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I have been traveling for the last 2 weeks and have regretfully been unable to do a lot of things, mainly work on my b-school essays. As I procrastinate getting back to work, I came across some information that got me thinking...

In the new Wall Street era, characterized by increasing regulatory scrutiny, I know that the $600 dinners for 3 a few times a week with fellow analysts, and expensing all night partying / strip clubs has probably been cut down on if not ceased altogether, but what about the drug that Wall Street once embraced with open arms and nostrils: Cocaine.

I know from my days in banking that the drug was still highly popular as recently as a few years ago, but what about now? Any current monkeys care to comment? What percentage of Wall Streeters do you think currently bust gangster rails in the bathroom at night or when partying on weekends? I would venture to guess approximately 20%.

In the article linked above, household names in finance, such as Jimmy Cayne and Bernie Madoff, got nods for their cocaine use while on the job. Apparently good old Jimmy used to keep a bottle of Bromo-Seltzer filled with blow on his desk. Although this is quite ludicrous, I think top honors of the evening have to go to Trevor Collenette, a retired Lloyds banker. Back in 2007, old Trev was caught up with $15 million worth of the white powder hidden on his yacht – kind of hard to top that.

I was going to ask how prevalent cocaine use is in consulting, but the obvious answer is that TGI Fridays would burst into flames if it ever came into contact with a substance as baller as cocaine, but apparently that is not the case. According to the article, the TGI Fridays on Trinity was shut down for selling cocaine to customers folded up in napkins at the bar.

In light of this new (and slightly disturbing) information, do you think cocaine is prevalent in the consulting industry as well? And if so, to what extent?

Yours truly,
Phantombanker

Comments (49)

  • BTbanker's picture

    Doubtful that consultants do coke, because they are obliged to remain clean and pristine because of the caliber of the clients they work for. I-bankers don’t actually work for clients in the same way consultants do hence when they get in trouble it’s only their own name they bring into disrepute.

  • BlackHat's picture

    Stand back kids, I got this.

    5%... at best. Most people getting these upper-level jobs are really qualified candidates academically, ergo pretty fuckin' nerdy. It's hard to get someone to convert when mommy and daddy have been teaching them 'all the right things' from an early age. Most people are too tired to go out at all, let alone pull an all-night binge on the Bernie and be back in the cubicle in the morning with a 20oz Red Bull (fuck you Bloomberg) keeping you alive.

    That said - coke sucks balls anyway, imo.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to BlackHat
    awqtfq's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    Stand back kids, I got this.

    5%... at best. Most people getting these upper-level jobs are really qualified candidates academically, ergo pretty fuckin' nerdy. It's hard to get someone to convert when mommy and daddy have been teaching them 'all the right things' from an early age. Most people are too tired to go out at all, let alone pull an all-night binge on the Bernie and be back in the cubicle in the morning with a 20oz Red Bull (fuck you Bloomberg) keeping you alive.

    That said - coke sucks balls anyway, imo.

    SB, I lol'd

  • In reply to BTbanker
    BlackHat's picture

    BTbanker wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Stand back kids, I got this.
    That said - coke sucks balls anyway, imo.

    Oh God... it's a milligram of f***in' sweetener. I wanna get high, not sprinkle it on my cereal.

    It's definitely weak but I have a feeling if we do enough of it we'll be okay...

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to BlackHat
    imallcash's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    BTbanker wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Stand back kids, I got this.
    That said - coke sucks balls anyway, imo.

    Oh God... it's a milligram of f***in' sweetener. I wanna get high, not sprinkle it on my cereal.

    It's definitely weak but I have a feeling if we do enough of it we'll be okay...

    lol

    It's all manipulated with junk bonds. You can't win.

  • In reply to phantombanker
    BlackHat's picture

    phantombanker wrote:
    From my experience, 5% seems pretty low - we are talking 1 in 20 people. Do you really think that only 1 in 20 people do coke on Wall Street (even occasionally)?

    you don't "do coke" unless you're doing it at least every other week, so perhaps we have conflicting definitions but my guess is that 5% is probably gonna be high.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to BlackHat
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    phantombanker wrote:
    From my experience, 5% seems pretty low - we are talking 1 in 20 people. Do you really think that only 1 in 20 people do coke on Wall Street (even occasionally)?

    you don't "do coke" unless you're doing it at least every other week, so perhaps we have conflicting definitions but my guess is that 5% is probably gonna be high.


    5% seems way high to me. I can't really speak for the Analyst aged crowd, but nobody I know is doing coke. Maybe they're just hiding it from me?

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • Downeasta's picture

    I think most of the coke users have switched to ADD drugs, as mentioned above.

    It's not that there are less stimulant abusing bankers, it's just that they aren't using cocaine anymore. Amphetamine/Methylphenidate (In the form of Adderall/Ritalin) are quite safe if taken properly, as well as being less prone to cutting or dilution like blow. Crooked dealers have been known to cut that shit with baking powder, Drano, flour..you name it.

    Oh, and ADD drugs are like 1/4 of the price of cocaine.

  • In reply to phantombanker
    CuriousCharacter's picture

    phantombanker wrote:
    From my experience, 5% seems pretty low - we are talking 1 in 20 people. Do you really think that only 1 in 20 people do coke on Wall Street (even occasionally)?

    Way less than 5%. It's all over achievers on wall street now, do you really think 1 in 20 people who graduated from HYP do cocaine sometimes? Not a chance. My banker pals can't even shotgun a beer, let alone cut lines. They do however, love to TALK about doing cocaine, especially after they watch that douche bag Christian Bale hit a few rails in American Psycho, hence all of the lame references in this thread.

    The wall street types who DO cross the line (see what I did there?) tend to abuse it like none other and end up in rehab.

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    Cruncharoo's picture

    SirPoopsaLot wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    phantombanker wrote:
    From my experience, 5% seems pretty low - we are talking 1 in 20 people. Do you really think that only 1 in 20 people do coke on Wall Street (even occasionally)?

    you don't "do coke" unless you're doing it at least every other week, so perhaps we have conflicting definitions but my guess is that 5% is probably gonna be high.


    5% seems way high to me. I can't really speak for the Analyst aged crowd, but nobody I know is doing coke. Maybe they're just hiding it from me?

    I think that if you don't know anyone who is doing it then they already know that you aren't down. What happens is that one person makes one quasi suggestive comment about coke/related to it and then judges everybody's reactions. You see that one person whose eyes light up and then you know that is the guy in your group to talk to about it. Nobody wants to come out and have everyone know they do coke, you gotta be subtle and find other people who are down.

    This to all my hatin' folks seeing me getting guac right now..

  • In reply to Edmundo Braverman
    BlackHat's picture

    Edmundo Braverman wrote:
    What about downers? Anybody doing downers these days? I fucking loved downers.

    Now you're entering my world. Find yourself a woman who loves them too and *maybe* I won't have sounded so stupid a few months back when I said I found "the one."

    And if not, I can always pray she OD's before the divorce gets finalized...

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • MrDiCaprio's picture

    I am a prospective IB guy so clearly I am not in the trenches witnessing this stuff, but 5% sounds way to low to me. Look at the schools were traders/analysts are breaking in from : the IVYs, UVA, Georgetown, Duke, Wash Lee, Vandy, etc etc.. these upper crust schools and especially ones with huge greek life are notorious for skiing. Coke is college is getting more and more common, particularly at the 'targets' and 'semi-target' schools that have kids hailing from upper-middle class suburbia.

    Again, I am only a college student, but I would bet that at least 10-15% of analysts go into the business having at least tried it once, and this is before these guys start making real money. Yeah, maybe 10% or so do it more than twice a month, but I would bet at some firms at least 20% of current male associates have tried it more than once.

    "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
    -F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • In reply to BlackHat
    awqtfq's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    Edmundo Braverman wrote:
    What about downers? Anybody doing downers these days? I fucking loved downers.

    Now you're entering my world. Find yourself a woman who loves them too and *maybe* I won't have sounded so stupid a few months back when I said I found "the one."

    And if not, I can always pray she OD's before the divorce gets finalized...

    You pop oxy's or what?

  • In reply to MrDiCaprio
    Bigtime44's picture

    MrDiCaprio wrote:
    I am a prospective IB guy so clearly I am not in the trenches witnessing this stuff, but 5% sounds way to low to me. Look at the schools were traders/analysts are breaking in from : the IVYs, UVA, Georgetown, Duke, Wash Lee, Vandy, etc etc.. these upper crust schools and especially ones with huge greek life are notorious for skiing. Coke is college is getting more and more common, particularly at the 'targets' and 'semi-target' schools that have kids hailing from upper-middle class suburbia.

    Again, I am only a college student, but I would bet that at least 10-15% of analysts go into the business having at least tried it once, and this is before these guys start making real money. Yeah, maybe 10% or so do it more than twice a month, but I would bet at some firms at least 20% of current male associates have tried it more than once.

    Spot on.

  • WSOusername's picture

    Let's think about this for a second. The "path" goes something like: piano lessons -> mathlete -> chess club -> valedictorian -> ivy league -> finance job. I really don't see how ppl are surprised cocaine isn't common in the financial world. Like mentioned above, coke is huge in certain u-grads- particularly those where rich white kids are the majority. I'd say somewhere around 15-20% of kids at my school did it.... any guesses on how many of them had the grades required to break into finance? For better or worse, this isn't the Street of the 90's anymore

    GBS

  • MoneyKingdom's picture

    Having worked in banking for over 4 years, I can tell you that it's more than 10%. I would estimate it at 15-20%. These numbers initially seem high, but not once you start digging in. Basically, most people NEED some sort of outlet from working 90 hr weeks for an extended period of time. Some people's outlet is sleep, others prefer women, alcohol, drugs, or a combination.

    As someone pointed out earlier, most bankers are kind of nerdy/dorky, and I'd say less than 5% do it before they get to wall street. However, once you step into the "exclusive" NY club scene (Junior bankers in particular LOVE this), then it's offered around like candy.

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    TDSWIM's picture

    SirPoopsaLot wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    phantombanker wrote:
    From my experience, 5% seems pretty low - we are talking 1 in 20 people. Do you really think that only 1 in 20 people do coke on Wall Street (even occasionally)?

    you don't "do coke" unless you're doing it at least every other week, so perhaps we have conflicting definitions but my guess is that 5% is probably gonna be high.


    5% seems way high to me. I can't really speak for the Analyst aged crowd, but nobody I know is doing coke. Maybe they're just hiding it from me?

    Few will admit to doing it. According to BlackHat's definition, I also doubt it's even 5%. If it gets pulled out in front of them and offered up, I'd say you'd get a much much higher number. But on the regular, hell no is it 20% for a ton of reasons- illegal, stigma, health effects, etc...

  • In reply to WSOusername
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    GoldmanBallSachs wrote:
    Let's think about this for a second. The "path" goes something like: piano lessons -> mathlete -> chess club -> valedictorian -> ivy league -> finance job. I really don't see how ppl are surprised cocaine isn't common in the financial world. Like mentioned above, coke is huge in certain u-grads- particularly those where rich white kids are the majority. I'd say somewhere around 15-20% of kids at my school did it.... any guesses on how many of them had the grades required to break into finance? For better or worse, this isn't the Street of the 90's anymore

    Agree with everything you say, except replace 90's with 80's. Wall Street today is not Don Johnson Miami Vice.

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to BlackHat
    El_Mono's picture

    BlackHat wrote:

    That said - coke sucks balls anyway, imo.

    Hey, no bad advertisement for my shit!, now I wont be able to feed the children at my plantations twice a day anymore O.o.

    - South American Guy

    On a more serious tone, I'd agree with the 5%, although I wonder if it is not more prevalent in markets than in IB.

    Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

    Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

  • In reply to awqtfq
    BlackHat's picture

    BVMadden wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Edmundo Braverman wrote:
    What about downers? Anybody doing downers these days? I fucking loved downers.

    Now you're entering my world. Find yourself a woman who loves them too and *maybe* I won't have sounded so stupid a few months back when I said I found "the one."

    And if not, I can always pray she OD's before the divorce gets finalized...

    You pop oxy's or what?

    Those were my favorite by far, can't touch them or I'll fall right back into it. Everything else is usually okay

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to BlackHat
    awqtfq's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    BVMadden wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    Edmundo Braverman wrote:
    What about downers? Anybody doing downers these days? I fucking loved downers.

    Now you're entering my world. Find yourself a woman who loves them too and *maybe* I won't have sounded so stupid a few months back when I said I found "the one."

    And if not, I can always pray she OD's before the divorce gets finalized...

    You pop oxy's or what?

    Those were my favorite by far, can't touch them or I'll fall right back into it. Everything else is usually okay

    Nice

  • Bondarb's picture

    When I was in my lower 20s I would have said something like 5%, but as I get to higher levels in the business i have come to think/see that drug use is way more prevalent. I personally hate coke and wont do it anymore because it makes me depressed but I know alot of people who use recreationally and I myself love to use painkillers recreationally and see those as equally popular on wall st. Bottom line is that people like to medicate whether on wall st or elsewhere...human nature...

  • In reply to Edmundo Braverman
    Bondarb's picture

    Edmundo Braverman wrote:
    BlackHat wrote:
    coke sucks balls anyway, imo.

    BLASPHEMY!

    I definitely get the impression that coke use on the Street isn't what it was 20 (or even 10) years ago. Back then you were the oddball if you didn't partake of the occasional scoot. That said, I never understood how guys could do it on a school night, or worse, at their desk during market hours.

    What about downers? Anybody doing downers these days? I fucking loved downers.

    Eddie I think drug use is that same as it was 20 years ago, but I think the culture of discussing it has changed. Back in the day people felt no compunction about discussing doing blow and cheating on their wives...nowadays people still do the same shit but its not cool to talk about it broadly. But I firmly believe anytime people have money they will use it to fuck themselves up and today is no different then 20 years ago...and BTW I love downers and anyone with a good oxy script is a friend of mine.

  • In reply to BlackHat
    Dream Shake's picture

    BlackHat wrote:
    Stand back kids, I got this.

    5%... at best. Most people getting these upper-level jobs are really qualified candidates academically, ergo pretty fuckin' nerdy. It's hard to get someone to convert when mommy and daddy have been teaching them 'all the right things' from an early age. Most people are too tired to go out at all, let alone pull an all-night binge on the Bernie and be back in the cubicle in the morning with a 20oz Red Bull (fuck you Bloomberg) keeping you alive.

    That said - coke sucks balls anyway, imo.

    i'll disagree on the nerds part, but not so much the percentage. regardless of a person's inclination towards academics, you will never know what insecurities or voids a person is hiding. i personally know quant pm and risk managers that have a penchant for yayo and strippers... dont forget that some quant guys trade through brokers and arent necessarily broker dealers themselves. when there's a broker, who knows what goes down... sometimes getting a guy laid > trade execution reliability.

  • D M's picture

    Fuck cocaine, the shit's weak.

    Fire bath salts.

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
    "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

  • In reply to D M
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    D M wrote:
    Fuck cocaine, the shit's weak.

    Fire bath salts.

    "So who lost the hundy?" -Tom Montag
    "WSO is like the 300 for anti spamage. None shall pass." -happypantsmcgee
    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
    Three words: Fire. Bath. Salts. Fire bath salts = win.

    Three more words: Face. Eating. Zombie.

    adapt or die wrote:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • Senvik's picture

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." - IlliniProgrammer