Goldman Sachs

Time was, the life of a junior investment banker meant making an obscene amount of money for someone just out of college, in exchange for, well, everything. Weekends were a privilege, not a right, all-nighters were a way of life, and if your boss wasn’t barking increasingly onerous demands at you, ripping your head off moments after you turned in a one-hundred page pitch book you missed your grandmother’s 90th birthday to finish, and telling you to do it again, and try, this time, “not to fuck it up,” something was very wrong.

Then the financial crisis hit, and Wall Street started paying less, and junior investment bankers started to do some reflection. “Hey,” they said, “We’re not making the kind of money they talked about in Liar’s Poker and The Last Tycoons. Telling girls we work at banks doesn’t melt panties like it used to and gone are the days of Christmas parties on yachts featuring shrimp the size of a fist and hookers brought in at a ratio of 2:1. And what the hell gives re: dinner allowances when working late? Twenty bucks barely covers an appetizer, entree, and Coke.”

So the junior investment bankers got together, like a long-oppressed people often do, and decided they weren’t going to stand for it any longer. First things first, they were going to start interviewing with hedge funds and private equity firms before their two years of servitude were up. They were going to write books about what a hell-hole their employers were, and how they ripped off clients and probably couldn’t even recite John C. Whitehead’s 14 Business Principles if they tried. They were going to tell each other that the trade off for working 100 hours a week (the possibility of one day having a conversation with Gary Cohn’s grundle) was no longer worth it. They were going to leave for Silicon Valley. They were going to tell the younger generations that there wasn’t much difference between being a junior investment banker and a lawyer.

For one bank, Goldman Sachs, that was a bridge too far. So it got a “task force” together to figure out what it could do to make its junior mistmakers slightly less miserable and after a lot of memos and committee meetings and back and forths finally decided to very generously allow the young people to take some (SOME. NOT ALL.) weekends off, in addition to implementing a new system that minimizes the instances of senior bankers making vague requests of underlings and subsequently being forced to ask said underling if they were “some kind of idiot” and stressing that that was “an actual question” awaiting an actual answer.

Basically, it’s an embarrassment of riches that would have been unheard of prior to 2008 and even today might shock some investment banking vets. Read more »

Small Victories: Sergey Aleynikov Edition

Goldman Sachs does not have to pay the people trying, at its behest or otherwise, to put former programmer Sergey Aleynikov in jail (again). But it does have to pay to try to keep him out of jail. For now. Unless he does go to jail (again). Then all bets are off. Which is good for old Sergey (for now), because, as you might imagine, given the ordeal he’s been through, he’s broke. Read more »

Morgan Stanley ended up doing alright for itself in the third quarter, just as Gorman’s posture suggested it would. Read more »

  • 17 Oct 2013 at 4:57 PM
  • Banks

Banking To Get ‘Boring,’ Less ‘Rock Star’-ish

Banking will no longer simply be full of small indignities: It will also be a crushing bore and less remunerative, to boot. Take it away, Bill Michael: Read more »

Greg Palm doesn’t have time for them, nor does the NY Fed for employees trying perform the job they were hired for, alleges a lawsuit filed today. Read more »

  • 18 Sep 2013 at 3:20 PM
  • Banks

Lloyd Blankfein Tickled Pink Over Joining The Dow

Lloyd Blankfein may have a direct line to the guy up top, but even He didn’t tip the Goldman chief about the nicest surprise of his banking career. Read more »

  • 17 Sep 2013 at 5:45 PM
  • Banks

Nothing To See Here: Capital Ratios Edition

Everything is A-OK and fine and dandy with the banks, which say they’d sail through hypothetical financial crises of their own devising. Read more »