three- or four-star hotels

A four-star shit hole.

Time was, working on Wall Street meant going to great lengths to lavishly entertain clients whose business you wanted to win or keep. Client wanted to party on a yacht with forty Brazilian hookers? You made it happen. Client wanted Jay-Z to perform at his son’s Bar Mitzvah? You were on it. Client wanted you to manipulate Libor while simultaneously hand feeding him grapes? All you wanted to know was red or green.

Whatever they wanted you delivered and then some and the best part was nobody said anything about it. Nobody  judged, nobody protested, nobody wondered if flying to Hyōgo Prefecture to personally slaughter a cow and bring it back with you in business class so the client’s dinner would be fresh was the best use of company money.  Then you nearly take down the global financial system and have to be bailed out by the government and all of a sudden it’s like people think they have the right to count your (or in the case of banks still partially owned by the UK, their) money.

So you scale back the big outings. You make less of a spectacle. Should’ve be enough to get ‘em off your backs, only it’s never enough with these people. They’re not happy until you’re taking clients to Applebee’s and suggesting getting one appetizer and splitting an entrée, or inviting them to major international sporting events and then denying them black car service, putting them up in relative dumps, and making them drink malt liquor. Which is more or less what one bank is doing. Read more »