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Ask Brock: The Jabberbrocky

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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]
Brock here, daylight savings style, ready to turn back the Brock.
Here it is, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, as written by Pablo “Corazon-Breaker” Neruda if he spent two or more years in investment banking.
(Each numbered poem with Neruda’s original title, followed by a description of its contents, inspired by Neruda’s hypothetical banking stint)
1. Body of a Woman
A simple elegiac haiku lamenting the death of a banker’s sex life:
I remember when
I did not work all the time
I used to get laid
2. The Light Wraps You
A poetic celebration of light, or rather the clinically harsh halogen lights of a bank enveloping one’s skin after not sleeping for a few days. The resulting sonnet illuminates the contrast between light in investment banking in the summer and the sun-kissed frolicking people with normal jobs get to engage in. The sonnet addresses banking directly and starts with “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” followed by the response “no” one hundred and thirty times, with an emphatic turn of the sonnet at the beginning of the third quatrain in which “NO” is capitalized. This sonnet sets records for alliteration, assonance and consonance and is thus popular in high school poetry projects.

3.Ah Vastness of Pines
A poem about the lengthiness of pitch books, and the bankers who process them, opening with the stanza:
Banker! Banker! Not so bright
Staying later than midnight,
What immoral sounding cry
Could evoke thy fearful sympathy?
In what distant bonus lies,
So much bling in thine eyes?
4.The Morning is Full
A poem about the inaccessibility of your average senior banker and how long banking hours are 100% necessary, fueled by the great deal of respect senior bankers have for junior resources.
I cannot meet you in the day,
The morning is quite full.
My hot assistant will convey,
I drove my kids to school.
My game of squash I can’t delay,
To help you on the pitch.
I have a meet and greet today,
With ratings guys from Fitch.
I caught a train to Greenwich way,
I will call you later.
The pitch is due so you must stay,
Later alligator!
I must attend my daughter’s play,
I will send you pages.
Just stick around and keep at bay,
Does a fax take ages?
I could not meet you yesterday,
It’s strange but you look tired.
This work is poor to my dismay,
I have to say you’re fired.
5.So That You Will Hear Me
The following triolet about a VP’s quest to “front-load” the work on a pitch even though it is purely for client service purposes and not due for another week:
So that you will hear me tonight
I will call you and so much more
I’ll phone and write and fax your floor
So that you will hear me tonight
I’ll search and probe and Blackberry
To fix some pitch by four-thirty
So that you will hear me tonight
I will call you and so much more
6.I Remember You As You Were
Written from the perspective of a friend of an investment banker, as a cinquain:
Before starting
Your banking job
Expensing food has made you fat
And gross
7.Leaning Into the Afternoons
A series of Ogden Nash inspired couplets, including:
On I-Banking
Vayner is lamer
But AJ is still gay
Broker Dinner
Models and bottles
Are fine on your dime
8.White Bee
A rather nonsensical title harkening to the massive amounts of barbiturates consumed to take the edge off most days, resulting in some free-verse beat poetry with the opening lines:
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by banking, sleepless hysterical
Iterating through a two-year program looking for a six-figure fix
9.Drunk With Pines
A commemorative formal ode to Jamie Dimon entitled Ode on a Grecian Earner, culminating in the famous last two lines:
Managing is cost-cutting, cost-cutting managing, – that is all
Ye know in finance, and all ye need to know.
10.We Have Lost Even
A poem about losing even the faintest hope of finishing in the top three in global M&A revenue in the league tables, and the ensuing bile swallowing that takes place when your friend from Goldman calls to gloat, starting with the classic stanza:
In Goldman Sachs did partners plan
A steady rat-race for money:
What Hank “The Hotness” Paulson, ran
Through such wealth measureless to man
Down to a soulless sea.
11.Almost Out of the Sky
A poem about the arbitrariness of how vast wealth is accumulated among several middle-aged functionally illiterate white men in their 40s who work in an office not much larger than your cubicle and can never seem to remember your name:
Pretending You’re Meeting the MD, Again
(I’m nobody! Who are you?)
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Only a rich yes-man on Park Avenue?
I’ve met you before, yes I work here.
My cube is in your office view.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a scandal
To be anonymous but live long and wealthy
Exploiting all things financial!
12.Your Breast Is Enough
A set of verses regarding the complacency of bankers and how after a certain point, deprived of the most basic human contact, it really doesn’t take much to incite a release. The poem includes the refrain:
Boobies, boobies, everywhere,
And all the broads did wink;
Boobies, boobies, everywhere,
Nor any fine jugs to drink.
13.I Have Gone Marking
A set of, often dirty, limericks about management run amok, including:
Dimon in the Rough
There once was a trader from Citi
Who became a cost cutting committee
He instituted no fun
And after leaving Bank One
JPMorgan’s equally shitty
14.Every Day You Play
A monostich from one banker to another:
Every day you play a butt-load of Freecell
15.I Like For You To Be Still
A nod to the quietude of an investment banker’s social life, encapsulated in the acrostic (i.e. – all the letters downward spell something):
Just kill me, this
Pitch is
Meaningless yet
Once again
Responsible for so many
God forsaken
16.In My Sky As Twilight
A chronicle of the rise and impending twilight of a junior analyst’s career, starting with the famous stanza:
Listen my colleagues and you shall hear
Of the midnight scramble of a banking peer,
On the industry pie-chart, page seventy-five;
The banker failed to replace the slide
Dropping his bonus to the bottom tier.
17.Thinking, Tangling Shadows
A story of one analyst’s career-threatening assault of his computer, and ensuing advice, capitulating with the famous refrain:
Do not go unsaved into that good night,
Old models freeze and stop and close all day;
Save, save against the crashing of Excel
18.Here I Love You
A poem plucked from the heartstrings of a lovelorn banker:
Here I love you, at the bank,
Because you’re “banker hot.”
Outside I don’t, to be frank,
Because there you’re really not.
19.Girl Lithe and Tawny
A poem about a hot Indian BRC (Business Research Center) employee at a bank, co-written by Rudyard Kipling.
20.Tonight I Can Write
A poem about late nights in the banking world, unfettered by the presence of senior people on a deal team to distract you, yet toiling away to meet a series of increasingly unreasonable and dehumanizing project demands. The poem’s opening stanza is:
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I audited, weak and weary,
Over many an old and tedious item of accounting lore,
While I modeled, nearly sleeping, suddenly there came a beeping,
As of a VP closely creeping, creeping on my bullpen floor.
“Tis my laptop,” I muttered, “hiding on my bullpen floor;
A circular reference, and nothing more.”
(the final few stanzas culminate in the analyst’s repudiation of his current lifestyle, each ending in the line)
Quote the analyst, “Nevermore.”
21.The Song of Despair
Victus, a short poem ending in:
I am (not) the master of my fate:
I am (not) the captain of my soul.