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[via CGasparino]

Earlier this week, a man named Greg Smith resigned from Goldman Sachs. Smith informed his bosses of his decision to quit around 6:40 AM local (London) time and, a few hours later, circled in the rest of the world with an Op-Ed in the New York Times, which he penned not out of a desire to violate his (former) employer in the most gruesome fashion possible in front of clients and other interested parties but because he believed it to be the right, nay, the only thing to do. In the piece, Greg explained that his decision to leave the firm after 12 years of service did not come easily. But, after months of beating down a nagging little voice, a moment of truth presented itself that he could not deny. During rehearsals for the college recruiting video he starred, Greg realized that the lines he was delivering re: Goldman being a great place to work were a lie. A bald-faced one, in fact. Goldman had changed in the years since the Greg-ster arrived, and whereas it once felt like home and the people in it family, he’d come to regard it as a den of evil, run by monsters. Monsters who called clients “muppets”; who only cared about making money; who valued “shortcuts” over “achievement.” Of the latter, Greg spoke from plenty of experience. Though his personal achievements are too numerous to mention in full, they include being named a Rhodes scholar (finalist), learning to tie his shoes at the age of 22, winning third place for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games, and being named captain of the South African national table tennis team. OR WAS HE? Read more »

Bill Gross’s Mustache Is Never Coming Back

Has there ever been a person in your life who in hindsight you never adequately cherished ’til he/she was gone? Who you would have treated better if you’d known that that final day together would be your last? Who you would have begged to stay? Who you assumed would return to you eventually but as the weeks, months, and years crept on you were faced with the hard realization that the next and only time you’d see them would be in your dreams, because they were never coming back? Whose permanent absence, once finally accepted, hit you like a piano pushed from the window of the top floor of a hedge fund manager’s house by a surly pet pig? Then you know how people involved with Bill Gross’s Mustache feel today. Once a daily presence on the PIMCO manager’s face, the BGM went away for a while but it was assumed not for good because how could that be? Why would that be? It didn’t seem possible. And then this happened:

Bloomberg’s Tom Keene: When does the mustache come back?
Gross: Never. My wife has finally adjusted, so it’s not coming back.

If you never got to say a proper good-bye, if you would have done things differently, if you feel like the wind’s been knocked out of you, if you can’t bear the thought of being alone tonight, join us as we light a candle in memoriam. Read more »

How does one know when they’ve made it in Connecticut? Is it when their net worth is north of $5 billion? Is it when news of their impending arrival downtown causes workers to roll out the fleece carpet? Is it when the Radio City Christmas Spectacular becomes known as the poor man’s version of the holiday light display on their front lawn? Is it when they can finger a horse and no one says anything? None of the above, peasants. One knows they’ve made it in Connecticut when they can board the Metro North train without having to walk 12 miles to the platform in the morning and the same amount back after getting bombed on the way home at night.

In the Metro-North parking lots along Connecticut’s Gold Coast, the haves and the have-nots aren’t defined by their clothes, car or even their net worth. Here, it’s about whether they have a flimsy green piece of paper visible on their dashboards. A public parking pass in this and other towns along the Long Island Sound has become a precious asset. The waiting list for a Fairfield Parking Authority permit has 4,200 people and stretches past six years. In another town, Rowayton, the annual permit sale is an epic frenzy similar to that surrounding the release of a new iPhone, with residents camping out overnight to ensure they get a $325 pass.

Think it’s no big D? Think again. Most people would sell their first born into White slavery for one of these elusive bad boys. Read more »

You’re Getting Stiffed On Snacks

If someone were to tell you that on a comparative basis, you were getting lapped by government employees when it came to compensation and perks, you’d probably find that 1) downright offensive and 2) extremely hard to believe. Maybe you work at allegedly prestigious hedge fund or investment bank. Maybe they tell you that the food they stock in their pantry is the best you can find on the Street. Maybe they plied you with promises of the most delicious refreshments money can buy and maybe they even closed you on the state of the art trading floor fondue pot and men’s room barista. Maybe they thought you had you fooled about the opportunities elsewhere.

For those duking out the perks sections of a new contract, don’t let yourself be taken for a fool. Read more »