those were the days
a) Lloyd Blankfein
b) Hank Paulson
c) Jon Corzine
d) Stephen Friedman
e) Gus Levy
f) John Whitehead
g) John Weinberg
h) Sidney Weinberg
i) Marcus Goldman
Hopefully you answered D, Stephen Friedman, as that was the answer we were looking for, per a New York Observer piece on financial services employees who feel more comfortable in a onesie than a suit.
“I wrestled as well as I could wrestle, and if I lost, that was my own fault,” KKR’s Henry Kravis once told an interviewer about what he learned from wrestling. “I had nobody to blame but myself.” Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris wrestled at the University of Pennsylvania before deciding that making his 118-pound weight class didn’t allow either the time or calories for the old “college experience.” Former Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Stephen Friedman, an AAU champion who wrestled at Cornell, was known to challenge subordinates to impromptu matches. Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was a college wrestler, though Mr. Novogratz pointed out that Mr. Thain, now CIT Group CEO, wrestled at the Division III level.
The daily Seamless stipend is considered sacred for employees, and any abuse of the system appears generally overlooked by higher-ups. When Lehman Brothers went under, for instance, Morgan Stanley lowered the Seamless limit from $30 to $25, much to the anger of workers. “People went nuts,” recalls a former employee. “Every so often there were these fireside chats with [Morgan Stanley CEO] John Mack ‘Da Knife’ and a collection of analysts. One of the women on the call asked Mack to raise the limit to $30 again. Mack, not really having paid much attention to expenses, was surprised to hear it had been reduced. Concerned, he asked her why she needed $30 instead of just $25. She said that with the new reduction, ‘I can’t order my Perrier anymore.'” The next day, as legend has it, there was an entire case of Perrier on her desk–courtesy of John Mack.
In related news, the Morgan Stanley Seamless stipend is currently at $20. And while filing formal complaints at the top might have worked when MS was a free-for-all orgy of sparkling water and Italian pastries and whatever else your heart desired,** anyone considering pleading his/her case to James Gorman re: why this just won’t do should also think about boxing their shit up first, lest a hasty exit be necessary.
**Particularly if what your heart desired was a pair of fierce as fuck shoes.
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