for some TITTIES!

    Hit it, DJ Chocolate Thunder

  42. Guest says:


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

  43. Guest says:

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

    • guest says:

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

    • guest says:

      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.

      • PermaGuestII says:

        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

  44. uninvited guest says:

    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.

  45. guest says:

    "…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…

  46. BDUBS says:


  47. PollyPerkins says:

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

  48. MolEtg Really enjoyed this blog.Thanks Again. Cool.

  49. Bayu says:

    You didn’t answer the antipsam question correctly, your comment was not saved. Press “Back” and answer the question better.Just to be sure that your message won’t be lost – copy it now to the clipboard. 搞得我很紧张来着.. 特地来留言测试一下下….果然..是啥子插件啊?压根都木有问题出来

  50. riilbbtfy says:

    m7s3ip , [url=]zlbjvdbllzwh[/url], [link=]nxfemifeedlo[/link],

  51. jimmiedafish says:

    I love the smell of broiled Bichon Frisee in the morning! Smells like……victory.

  52. real UBS worker says:

    whats bonus ?

  53. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  54. I havenˇt checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it friend :)

  55. oh cool, this info is really useful and definately is comment worthy!

    hehe. I’ll see if I can try to utilize some of this info for my own blog.
    Greetings from Nebraska

  56. buy wow gold says:

    Itˇs really a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  57. It is always tough when someone has to take a budget cut…unfortunately some people forget what is on the other side of those budget cuts….could be a family, someone struggling to pay debts, someone who now needs to find a new job to cover his expenses…You just never know!

  58. Fakanál says:

    I love Europian's mountains and…