• Sharebar

Hey all,
Do you think it will be worth it (apart from the normal issues of sacrificing your life, etc) to even go into banking as a mid-level banker considering
a) bonuses (which are already taxed at 45 percent) will get taxed higher (a la UK) due to populism/politics
b) the risk of getting lynched by a tea-bagger

2

Comments (44)

  • Marcus_Halberstram's picture

    As long as there are successful people, there will be fat, bitter and mediocre people resenting them for being everything they're not. They at some point in their lives come to the same realization Henry Hill came to at the end of Goodfellas, which was "I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook." And they need to find someone to blame.

    Its my view that banking, or any other ambitious life trajectory, is ESPECIALLY worth it in this environment. Because I look around and see what a fucking schmuck I would be if I were like everyone else.

  • 1styearBanker's picture

    This is not a british site. so yes if you are

    a) in britain
    b) work for a british bank

    then you should probably killself. As for us Americans, I think I'm happy with my bonus and career path.

    "Its my view that banking, or any other ambitious life trajectory, is ESPECIALLY worth it in this environment. Because I look around and see what a fucking schmuck I would be if I were like everyone else."

    I love this man. Agree 100%.

  • swedishmonk's picture

    Banks are very good at one thing--paying their employees. Sweat equity gets rewarded. Compensation will always find a way in. Just think, stock options were supposed to be the end all answer to monitoring executive compensation, and we know how that went.

    On the other hand, if you're only in this for the money, you're going to hate yourself 364 days a year and be happy on bonus day only. As much as the money is a nice incentive, it's not the only one. Crazy thought--some bankers enjoy what they do!

    Oh well, just my two cents.

  • GordonsGecko's picture

    It's kind of distateful to have a moderator on the site speak so unprofessionally but I somewhat echo his point. You don't back away because the masses tell you not to ... they did that during the cultural revolution and that set China back 10 years

  • marcellus_wallace's picture

    Heres hoping dummies like 1styear do not piss off these morons even more and actually make these so called daily discussions i see on "dealbook" about Obama taxing finance jobs not come true.

    Though as Marcus mentions. Seriously if your scared of the taxman your in the wrong profession, if bankers were scared of the public, taxman etc...We would not have the various financial crises we have had in history. Smart dudes will always make money.

  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    TigerWoods's picture

    A psychologist would have a field day with you. Exhibit A) You get the jollies from proclaiming your greatness on an investment banking internet forum followed predominantly by undergrads looking for job advice.

  • coffeebateman's picture

    Screw the populus. Go forth and make bank.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    "I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    coffeebateman's picture

    Marcus_Halberstram wrote:
    As long as there are successful people, there will be fat, bitter and mediocre people resenting them for being everything they're not. They at some point in their lives come to the same realization Henry Hill came to at the end of Goodfellas, which was "I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook." And they need to find someone to blame.

    Its my view that banking, or any other ambitious life trajectory, is ESPECIALLY worth it in this environment. Because I look around and see what a fucking schmuck I would be if I were like everyone else.

    Here here!

    --------------------------------------------------------
    "I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

  • In reply to GordonsGecko
    antibanker's picture

    GordonsGecko wrote:
    It's kind of distateful to have a moderator on the site speak so unprofessionally but I somewhat echo his point. You don't back away because the masses tell you not to ... they did that during the cultural revolution and that set China back 10 years

    Well done. I really like the indirect comparison of doing banking today as being the same as being against the cultural revolution back in the Chinese history.

    Just one comment to Marcus. The way you describe yourself looking down to people who somewhat lead a more "ordinary" life than you do is just an evidence of immaturity to me.
    (I am not saying that you are, just judging by the single comment above you appear to be). For instance, I have met a person who did really great things I would never consider myself being able to and guess what .... this person works at a healthcare insurance company and even more so in a 9 to 5 job where overtime work is being counted.

  • m2's picture

    It may currently not be 'cool' on main street or pay as good currently as it did earlier -- if these things make you doubt banking is a great career, then go look for a job elsewhere.

  • In reply to antibanker
    Marcus_Halberstram's picture

    antibanker wrote:

    Just one comment to Marcus. The way you describe yourself looking down to people who somewhat lead a more "ordinary" life than you do is just an evidence of immaturity to me.
    (I am not saying that you are, just judging by the single comment above you appear to be). For instance, I have met a person who did really great things I would never consider myself being able to and guess what .... this person works at a healthcare insurance company and even more so in a 9 to 5 job where overtime work is being counted.

    Here goes a book... and not because I need to defend myself, but because I think I have a perspective a lot of people can relate to but can't necessarily put their finger on.

    I don't look down on "ordinary" people. I am an ordinary person. I just have a general distaste for ignorance, laziness and entitlement. The last of which is all too prevalent on Wall Street, as well as other places. And your “average” person is all of the above. They are lazy from adolescence and beyond. They spend their formative years picking their nose and smoking pot. Once they reach a certain age they are forced to do something. Maybe they get a college degree, but most don't. They work in sales at a cable company, as a manager at a warehouse or in corporate offices at an electronics company. It has nothing to do with their job or what they do. In fact, they chose their particular profession because thats what happened to wander in their direction. This is all fine. I have no beef with it, nor should anyone really give a shit if someone does have beef with it. Everyone has their own priorities and makes their choices accordingly. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a less financially lucrative career if that’s just not as important to you as say spending time with your family or reading literature or traveling or even sitting on the couch watching college football. To each his own.

    My issue is the lazy useless people -- who are a subset of the population, but are representative of the average person -- who have a feeling of entitlement and a 'what about me' mentality. This is why people are sued over stupid bullshit. This is why when someone wins the lottery or has some other windfall family/friends start coming out of the woodwork with their expectant hands out. Then you come to things like record oil company profits, wall street bonuses etc... the average American has absolutely no understanding of the actual issues and complexity surround them yet has a barrel full of opinions they’re dying to express. Not because they contributed something that isn’t being recognized or acknowledged… but because someone else is doing well and they are there to say “what about me, why am I not doing well? It must be because the system is unfair. I’m being exploited.”

    “Main street” as people call it, is still completely clueless to the fact that wall street “Bonuses” are not actual bonuses per se. Its largely a misnomer and what everyone refers to as a bonus is mostly accrued salary. No analyst is going to work 100 hrs a week for 50-70K a year. And no Senior banker is going to work for 300K where they could actually be making a multiple of that if they were working in another capacity, such as a C-level executive of a major corporation. Part of the bonus is in fact a bonus. But to be up in arms because someone made a “Bonus” in a non-profitable year is demonstrative of a lack of understanding of the industry. There has been an uproar about bonuses even before the financial crisis. It made the front cover of the news papers 2 or 3 years ago when GS had record bonuses. Yet I do agree that there are serious flaws in the system and share concern in some of the criticisms going around.

    Wall Street compensation is what it is for a few reasons in particular:
    #1- it’s a very competitive field with only the most accomplished (i.e. best schools, best grades, best experience) being hired
    #2- you make a significant lifestyle sacrifice, at ALL levels Analyst to MD
    #3- it’s a high pressure job; most of the people on this forum don’t realize the full magnitude of this because we are tuned to work in this type of field. Most people go through the motions expending minimal effort at work, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do that in this field.
    #4- There is a huge amount of risk to working in this field. There is a huge degree of volatility in hiring/firing, NOTHING is guaranteed. You have the least job security of any other professional field hands down. Even in an ideal economy from the day you start working, its only a 2 year program, then you’re jobless again. Then you land another gig, but guess what thats 2 year program also, then you’re jobless again. At a more senior level, obviously the finite programs aren’t the case, but the lack of job security surely is.

    The public sees Wall Streeter’s making bank and they don’t want to hear any of the above reasons. They bitch and complain when their boss asks them to stick around past 5:30 but they somehow see big Wall Street bonuses and feel like they’re being had… like someone is taking THEIR piece of the pie.

    I don't think I'm gods gift to earth because I work in IBD. I actually don't think there is anything exceptionally difficult about it, nor do I think it alone says anything about you. Anyone with average intelligence and above average ambition can do it. Some of the people I’ve met would even lead one to believe anyone even with below average intelligence, below average ambition and enough social pressure can do it. But regardless of whether I went into IBD, the Peace Corps, BigLaw, entrepreneurship, engineering, philosophy, academia, I would be just as passionate and driven in what I do and I would find it just as rewarding and if one day I woke up I didn’t, I would not look for someone else to point the finger at. There are people who are college professors, grade school teachers, office secretaries, cab drivers, waiters, steel workers, train conductors etc… and they choose this path because they have a different set of priorities. I don’t think I’m better than them because I make more money or because I wear a suit to work. I respect people who have self-respect and are true to themselves and aren’t trying to sell themselves a bill of goods on why the world isn’t a fair place (which its not, but this country is the best you’ll get) and that’s why they’re not happy.

    Your average person is unambitious. They spend their lives believing that they ARE different… they ARE smarter than everyone else, there is something special about them that makes them different. They go through the motions in life thinking ‘”I’m smart, I can do whatever I want to do if I really want to do it” then one day, they wake up… they’re married to a spouse they partially resent and they have a job they absolutely despise… its then that they realize they actually CANT, they ARE like everyone else... and not because they were born that way, but because their choices made them who they are today. They are where they are because they spent the better part of their life being lazy and expecting something spectacular to happen to them because they ‘deserve’ it. Rather than embracing reality, they cling to crutches offered to them by politicians who want their vote and convince themselves that they COULD have achieved their dreams, but they were short-changed, they were exploited. It’s a broken system run by corrupt thieves. The rich are getting richer at their expense.

    That’s my view. You can think its immature if you like. I have this view, among other reasons, because many of my best friends are of this persuasion, I know them well, I’ve known them well for a long time. We came from the same place, we ended up in largely different places… with the only difference being hard work.

  • jocksnjills's picture

    I know it's very early and many things could change, but what do you think the chances are that Obama goes for back to back? It seems as if more people have seen how he is way more liberal than he was during election time, but there still seems to be a large chunk of people out there who are just infatuated with him like he's a saint???? They're making a fucking movie about him already starring Will Smith?!?! Unfortunately the majority of the public will always be uniformed and vote on retarded factors such as race, speaking ability, etc.

  • TigerWoods's picture

    Marcus Halberstram, nice post. Many of your viewpoints resonate with me. I too had many 'best friends' who I now consider 'friends' because I have come to despise their pot smoking entitlement attitudes.

    Separately, on the train ride back home a couple of days ago I gazed around the incredibly diverse train cart in complete amazement of the beauty of the American society. Nowhere but here can one accomplish virtually all of their dreams with one ingredient: hard work. Beautiful

  • jimbrowngoU's picture

    Exceptionally long post, and a bit difficult to read after a few drinks, but you touch upon some important points and an overall good post, Marcus. Not much to say other than that -- also, there has never been a better environment to be in banking than right now. That's it.

  • SAC's picture

    Good stuff Marcus. If I had any Silver Bananas, I'd give you a few.

  • MTJ22's picture

    can't say it better than marcus did

  • MTJ22's picture

    eiffeltowered wrote:
    Hey all,
    Do you think it will be worth it (apart from the normal issues of sacrificing your life, etc) to even go into banking as a mid-level banker considering
    a) bonuses (which are already taxed at 45 percent) will get taxed higher (a la UK) due to populism/politics
    b) the risk of getting lynched by a tea-bagger

    In regards to your tea bagger comment, they aren't the ones crying about bonuses and saying everyone needs to be taxed more; that would be the liberals. Most members of the tea party probably just disagreed with the bailouts in the first place.

  • RTJ234's picture

    Great post Marcus, my thoughts exactly

  • Mzz's picture

    Marcus hit it on the head. Brought a tear to my eye...

  • jocksnjills's picture

    Brilliant post Marcus!! People need to understand what they are getting into and be content with it, even when shit gets bad. Things have changed over the years that might make people rethink their career choice in hindsight, but you still have to be satisfied with the path that you have chose. Lately my dad has bitched a lot about his retirement. He CAN'T STAND the fact that teachers get 60% of their salary for the rest of their life (which I agree is steep) after they retire from taxpayer money. Even though he's done very well in sales and made a lot of money, he's still so bitter that he's not getting a slice of the pie and says its "unfair". What he doesn't get is that he chose to go into a field specifically for money and that's exactly what he got. He sits in his pj's at the house all day and has perks out the wazoo yet still thinks he's been somehow been cheated by corporate america. Get over it. Choose wisely.

    I'm also a little secretly bitter that student loan rates have risen so high. How about find a way to lower THOSE interest rates!?

  • antibanker's picture

    Marcus, thanks for the elaboration. Now this puts your first statement in a context I can agree to. So no problems with your attitude from my side (as if that were of any importance, but just to refer to my first post).

  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    Mr.Saxman's picture

    Marcus_Halberstram wrote:
    antibanker wrote:

    Just one comment to Marcus. The way you describe yourself looking down to people who somewhat lead a more "ordinary" life than you do is just an evidence of immaturity to me.
    (I am not saying that you are, just judging by the single comment above you appear to be). For instance, I have met a person who did really great things I would never consider myself being able to and guess what .... this person works at a healthcare insurance company and even more so in a 9 to 5 job where overtime work is being counted.

    Here goes a book... and not because I need to defend myself, but because I think I have a perspective a lot of people can relate to but can't necessarily put their finger on.

    I don't look down on "ordinary" people. I am an ordinary person. I just have a general distaste for ignorance, laziness and entitlement. The last of which is all too prevalent on Wall Street, as well as other places. And your “average” person is all of the above. They are lazy from adolescence and beyond. They spend their formative years picking their nose and smoking pot. Once they reach a certain age they are forced to do something. Maybe they get a college degree, but most don't. They work in sales at a cable company, as a manager at a warehouse or in corporate offices at an electronics company. It has nothing to do with their job or what they do. In fact, they chose their particular profession because thats what happened to wander in their direction. This is all fine. I have no beef with it, nor should anyone really give a shit if someone does have beef with it. Everyone has their own priorities and makes their choices accordingly. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a less financially lucrative career if that’s just not as important to you as say spending time with your family or reading literature or traveling or even sitting on the couch watching college football. To each his own.

    My issue is the lazy useless people -- who are a subset of the population, but are representative of the average person -- who have a feeling of entitlement and a 'what about me' mentality. This is why people are sued over stupid bullshit. This is why when someone wins the lottery or has some other windfall family/friends start coming out of the woodwork with their expectant hands out. Then you come to things like record oil company profits, wall street bonuses etc... the average American has absolutely no understanding of the actual issues and complexity surround them yet has a barrel full of opinions they’re dying to express. Not because they contributed something that isn’t being recognized or acknowledged… but because someone else is doing well and they are there to say “what about me, why am I not doing well? It must be because the system is unfair. I’m being exploited.”

    “Main street” as people call it, is still completely clueless to the fact that wall street “Bonuses” are not actual bonuses per se. Its largely a misnomer and what everyone refers to as a bonus is mostly accrued salary. No analyst is going to work 100 hrs a week for 50-70K a year. And no Senior banker is going to work for 300K where they could actually be making a multiple of that if they were working in another capacity, such as a C-level executive of a major corporation. Part of the bonus is in fact a bonus. But to be up in arms because someone made a “Bonus” in a non-profitable year is demonstrative of a lack of understanding of the industry. There has been an uproar about bonuses even before the financial crisis. It made the front cover of the news papers 2 or 3 years ago when GS had record bonuses. Yet I do agree that there are serious flaws in the system and share concern in some of the criticisms going around.

    Wall Street compensation is what it is for a few reasons in particular:
    #1- it’s a very competitive field with only the most accomplished (i.e. best schools, best grades, best experience) being hired
    #2- you make a significant lifestyle sacrifice, at ALL levels Analyst to MD
    #3- it’s a high pressure job; most of the people on this forum don’t realize the full magnitude of this because we are tuned to work in this type of field. Most people go through the motions expending minimal effort at work, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do that in this field.
    #4- There is a huge amount of risk to working in this field. There is a huge degree of volatility in hiring/firing, NOTHING is guaranteed. You have the least job security of any other professional field hands down. Even in an ideal economy from the day you start working, its only a 2 year program, then you’re jobless again. Then you land another gig, but guess what thats 2 year program also, then you’re jobless again. At a more senior level, obviously the finite programs aren’t the case, but the lack of job security surely is.

    The public sees Wall Streeter’s making bank and they don’t want to hear any of the above reasons. They bitch and complain when their boss asks them to stick around past 5:30 but they somehow see big Wall Street bonuses and feel like they’re being had… like someone is taking THEIR piece of the pie.

    I don't think I'm gods gift to earth because I work in IBD. I actually don't think there is anything exceptionally difficult about it, nor do I think it alone says anything about you. Anyone with average intelligence and above average ambition can do it. Some of the people I’ve met would even lead one to believe anyone even with below average intelligence, below average ambition and enough social pressure can do it. But regardless of whether I went into IBD, the Peace Corps, BigLaw, entrepreneurship, engineering, philosophy, academia, I would be just as passionate and driven in what I do and I would find it just as rewarding and if one day I woke up I didn’t, I would not look for someone else to point the finger at. There are people who are college professors, grade school teachers, office secretaries, cab drivers, waiters, steel workers, train conductors etc… and they choose this path because they have a different set of priorities. I don’t think I’m better than them because I make more money or because I wear a suit to work. I respect people who have self-respect and are true to themselves and aren’t trying to sell themselves a bill of goods on why the world isn’t a fair place (which its not, but this country is the best you’ll get) and that’s why they’re not happy.

    Your average person is unambitious. They spend their lives believing that they ARE different… they ARE smarter than everyone else, there is something special about them that makes them different. They go through the motions in life thinking ‘”I’m smart, I can do whatever I want to do if I really want to do it” then one day, they wake up… they’re married to a spouse they partially resent and they have a job they absolutely despise… its then that they realize they actually CANT, they ARE like everyone else... and not because they were born that way, but because their choices made them who they are today. They are where they are because they spent the better part of their life being lazy and expecting something spectacular to happen to them because they ‘deserve’ it. Rather than embracing reality, they cling to crutches offered to them by politicians who want their vote and convince themselves that they COULD have achieved their dreams, but they were short-changed, they were exploited. It’s a broken system run by corrupt thieves. The rich are getting richer at their expense.

    That’s my view. You can think its immature if you like. I have this view, among other reasons, because many of my best friends are of this persuasion, I know them well, I’ve known them well for a long time. We came from the same place, we ended up in largely different places… with the only difference being hard work.

    This captures the essence of how I feel and explains it so well. SB

  • peonturn's picture

    Marcus Halberstram,

    Perhaps you should write a book about it. I think it would offer great insights.

    "My Hated Career"

  • BatMasterson's picture

    Any more comments to the Marcus Halberstram rant?

    "I like money (as do most females) but love is...great :)"-student
    "Perhaps you've failed to take into account my hidden assets"-007
    Storm: Orig Mix
    Oscar Wilde -Ballad of Reading

  • leveredarb's picture

    Working for big bulge bracket sellside institutions is kinda fucked, yes.

    As long as you are at a nice private buyside shop its still all good.

  • BatMasterson's picture

    Quote:
    with the only difference being hard work.
    If only were that easy.

    "I like money (as do most females) but love is...great :)"-student
    "Perhaps you've failed to take into account my hidden assets"-007
    Storm: Orig Mix
    Oscar Wilde -Ballad of Reading

  • AnalystMonkey2769's picture

    leveredarb wrote:

    Working for big bulge bracket sellside institutions is kinda fucked, yes.

    As long as you are at a nice private buyside shop its still all good.

    that's why we're seeing groups of MDs and BB heads flock to elite boutiques. less regulations, more of "you eat what you kill" and less bullshit/politics

    I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG

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  • In reply to Marcus_Halberstram
    OswalDDDDDDDDD's picture

    Best

  • Labaz_Fox's picture

    D'Angelo: Nah, yo, it ain't like that. Look, the pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick. They be out the game early.
    Bodie: Unless they some smart-ass pawns.

  • Labaz_Fox's picture

    D'Angelo: Nah, yo, it ain't like that. Look, the pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick. They be out the game early.
    Bodie: Unless they some smart-ass pawns.