How To Get Yourself To A Place Where Taking Down Your Fund With One Trade Will Be NBD

Spend any amount of time working on Wall Street and you will soon learn that opportunities for stress abound, whether you're a first -year analyst getting reamed out for an extra space in a pitchbook or a hedge fund manager who just lost $1.2 billion in a matter of minutes. Those who are unable to manage the stress either 1) flame out or 2) become fat, irritable pricks whose change of having a heart attack on the job are high. Presumably, neither of those options sound appealing. But since the terms of the gig aren't changing, what's a ball of nerves like you to do? You might consider risking having the skin burned off your feet, or other such activities. According to Cornell professor Tony Simons, things like a 10,000 point drop in the Dow or seeing a headline flash across Bloomberg that your firm is being indicted-- things that you have no control over- become a lot less scary and cause for flipping out when you've been through worse. For instance, at the workshops and corporate training classes he teaches, Simons will have people do exercises like"firewalks" or have them "snap an arrow that sticks out of a wall with the point in the direction of their neck, by stepping forward and pushing into it." After that, dealing with stuff you previously thought was tough is pretty easy (sayeth one participant: "facing a loved one’s anger and negativity with calm, loving courage and not ducking away from it feels easier after breaking an arrow with the soft part of my throat"). One woman is reportedly planning to "get a firewalk tattoo to remind her of what she’s accomplished." For any employers out there thinking putting on their own Simons-esque workshop but desiring even better results, consider gathering up your employees and having them: * Commit to rollerblading down the Westside Highway to work for a year * Catch a bullet in their teeth * Go through the browser history of everyone at the SEC (no averting of eyes) * Play Spin the Bottle with Rick Santelli's favorite floor traders * Scale the Empire State Building without safety gear * Defend their position why HIG shouldn't spin off its property business to John Paulson on your company's internal sqawk box * Other
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Spend any amount of time working on Wall Street and you will soon learn that opportunities for stress abound, whether you're a first -year analyst getting reamed out for an extra space in a pitchbook or a hedge fund manager who just lost $1.2 billion in a matter of minutes. Those who are unable to manage the stress either 1) flame out or 2) become fat, irritable pricks whose change of having a heart attack on the job are high. Presumably, neither of those options sound appealing. But since the terms of the gig aren't changing, what's a ball of nerves like you to do? You might consider risking having the skin burned off your feet, or other such activities.

According to Cornell professor Tony Simons, things like a 10,000 point drop in the Dow or seeing a headline flash across Bloomberg that your firm is being indicted-- things that you have no control over- become a lot less scary and cause for flipping out when you've been through worse. For instance, at the workshops and corporate training classes he teaches, Simons will have people do exercises like"firewalks" or have them "snap an arrow that sticks out of a wall with the point in the direction of their neck, by stepping forward and pushing into it." After that, dealing with stuff you previously thought was tough is pretty easy (sayeth one participant: "facing a loved one’s anger and negativity with calm, loving courage and not ducking away from it feels easier after breaking an arrow with the soft part of my throat"). One woman is reportedly planning to "get a firewalk tattoo to remind her of what she’s accomplished."

For any employers out there thinking putting on their own Simons-esque workshop but desiring even better results, consider gathering up your employees and having them:

* Commit to rollerblading down the Westside Highway to work for a year
* Catch a bullet in their teeth
* Play Spin the Bottle with Rick Santelli's favorite floor traders
* Go through the browser history of everyone at the SEC (no averting of eyes)
* Get caught on tape letting Hank Paulson's parakeet out of its cage
* Change the bed sheets of a certain NYU economics professor after a long weekend
* Other

Team Building Exercises: Learning To Walk On Fire [CNBC]

Related

The "Workout Taking Over Wall Street" Involves Treating Your Place Of Work Like Your Own Personal "Curves"

Random poll: is the guy or girl who sits next do you at work a) forgoing a chair and instead squatting in front of his/her computer b) doing lunges and push-ups behind you or c) breathing alarmingly heavily and sweating profusely post-deskside workout in which he or she shouted things like "Market's going up! Heart rate's going up!"? If you answered no to all of the above, your office is apparently miles behind the curve. According to a segment aired on Bloomberg TV earlier this morning, everyone on Wall Street is working out on the job. And not, say, in the office gym but on the floor, in the middle of the trading day, between rows, grunting and panting like no one is watching. Supposedly this twenty minute workout has a name (JCore) and if you're worried about the effectiveness, don't be: the guy who pioneered this thing practically has a heart attack during the demo so it must be working. To the skeptical bastards who would suggest no one besides the people featured in the story are actually doing this, you're not alone: back in the studio a fellow anchor nearly blows everything by questioning if there are actually people who would get drenched in the middle of the day while yelling things like "You're shooting me, you're shooting your fat" in view of colleagues but nevermind you that. The Workout Taking Over Wall Street [Bloomberg TV via BI]

How Your CNBC Sausage Gets Made (Update)

Step 1: Come up with story idea, say, about how small businesses are being hurt due to the NBA lockout Step 2: Reach out to Twitter followers, ask them to corroborate said story Step 3: Wait. Step 4: Practice asking Kate Upton to be your Valentine. ["Will you, Kaaa" voice cracks. "Will you, Kate Upton.." No, that's stupid. "Kate I would be most honored if you.."] Step 5: Daydream about how you and "Katie" will tell your families you eloped. Step 6: Marvel at your good fortune when a guy, who in real life is a bored teenager but over the internet seems like a legit businessman, emails you to say that he runs an escort service in New York, "mostly for away team players after games but some Knicks and Nets too; they are high rollers and I'm not getting the constant business I that I need to stay running." Step 7: Double fist pump the air and shout "Yes, D-Rove, you got this!" Step 8: Breathe, tell yourself to calm down and reel it in. Step 9: Put on your reporter hat and ask "Henry James" some questions like, "How much money would say you're losing? What cut do you then get? What is the cheapest woman and what is the most expensive woman? I assume it's by the hour and what is the typical # of hours?" Step 10: Make no attempt to verify source is who he says he is, that his business exists, that you're not being taken for a ride. Step 11: Cut, print. How A Teenager With A Fake Escort Service Duped Darren Rovell And CNBC [Deadspin] Related: SI Swimsuit Model Doesn’t Have To Worry About Things Getting Weird With CNBC Reporter Because He’s Known Her Since She Was 17

Your Dream Gig: Now Within Reach

Back in the day, as in 2007, Wall Street compensated its employees in a way that made them feel loved. In a way that made them feel special. In a way that made the long hours, the constant stress, the soaring highs and the crashing lows, the verbal and sometimes physical abuse bearable. Now, obviously, not so much. Combine that with suffocating regulation and you've got a bunch of financial services hacks who are saying "I want out." Some, like the Goldman partners who've already made enough money to not have to work again, are simply retiring. Others are waiting to get fired. Yet other are seeking out the warm embrace of hedge funds. A lesser number, though, are using the shift as an opportunity to finally leap for that dream, be it baking cupcakes or slapping bare asses with branches. But about your dream? You know the one. The one you've never shared with a soul. The one that's always in the back of your head. The one that keeps you up at night. The has you giving the side-eye to the dog-walkers you see your neighborhood-- because it's not fair. YOU should be the one wrangling the packs of pups, masterfully juggling dozens of leashes at a time that you'd never let get knotted.  Unfortunately, because this is the world we live in, no one would ever give you a chance. Something about being overqualified for the job, they said, looking you up and down in your dress pants and blue button-down, smirking, thinking "Like this guy can command the respect of a bunch of bitches." Plus, you had a lifestyle to maintain and the golden handcuffs were still a serious draw. Now though, you've been unshackled. And you know all those little plastic bags you've been subconsciously saving under the sink for years, waiting for your moment to come? It's here now.

Let's Talk About: How Many Of You Are One Step Closer To CFA Camp?

Thirty-eight percent of Level I takers and forty-two percent of Level II'ers have reason to feel pretty good about your lives this morning. Your studying was worth it, your plans are right on track, the promise land is so close you can taste it. The rest of you are likely feeling less good. Your (hours and days and weeks and months) of studying did not end up being worth it, you're right back where you started, and the path to the quote ultimate honor unquote--the land of milk and honey and stacks of CFA exams in need of grading, as high as the eye can see-- seems littered with insurmountable obstacles. Your family and friends and colleagues told you they never wanted to hear those three little letters in that sequence again but if you need to vent, we're listening. You're safe here.

Half A Dozen Former Goldman Partners Will Be Forced To Fight The Urge To Attend Greg Smith's Book Signing Next Week*

Something you may have picked up on is that next week, Grand Central Publishing will release Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, by former employee Greg Smith. Should you buy the book? That depends on you ask. Some people, like the ones who made Smith famous, say no. Others, like those who enjoy vivid descriptions of a naked Lloyd Blankfein and edge-of-your-seat ping pong matches, would probably say yes. One group of people who'd prefer you save your money? Goldman Sachs. As previously mentioned, the bank embarked on a Discredit Greg Smith tour last month which has involved equating him with a first or second or third-year analyst who thinks people care about all the crazy stuff he was privy to when in fact it wasn't crazy and no one does; leaking unflattering performance reviews that suggest he was "unrealistic" about his abilities and earnings potential; and generally painting a picture of someone who was a nobody at the firm ("My first reaction [to hearing about his Op-Ed] was, who is he," the firm's head of HR told Bloomberg TV this morning), who wrote his book out of spite for not receiving the bonus he thought he deserved, and whose claims re: The Firm should not be trusted. For the most part, a number of people-- from current to former employees to those familiar but not intimately familiar with Goldman-- have concurred with their assessment of young Greg. Of course, every now and then you have some individuals who speak out of turn and who should probably consider sleeping with one eye open. There are a lot of people who acknowledge these things internally, but no one is willing to say it publicly,” Smith, who was a vice president when he left Goldman Sachs, said in the “60 Minutes” interview. “And my view was the only way you force people to change the system is by saying it publicly.” Seven former Goldman Sachs partners and managing directors, positions that are more senior than vice president, said in March interviews that Smith shouldn’t be taken seriously because he was a junior employee and may have been disgruntled about his pay or career. All asked not to be identified because they didn’t want to risk ruining their relationship with the firm. Six of the seven said they agreed with Smith’s criticism of how the firm has treated clients under Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, 58, and President Gary D. Cohn, 52, and that current members of the management committee would, too. Even so, they said they don’t expect the board of directors to take action or that anything will change because the bank has made money and outperformed most rivals. What? He shouldn't be trusted because of X, Y, Z but, having said that, he does make some excellent points? Do you hear yourself talking? This is what happens when you don't stick to the script! Goldman Sachs Op-Ed Wasn’t a ‘Betrayal,’ Smith Tells 60 Minutes [Bloomberg] *And will lucky if they're not eating out of feeding tubes..

Memo To Yahoo: Dan Loeb Will Personally Shake Out ALL The Skeletons In Your Closet If He Has To

As you may have heard, Third Point Management is currently waging a proxy battle against Yahoo, of which it owns 5.81 percent. Last September, the hedge fund and its founder, Dan Loeb, wrote a letter to the company's board of directors entitled "The Failures of Yahoo’s Board of Directors Necessitate a Significant Infusion of Fresh Board Talent," in November it demanded two board seats in order to rest the ship from a bunch of bumbling incompetents, and in February, it said actually, make that four seats. Unfortunately, Yahoo resisted. Which is why yesterday, Loeb and Third Point were forced to enter into the record some damning evidence showing current YHOO CEO Scott Thompson to be a dangerous, dangerous liar, the likes of which the search engine would be wise to sever ties. Specifically, Third Point revealed that contrary to statements made on SEC filings, Thompson? Did not graduate from Stonehill College with degrees in both computer science and accounting but only the latter. The reason Third Point knew this to be true was because it Googled Stonehill College and found that the school did not even start offering computer science degrees until 1983, well after the time Thompson graduated. So, a liar and a liar who can't even be bothered to cover his tracks to boot. Oh, but the résumé chicanery did not stop there. Yahoo director Patti Hart, Third Point, went on to reveal, also had her own little C.V. "error" to speak of. Whereas Ms. Hart claimed to have graduated from Illinois State University with degrees in marketing and economics, in fact, merely earned a bachelors in business administration and specialized in marketing and econ. Yahoo, which yesterday confirmed the résumé duplicity, clearly needed no further substantiation that these two were academic frauds. Third Point and Loeb knew this much to be true. AND YET. As of 2PM today, a whopping twenty-four hours after their lies caught up to them, they remain employed by the company. So now this is happening because apparently some people need to be put on a deadline: Dear Board of Directors: Yahoo!’s initial response yesterday to Third Point’s identification of material inaccuracies in both CEO Scott Thompson’s and Director Patti Hart’s educational record was insulting to shareholders. We assume that these initial statements were attributable to Mr. Thompson and were not made with the Board’s approval. While we appreciate the Board’s statement late last night that it would conduct an investigation, unfortunately, for this Board and this Company, it is too little and months too late. To assert that years of inaccurate SEC filings, website biographies and, most likely, D&O questionnaires and curriculum vitae (including, presumably, the CV provided to Yahoo! when Mr. Thompson reached out for the job) were “inadvertent” is, in our view, the height of arrogance. Mr. Thompson and the Board should make no mistake: this is a big deal. CEO’s have been terminated for less at other companies. The Company’s Preliminary Proxy Statement filed on April 27, 2012 (at page 22) states that the “minimum qualification for service as a director of the Company are that a nominee possess...an impeccable reputation of integrity and competence in his or her personal and professional activities.” Furthermore, Yahoo!’s response “confirming” that Ms. Hart “specialized” in Marketing and Economics, rather than having earned her degree in such subjects (as Ms. Hart has asserted in filings for years) is a similar canard. A “specialty” is not a major. It is not a “minor”. We don’t know what it is, but we do know that like Mr. Thompson, Ms. Hart has been misrepresenting her actual degree to the investing public for years. Again, we hope that the Board does not accept this feeble attempt at “spin” as a justification for Ms. Hart’s misrepresentations. Irreparable damage to Yahoo!’s culture will continue every day that the Board allows Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart to remain at the helm of the Company after having clearly demonstrated that they lack even the “minimum qualifications for service as a director of the Company.” Mr. Thompson, in particular, cannot possibly have any credibility remaining with the all-important Yahoo! engineers, many of which earned real – not invented – degrees in computer science. Moreover, permitting Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart to stay with the Company after apparently violating the Code of Ethics sends a message to all Yahoo! employees that a different set of rules applies at the top. Third Point, Yahoo!’s largest outside shareholder with over $1 billion invested, called yesterday for an immediate investigation if our assertions were true. The Board appears to have acceded to this demand. Its response must be swift and decisive. In that regard, Third Point will consider it grounds for further action if the Board does not take the following steps by Noon EDT on Monday, May 7th: 1) Publicly reveal the process by which it vetted Mr. Thompson as a potential CEO candidate. This disclosure should include the release of all minutes of any meeting at which Mr. Thompson’s candidacy was discussed and any reports or other materials upon which directors relied to evaluate Mr. Thompson’s candidacy. 2) Disclose whether any Board member, including Maynard Webb, who has long-standing ties to Mr. Thompson, and Ms. Hart, who headed the Search Committee, was aware of Mr. Thompson’s deception prior to receipt of Third Point’s letter yesterday. 3) Provide shareholders with all information regarding the director nomination process, including the so-called “skills matrix” referred to in the Company’s preliminary proxy statement, which the Board purportedly used to determine the qualifications of various candidates, including Third Point’s nominees. 4) Terminate Mr. Thompson for cause immediately given his demonstrable unsuitability to remain Chief Executive Officer and a director of Yahoo! and accept the resignation of Ms. Hart for similar reasons. Finally, we urge the Board to stop wasting valuable company resources and drop its resistance to placing the Third Point nominees on the Board. We are prepared to join immediately. Once on the Board, our first tasks will be to work with the remaining Board members to find Yahoo! a new leader with the qualifications and integrity to lead the Company and install best practices of corporate governance. The Company can ill afford to continue this misguided fight with its largest outside shareholder while it has so many other fires to put out. There has been enough damage already. Sincerely, Daniel S. Loeb Chief Executive Officer Third Point LLC So, take the weekend to mull it over and while you're at it, consider gathering documentation of other potentially false claims such as: 1. His first-place finish in his 3rd grade spelling bee (do you really think a future Stonehill grad would know how to spell 'abhinaya'?) 2. That he bought Apple stock at $76/share (RIGHT) 3. That he can bench 285 (sure) 4. That he graduated high school (just don't know) 5. His circumcision (do you want to get to the bottom of this guy or not? If he lied about comp sci, who knows what else he'd lie about) Third Point Demands Yahoo C.E.O. Be Fired by Monday [Dealbook] Loeb Asks Yahoo To Fire CEO By Monday [MarketWatch]