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The Tortured Soul of John Mack

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Morgan Stanley posted net revenue gains of 29% this morning. Or, as everyone keeps saying, "They matched Goldman's numbers." But really you should stop doing that. Do you have any idea what this kind of constant comparison is doing to poor John Mack?
Picture it. The office is still dark. John Mack's understated tie is slightly askew. He is fiddling around with a small object in his pocket, perhaps a pill that long-ago fell out of its pil bottle and is now so covered with pocket lint that it is unidentifiable. He gazes out the window but it does no good. He still sees the stories blazing out across the brilliant blue sky above New York this morning. He still here's the voices in the silence. They keep saying, "Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs."
He turns suddenly. Where is that spike he used to smash phones with when he was on the trading floor? His eyes dart to his desk drawers. He knows exactly where it is. If he were the kind of person who muttered he would mutter, "We make record numbers, my boys on the trading floors clean-up and all everyone can do is talk about Goldman, Goldman, Goldman!" But John doesn't mutter. Instead he smiles.
He has spent many of the past years being underestimated. This is a form of underestimation, he tells himself. Slowly the chattering voices silence. The comparative headlines fade from the rooftops. He breathes deep and turns to his desk. His feet drag a bit as he walks. He's smiling now.
"I," is the first word that comes to his head. And the second word. "I," he thinks,"I am John Mack."

Morgan Stanley Net Rises to Record on Trading Gains