This Wall Street Trader Wants Your Job

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-05-1913

Another investment banker defends Wall Street.

I’m ready to rumble! Check out this letter I came across while surfing the web. Okay, it’s supposedly an email message that’s been circulating around certain media outlets, aggravating whoever crosses its path. Rumor has it that it’s a fake, but it’s still an interesting read and worthy of being addressed. Who else could come up with such a contemptuous diatribe against the masses? So maybe financiers don’t go around spilling their thoughts in this way all the time, but I bet a lot of them think this way. Would you agree?

Here are some snippets from the aforementioned note made by some defensive grunt from Wall Street along with my own responses (e.g. rants 😉 ) which I direct squarely at him (or her):

We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years.

I am sure you would sell your soul if you had the chance. However, I know of a lot of people (including myself) who thought that the “roaring” market wasn’t a great thing. I specifically remember getting into a few animated debates with some folks who were gung ho about putting their entire life’s savings into speculative plays during those heady, final days of the previous decade. While lots of people rode the bull market’s momentum pretty hard, there were a lot of regular, average investors who did complain that the bull was seriously out of control.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. Well, here we are.

Dang right, and I believe the term “scapegoat” here is justly deserved. Last I heard, it’s the financial industry that imploded.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.

I think you’ve forgotten that there’s quite a huge segment of the population that works hard, that isn’t unionized and that doesn’t take lunch breaks either.

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half.

I doubt very much you have the skills and profile to fit this type of work. I doubt you’d last even if you tried. From what I’ve seen, lots of people who are overqualified or who don’t have the right set of skills aren’t too easily accepted in just about any job. I know, because I’ve tried to hire people for my own business before, and have turned down applicants who were great on paper, but who just didn’t seem to be a fit upon further review. While there are stories of former Wall Street traders and other professionals who’ve made successful transitions as teachers, writers and so forth in the past, I think that this is more the exception. After all, many employers are just not keen on having to deal with “turnover”. But if you’re interested in conducting a creative job hunt, by all means, please do.

So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

Somehow, arrogance and downsizing just don’t seem to go hand in hand. As they say, “pride comes before the fall.” I would personally love to see people like this get taken down a few notches, although they’d probably have a harder time fitting in with the other “regular folk” as it would entail a complete attitude change to really embrace this type of new lifestyle. No matter how you look at it or spin it, involuntary and unexpected downsizing hurts. Now I’m wondering: job layoff vs pay cut, what’s your preference?

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.

I don’t think your fat a** belongs in the middle class. This is just proof that class can’t be bought.

We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?

Them’s fighting words! But the “smarts” you speak of isn’t a limited resource, as far as I know. Plus, I bet that the average Joe can probably spot a “vicious and smart” outsider in their midst. I somehow doubt that any old tough, vicious Wall Street trader, investment banker or financial master can make such an easy adjustment if he does make good his threats and does decide to set his sights on the middle class lifestyle. Here’s why:

  1. There’s such a thing as being a good fit for a job. If you’ve got a bad attitude, you’re not getting hired, no matter how rosy your resume looks. And a bad attitude — well, sadly, there’s a lot of that going around.
  2. Being overqualified for a job has its disadvantages.
  3. I get the vibe that this is just a bunch of chest thumping from someone who’s all talk and no action. Pretty typical of what you’ll find in certain echelons — er, I mean nooks and crannies — of society.

So who buys this bull?

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Balance Junkie May 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm

You tell ’em SVB! Jesse’s Cafe Americain had a great rebuttal to this waft of hot air.

Silicon Valley Blogger May 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Rebuttals aren’t usually my thing, but had wanted to throw in my own 2 cents on this. Lol. Thanks for this lead, hadn’t seen it earlier.

thanks Mr. 2 Cents! 🙂

Eric May 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Wow reading your rant was so cathartic for me! You should do this more often 🙂

Geoff May 20, 2010 at 3:16 am

Wasn’t it the banks that had to be propped up with billions of taxpayers’ dollars? If that hadn’t have happened Wall Street would be in a big mess as many more companies might have gone to the wall.

Rob Bennett May 20, 2010 at 3:42 am

there were a lot of regular, average investors who did complain that the bull was seriously out of control.

But did they do anything about it? Actions speak louder than words. When we see bad things happening, we need to do something about it if we care. To not act is to evidence indifference. There’s an old saying that you cannot scam an honest man. Too many of us put our honesty on hold for the length of the bull market and thereby let the scammers gain a power that they otherwise could never come to possess.

There’s only one way to bring stock prices down. That is to sell. Did the middle-class people who saw that things were out of control sell? If they didn’t, then they were part of the problem. We all hurt ourselves terribly. And we all hurt lots of others terribly. We need to come to emotional acceptance of this if we are to move forward to a better place.

Remember all the harsh words that were said about the people who invested with Madoff? That they should have known? Those people are no different from all the rest of us who invested in stocks from 1996 through 2008. At those sorts of prices the stock market is a Ponzi scheme. If you buy into a Ponzi scheme, you are encouraging the people who built the Ponzi scheme.

I don’t say this to be unsympathetic to those who have lost money. I am sympathetic. My take is that we are all weak creatures, we are all drawn to Get Rich Quick schemes. There is a way to solve that problem. We solve it by caring about our fellow investors. If you care about your friends and neighbors and co-workers, you take them aside when you find out that they are invested with Bernie Madoff. And you do the same when you find out that they are invested in the U.S. market at the prices that prevailed from 1996 through 2008 (and that apply again today).

Investing is a community act. When the market is destroyed, the entire economy goes down. Millions of retirements fail, millions of businesses fail, millions of marriages fail. We should all want to do something to stop that sort of thing. The thing that we need to do is to speak out about the dangers of overvalued markets.

There is a strong social stigma that holds many back from speaking out today. I know whereof I speak re this matter.; I am the world expert re this one. If we want our free market economy to survive, we are all going to need to work up the courage to challenge this social stigma. We all need to learn how stock investing really works. It is important. We learn by talking about the realities.

Rob May 20, 2010 at 4:46 am

I had not seen this, it is quite funny. This fellow certainly has a career in drama if nothing else.

Miss Platnum May 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I don’t know if I agree with this guy… Well,, we are surrounded by drama nowadays after all…

Credit Girl May 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Well gosh, I certainly hope that it’s a fake letter. Kinda funny but probably just something made up.

Stella May 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Hmm…this reminds me of the infamous “Greed is good” monologue by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. And the sequel just had a showing in Cannes. Anyone else wonder if the rant was cribbed from the film? Just a thought…

sandrean May 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I am on Wall Street and everyone wants to be a trader because they make a ton of money, but it is surprising that few know what they really do.

ConsumerMiser May 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Hmmmm, the letter seems intent on being very provocative, inflammatory, condescending and insulting, which it is. This type of rhetoric all too often seems to be par for the course these days and has replaced civil, respectful, and productive discussion. I am not sure if it deserves a response (I tend to ignore and not respond to this type of intentional “fight baiting” stuff), but on the other hand I am glad that you shared this with us because I was not previously aware of it. When a statement really hits a nerve as I believe it did with you, it’s hard NOT to respond. I must admit that it has happened to me too on a few rare occasions.

John Rowe October 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

If you are able, check out the site, which is a resistance movement that wishes to challenge and address corporate greed and political corruption through peaceful and democratic means. Our country is in crisis no thanks to the Powers That Be who are controlling our financial industry. This is what we should be protesting.

Silicon Valley Blogger October 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

@John, I agree. Enough is enough! Aren’t we all sick of the attitude of the so-called 1%? While I don’t run a political blog and am very far from being an activist (I’m a financial conservative, actually), I would be behind a cause that challenges the status quo when they are obviously being coddled rather than punished for their mistakes.

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