Ballpark: How Many People Are Running Around Wall Street Doing The Same Thing?

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Missouri gubernatorial candidate David Spence was forced to make an embarrassing change to his biography after misrepresenting his credentials on a campaign website, according to reports. Spence fibbed by claiming to have “a degree in Economics” from the University of Missouri. That’s half the truth — he forgot to say that the degree is actually in “Home Economics." [Politico via DI]

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Wall Street Journal Columnist Can't Believe He Has To Breathe The Same Air As Worthless Pieces Of Shit That Are Today's College Grads

Once upon a time, as in two years ago, Wall Street Journal foreign-affairs columnist Bret Stephens hired an intern from West Point who blew him away with her accomplishments and talent. When she wasn't performing "field exercises in which she kept a bullet proof vest on at all times, even while sleeping" she was writing "brilliantly" and was one of the most "self-effacing" people Stephens had ever met. Currently, the former intern is fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and to this day, whenever Stephens thinks of her, he is awed and impressed, as most people would be. Unfortunately, he probably won't have the opportunity to hire another individual of her caliber, because approximately 99% of this woman's generation is made up of despicable low-life scumbags who exist to make Stephens sick. Take a guy Bret interviewed a couple months back. Kid had an "astonishingly high GPA from an Ivy League university and aspirations to write about Middle East politics." The two got to chatting about Suez Crisis of '56 and over the course of the chat it became apparent that this kid "didn't know who was the president of the United States in 1956. And he didn't know who succeeded that president." Know where that guy is now? In Bret Stephens's meat locker, as he well should be. And while Stephens hasn't had the opportunity to interview each and every member of the Class of 2012, he's doesn't have to in order to know what they're all about, which is being a bunch of degenerate jerk-offs who suck at their parents' teat because they can't get the jobs they don't deserve that aren't available because they are commies who voted for Obama. Sayth Stephens: Dear Class of 2012: Allow me to be the first one not to congratulate you. Through exertions that—let's be honest—were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtain a debased degree. Now you're entering a lousy economy, courtesy of the very president whom you, as freshmen, voted for with such enthusiasm. Please spare us the self-pity about how tough it is to look for a job while living with your parents. They're the ones who spent a fortune on your education only to get you back— return-to-sender, forwarding address unknown...If you're like [West Point] intern, please feel free to feel sorry for yourself. Just remember she doesn't. Unfortunately, dear graduates, chances are you're nothing like her. And don't you ever forget it, pieces of garbage. To read through your CVs, dear graduates, is to be assaulted by endless Advertisements for Myself. Here you are, 21 or 22 years old, claiming to have accomplished feats in past summer internships or at your school newspaper that would be hard to credit in a biography of Walter Lippmann or Ernie Pyle...In every generation there's a strong tendency for everyone to think like everyone else. But your generation has an especially bad case, because your mass conformism is masked by the appearance of mass nonconformism. It's a point I learned from my West Point intern, when I asked her what it was like to lead such a uniformed existence. Her answer stayed with me: Wearing a uniform, she said, helped her figure out what it was that really distinguished her as an individual. Now she's a second lieutenant, leading a life of meaning and honor, figuring out how to Think Different for the sake of a cause that counts. Not many of you will be able to follow in her precise footsteps, nor do you need to do so. But if you can just manage to tone down your egos, shape up your minds, and think unfashionable thoughts, you just might be able to do something worthy with your lives. And even get a job. Good luck! Stephens: To The Class Of 2012 [WSJ]

How Can Wall Street Feel Alive Again?

As some of you may recall, there was a time not too long ago when you could work on Wall Street and be compensated in a way that made you feel special. Appreciated. Loved. Eight, nine, ten-figures of love. Now, obviously, not so much. But that is not what's eating the industry's most fragile spirits of late. They are fine taking pay cuts. They could care less about the money. What they're not fine with is having the rush, the intensity, the adrenaline-pumping fear that comes with, say, putting on a trade in which maybe the firm will make $1 billion or maybe it'll lose $10 billion, WHO KNOWS, IT'S ALL RELATIVE, I CAN'T FEEL MY LEGS, THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT SO EXCITING taken away from them. Take Sean George. He used to spend his days destroying company property and now, thanks to financial regulation, has had to get his kicks elsewhere. Sean George kneeled in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan. He wasn’t praying. A gash below his right brow bled into his eye and down his nose before a knee to his groin sent him to the floor. George, 39, head of credit-derivatives trading at Jefferies, was making his Muay Thai debut at the church June 22 in a sport that allows kicking, elbowing and kneeing. His eye was swelling shut by the time he lost in a split decision. It was the happiest he’s been all year, he said. “Right now at work I’m making less risk decisions -- and I enjoy taking risks,” George, who headed investment-grade credit-default-swap trading at Deutsche Bank AG before he joined Jefferies last year, said in an interview. “If you’re in it for the game and the fight, the game’s over and the fight’s over.” Risk is what drew George and the colleagues he respects to Wall Street, he said. He could bring in millions of dollars in a single month at his peak, and trading was so intense that during one credit-default-swap deal he smashed a phone against his desk, sending part of it three rows away, “one of the records for the best break,” he said. Ethan Garber's lost that tingly feeling in his plums. “There’s no sexiness, there’s no fun, there’s no intellectual intrigue, either,” said Ethan Garber, who ran proprietary credit-arbitrage portfolios for Credit Suisse Group AG and Bear Stearns Cos. “A lot of my friends who actually lingered for the last four years are all now getting fired anyway,” said Garber, 45, currently CEO of IdleAir, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based firm that provides electricity at truck stops. “The air is taken out.” Robert McTamaney has been reduced to doing his best impression of a whiskey-swilling, cigar-chomping newspaper man from the 1940's, who we assume addressed Bloomberg's Max Abelson as "toots" here. “The socks are higher, the skirts are longer,” said McTamaney, who helped run Goldman Sachs’s equities- trading business in Asia. “It’s like styles: They change, and you’ve got to change with it or be left behind.” Former King Street Capital and Bank of America trader Sam Polk isn't gonna lie, the worst part of Wall Street 2.0 is not being able to feel like a god by dropping $10,000 for bottle service on Wednesday nights, and sometimes even Thursdays. “You could be a 20-something trader three years out of school, able to go to any restaurant or club or ballgame on any night that you wanted, and it was totally paid for,” he said. “It was a tremendous feeling of power.” Michael Meyer is dying a slow, painful death. “The light at the end of the tunnel is dim,” said Meyer, now co-head of sales and trading at New York investment bank Seaport Group. Clearly, it's not pretty. But here at Dealbreaker we're about offering solutions, not whining about problems. How can these guys and girls replicate the feelings they once got by taking on risk on the job, if, unlike Sean George, getting kicked in the balls is not their thing? Drinking the carton of milk in the break room that's been sitting out for two days, telling the boss's wife it looks like she's gained a couple pounds, having unprotected sex with a junkie, shouting "You go girl!" at yourself in spin class after being kindly told to "Shut the fuck up" or else, and leaving dirty dishes in the sink all seem like good jumping off points but we can do better. These people need our help. Bloodied Trader Pines For Risk As Wall Street Retreats [Bloomberg]