Last week, a member of the Barclays power group sent an email to incoming interns that was quite obviously a joke.1 But apparently it wasn't obvious to all! As Matt Levine points out, some people took it quite seriously! Despite the fact that it contained lines like "Have a spare tie/scarf or two around. You never know when your associate will run out of napkins" and "First, I would recommend reading the GS Elevator twitter feed for some social cues. It might be seen as a joke to some people, but around here I think many people find it insightful."
Here is the Wall Street Journal conceding that "parts of the email were likely designed for laughs" (parts! likely!), but getting a very serious statement from Barclays saying that the e-mail "was in no way authorized" and that it's "fully committed to creating an environment" etc. you get the idea. Here is CNBC calling the e-mail "blunt advice" for the new interns, and noting ominously that "the bank declined to say whether Kwan was still employed." And of course Gawker went wild with rage.
And now this is happening:
Gawker is reporting that the Barclays analyst who sent an amusing e-mail to incoming interns has lost his jobs at Barclays (which he was leaving) and at Carlyle (where he was starting), which is an awful result.
Poor Justin Kwan [BloombergView]
1. Of debatable funniness, yes, but with the intent of being a joke nevertheless.↩