Brock Fantasia is the only remaining person in the JPMorgan analyst class of 2002 to still work at JPMorgan, which is in no way testament to the work environment at JPMorgan. In fact, Brock likes to think of himself as the Highlander of his analyst class, wielding an indestructible claymore of corporate finance.
After “totally wrecking” (in his own words) the Analyst-to-Associate program in the M&A group, Brock was briefly moved to the Natural Resources group, due to increased deal flow in the M&A group. Brock graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Wharton with a degree in Finance and is working in investment banking until he can find a buy-side job. Brock has been interviewing for buy-side jobs throughout the past 3 years and has not been a “good fit” anywhere, despite his ever-burgeoning skill-set. [Editor's P.S.,- Some of this is true. But only some of it. Previous Ask Brocks are here. Send your questions to : brock AT dealbreaker DOT com]
Auf wiedersehen amigos! It’s me, Brock here, so let’s Brock it like it’s hot.
As summer is a day from officially ending, it’s finally time to get serious after the frivolity of September and its many celebrations. It is time to emerge from the “hangover grande” caused by Mexican Independence Day on the 16th, put away those soiled Tom Brady jerseys that lubricated the joy of Patriot Day on the 11th and go back to letting your grandparents feebly succumb to the ravaging spectre of age after the respite of widely-celebrated Grandparents Day on September 10th. It is also time to stop wearing white.
While you’re busy getting the deal team back together to start making Lucite babies in the Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) sector, nothing can Bogart your deal-joint quite like a bad case of the flu. As flu season rapidly approaches, it’s important to stay as protected as your job at JPMorgan during a down-turn, so that’s why I, Brock Fantasia, like to avoid flu shots like the virulent plagues they profess to protect against.
Why do I avoid flu shots? I realize that spending flu season inside of an investment bank, where no one is maintaining fundamental levels of sleep, nutrition, or basic cleanliness, is a perilous pursuit. An investment bank is a special environment, a warm soak in a tepid pool of deal-sweat, where catching someone using anti-bacterial soap happens about as often as catching Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad eating bagels with lox. In other words, take your average banker during the winter, add guns and steel, and you have a cogent thesis on Western prominence.
You pretty much have a greater chance of getting sick in an investment bank during flu season than by French-kissing the Hot Zone monkey, but there are precautions you can take, and models you can follow to stay healthy. Absolutely no one is a more a model of a modern major I-banking general in an illness fighting army than former CEO of Goldman Sachs and current United States Secretary of the Treasury, Henry “Hank” Paulson.
Hank “The Tank” Paulson grew up the son of a wholesale jewelry business owner in a log cabin on an Illinois farm, surviving only on fiber-rich biographies of Abraham Lincoln and emancipating his father’s jewels at the shop for extra cash. Always a man driven by his passions, Hank “The Human Tornado” Paulson wanted to be a forest ranger right up to the point at which he wanted to be ridiculously wealthy instead.
In a stroke of misfortune, Hank “The Thai Warrior” Paulson went to Dartmouth and Harvard for his B.A. and M.B.A. instead of Penn Wharton, ensuring that his true financial acumen would forever remain untapped. Despite this, Hank “Tootsie” Paulson excelled academically, even though “earning” a citation at Dartmouth is kind of like “earning” a paper crown at Burger King.
Hank “LonelyGirl 15” Paulson, rose to the top simply by working harder than everyone else, taking lots of greenies, and not getting sinus infections. The Master of the Masters of the Universe doesn’t get sick, dammit, and doctors don’t make house calls to Castle Grayskull. Poor health results in even poorer deals, and do you know how many bad deals Hank “of Troy” Paulson has done? Hank “to the Izzo” Paulson can count the number of bad deals he’s done on his middle school woodshop teacher’s remaining digits, which Hank “Sachs-Machine” Paulson had removed for the purposes of this analogy.
The reason Hank “Lambada” Paulson has never been sick is because he was born, raised, died, raised again several days later, check-raised, called and re-raised a Christian “Scientist.” Those of you who think “Christian Scientist” is an oxymoron must not know Hank “The Menace” Paulson, or the “church” that shaped him.
Known as the “First Church of Christ, Scientist,” or the “Eight Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety-Sixth Church of Christ, Unmodified,” Christian “Science” was founded in 1879 by a rather batty New England multi-widower named Mary Baker Eddy in the wave of religions founded in the mid-19th century, just before modern media could refute them. A primary tenet of Christian “Science” is that illness is an illusory condition caused by fear, sin and a fundamental misunderstanding of man’s relationship with God.
The “church” is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts at a location called “The Mother Church,” not to be confused with Fenway. The Mother Ship also boasts a lovely pipe organ. Do you think Hank “The Impaler” Paulson joins a “church” with anything but one of the world’s largest pipe organs?
Coinciding with his gonad-compressing faith, Hank “E. Panky” Paulson only fights illnesses with leukocytes, the holiest line of immune system responders, named after one of the Gospels. Hank “Dilution Rapist” Paulson’s immune system also contains no phagocytes, commonly known as the gayest of all immune responses. The only phagocytosis that happens in Hank “Spicoli” Paulson occurs between a male leukocyte and a female pathogen, or, on weekends, a Burmese cabana boy of a macrophage.
Christian “Science” doesn’t completely frown on the use of medicine; it’s just that they prefer to engage in spiritual healing – a healing so brutally efficient that proponents can look forward to double the national cancer rate. That’s why if Hank “Big Papi” Paulson ever does get sick, he’s planning on promptly checking into Christ’s Hospital, upon which he will realize that it is a prominent boarding school in West Sussex, and that “checking into Christ’s Hospital” is just a religious metaphor used by Christian “Scientists” for letting pathogens ravage your body unchecked.
As the current Secretary of the US Treasury, the papacy of Paulson has been extended over the free market. In the free market of ideas, the ideas of a batty New Englander who thought sickness was a myth (akin to the ideas of many supply-siders) is clearly the winner over Penicillin. Thank goodness this man is the principal economic advisor to the President. Let prosperity trickle down from the heavens!
Unlike Hank “Mr. Boombastic” Paulson, I am human, fallible, and have internal organs not made of stainless titanium. Therefore I do succumb to illness every now and then. I like to work hard and play hard, which means I don’t always get to Joshua Tree in time to have actual “conversations” with the girls I take home. Usually a girl just catches my glance, our eyes meet, we lip-synch the same lyric to “How Will I Know,” and I arhythmically grind my pelvis against her femur during the screaming saxophone solo until her friends decide to go back to Hoboken without her. Another cloaked fleet of “Cling-On” birds of prey defeated with your photon torpedoes of massive game, Brock! Set phasers to “seduce,” because you’re about to boldly go were no man has gone before (Gene Roddenbury obviously never took a bank-sponsored GMAT prep course, sloppily splitting infinitives across the galaxy).
Unfortunately as it turned out, on three separate occasions, about half the Jersey shore had been there, boldly. Although that painful burning sensation during urination is the painful burn of having so much game, it was time for Brock Fantasia to feign bronchitis until someone at the bank let him take a half an hour to go see the doctor. Let me tell you, a Z-pack cures everything. Bronchitis, streptococcal pharyngitis, and stuckacoccus in orafice grossus. You may not need a flu shot (just ask Hank “Cleveland Steamer” Paulson), but I advise taking a Z-pack every 4-6 months, especially if planning on continuing social activities in Murray Hill. Zithromax has saved more banker ass than Blackberry service outages.