For the 2008 holiday season, most financial institutions canceled or drastically downsized their office parties to one communal bag of chips. Fine. Last year, despite the shit somewhat receding from the fan, The People still had scalding hot pokers up Wall Street's ass and many firms once again said no, some even to employees partying on their own, out of self-preservation. For 2010, however, we figured the dry-spell was over. Disturbingly, such is not the case.
With investment bankers scrambling to lock in those end-of-the year deals and politicians frowning on anything that smacks of Wall Street celebration, it's no wonder many have opted to take a Grinch-like party pass. The banks that are not holding holiday parties include Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and UBS...Goldman Sachs, Lazard, and Deutsche Bank were also contacted, but could not confirm if they were having parties.
According to one expert in the field of office holiday parties, "employees would rather have the compensation." She doesn't see them "coming back" because they're "not a retention tool [like bonuses]and the firms are worried about that right now." Which, sure, we get the whole desired to be paid and are all for it but come on! The opportunity to get drunk and spend even more time than you already have to with people you despise, possibly groping them in the process, is a god-given right and one you've gone without for too long.
If your firm, be it bank, hedge fund or otherwise, is bucking what alarmingly seems to be becoming a trend, let us know so we can celebrate it as an example of an organization that knows the score.