Hedge Fund Fight Night

What requires a sturdy head, quick-thinking skills, and a never-back-down attitude? Working in a high pressure financial job ........and boxing. In Hong Kong there is a charity event that pits financial professionals against each other in a series of bouts for charity. It is no joke and volunteers do some serious training:

The 14 finalists trained at Jab Mixed Martial Arts Studio in the heart of the business district twice a week for five months. In addition to the sessions of sparring, punching bag work, crunches and rope-skipping, most trained four to five times a week, and in some cases twice a day. The finalists were culled from 70 hopefuls and were paired off for seven bouts of three two-minute rounds each.

Would you ever participate in this event? What would be your dream financial boxing match-up?

Treat Banks Like Restaurants, Make Ratings Public

Jonathan Weil of Bloomberg wrote an interesting piece where he argues that CAMELs ratings should be made public. He argues the secrecy of the ratings allows the institutions to act recklessly, which hurts the economy, and ultimately hurts investors and public confidence in the markets. His solution is to treat the banks like restaurants and make their health grades public information:

Regulators haven't shown themselves to be any better than the markets are when it comes to uncovering big problems at federally insured banks. We might as well make all their examination findings open records. That way, the public can see when the regulators are failing at their jobs. Depositors can make fully informed choices about where to keep their money. And banks will be under much greater pressure to fix their problems.

Making CAMELs ratings public: good or bad idea?

Say No To The Finance Job, Create Jobs Instead

Andy note: This post was recommended by the author as a good one to repost to homepage - "Since it is recruiting season I think this post might be a good one to bump, VFA will be recruiting at all the top campuses around the U.S."

Every year a large amount of the best and brightest U.S. students head off to finance or consulting jobs. Seeing the success of programs like Teach For America led Andrew Yang to realize that the best and brightest were looking for more options, specifically options where they could "give back." He decided to create Venture for America a program that recruits those students and places them in roles in fast-growing young companies. The students work for the company for two years and learn entrepreneurship and how to build a company in a hands-on experience. Yang's goal is that VFA Fellows and the companies they help will create 100,000 new jobs by 2025.

"Our best and brightest are being absorbed by what I call 'the meta economy.' They're heading into professional services and transactions and optimizing but not into direct value creation. If you can imagine a country where the equivalent wave of talent currently heading to professional services was heading to fast-growing companies, think about what that would do for job creation."

Would/Will you consider applying to VFA? Will VFA be successful?

Recruitment Season: Doom and Gloom or Great Success?

Vontropnats had an awesome post last week on the beginning of the recruitment season. The fact remains, however, that this could be one of the worst recruitment seasons ever. Layoffs are increasing and compensation is decreasing.
At the end of the day we can whine about the situation and circumstance of our job hunt all we want, but this just means that we need to have extra determination and effort to get our desired job. All the negatives mean one simple thing: The competition to get a job in banking and finance is tougher than ever. In addition to the extra work we may need to compromise on a few things:
Will this be another horrible recruiting season? What are you doing to set yourself apart from the masses? Will things get better after the election?

Your Age May Keep You From Getting A Job

We have all seen "Am I Too Old" threads for IB, B-School, etc. on the fora. Just like your weight, height, and physical appearance, your age is a factor that affects your employment. Its not just a factor affecting those trying to "break in." Its a factor that could affect you in the middle of your career. Its frequent in finance, the technology fields, and like most things, its worse for women.

You're only as good as your last job. Someone who's 45 and has been out of work for a while has it so much harder. There's just a ton of choice for employers out there. Age discrimination is a huge thing out there. . . . it's not discussed ever, and it's not just a problem in finance.

It seems that many people on WSO are young (30's and below), but are you guys worried about age discrimination in the future? Would you discriminate by age when hiring someone? And is there anything you can do about it?

Oversharing And Friendship At Work: Your Environment

It seems like many people on WSO (and elsewhere) spend more time with their coworkers than their family or friends. Even though nowadays we are all hooked up to electronic devices and generally try to stay away from personal contact as much as possible, some people feel the need to share their lives and there are occasionally horror stories:

Some people simply don't have a privacy filter; they're telling you about their enema because they'll tell anyone about their enema. Others share overly personal stories because they've developed a false sense of intimacy with you.

While you don't want to be surrounded by "oversharers," it seems like most people would like to work in an open atmosphere where they are able to make some personal connection with their fellow employees. Many people form strong friendships in the workplace.
So I have two questions:
Have you ever had a coworker (or classmate) overshare to the point of absurdity? How important is it to work in an environment where you don't have to be an emotional drone?

Olympi-nomics: Medal Taxes Controversy and Surprising NBC Success

This has NBC feeling fantastic that they locked up the contract to show the Olympics through 2020. In addition, millions have seen promos for their new shows, shows that need help (Today), and new networks (NBC Sports).
Could the Olympics be the jump-start NBC needed?

Tax Medal Link
NBC Link

Your Job Won't Be On Wall Street, If You Have One

Although most people on WSO shoot for Front Office jobs the majority of "Wall Street" works in the Middle Office and Back Office. These jobs are quickly moving away from Financial centers like NYC and London, and other cities and states are offering incentives (like ca$h) to get them there. This is called "near-shoring," the movement of jobs away from a major center to a location in the same region for cheaper costs. But movement of finance jobs offshore is happening also:

"Places like New York or London will remain financial centers, but most of the players are taking a much harder look and asking whether they can move large numbers of jobs." The erosion of middle-tier jobs in the financial sector is not limited to New York. The president of Goldman Sachs described what he called the firm's "high-value location strategy." By looking outside hubs like New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, he said, the firm could save 40 percent to 75 percent on job-related expenses.

Is this beginning of the outsourcing of U.S. financial jobs? Are you worried about your future prospects in this industry?

Five Types Of People Who Will Fail In Finance

There are certain types of people who will fail in the business world. While many of these types of people will not get through the hiring process, I'm sure you all have plenty of examples of coworkers who have had strange personality disorders that affected their performance. These people may have the intelligence required to do the job, but they have other issues that will cause them to fail. Here is my list, feel free to add anything I may have missed:

The Over-Seller
This person is the worst when you have to interact with clients. Imagine you are selling an idea, product, etc to a client or group of clients and you have them sold......but this person won't stop talking. Many times you will have a client need some time to consider their interest in a product or idea, but this over-seller is calling them several times a day to continuously attempt to sell them on it. Coming on too strong can creep out a client just like it can creep out a girl at the bar. On that topic, do not let this person be a wingman for you because he will still be telling the girl how awesome you are while she has her tongue down your throat.

The One Thing Causing "A Permanent National Recession" In The U.S.

In 1983, almost 30 years ago, a report from Pres. Reagan's commission on education titled A Nation At Risk stated that the educational system in the U.S. was "a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people." In 2008 Eric Hanushek,a Stanford Economist, linked academic test scores to the future GDP of a country.

McKinsey & Company has estimated that if the U.S. had closed the education achievement gap with better-performing nations, GDP in 2010 could have been 8% to 14%--$1.2 trillion to $2.1 trillion--higher. The report's authors called this gap "the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession."

Even noted investor Wilbur Ross joined in on the discussion earlier this year by stating that high unemployment is here to stay and is a symptom of the greater issue: "a failure in education." Do you believe the education "issue" is a long term economic problem for the United States? Why does this major economic problem receive no attention from political candidates, political parties, and the media?


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