AMA: Kevin Roose, Author of Young Money

Mod Note (Andy): Kevin will be on today answering questions from 3-4pm ET. To get the discussion going, the first four users to post a legitimate question will receive a signed copy of his new book.

Hi WSO: I'm the author of "Young Money," a new book about junior Wall Street bankers. I'm a writer with New York magazine (formerly with The New York Times), and I've been an avid WSO reader for years. Ask me anything...

Click inside the post for more info about the book, and click here to purchase a copy.

Also congrats to @"TopLineHeisenberg", @"ormossa", @"Consuming Goods", @"Howerton", @"TJS", @"guyfromct", @"Capitalism", @"NYCBaller", @"heebbanker", @"Jon258", @"NYU", and @"TheKing " who have all won books so far based on their comments in the three contests we held.

YOUNG MONEY
Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits
Becoming a young Wall Street banker is like pledging the world's most lucrative and soul-crushing fraternity. Every year, thousands of eager college graduates are hired by the world's financial giants, where they're taught the secrets of making obscene amounts of money-- as well as how to dress, talk, date, drink, and schmooze like real financiers.

Comments (81)

Feb 19, 2014

Kevin, thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you tell us how skeptical the subjects initially were to tell you their story/meet with you given that they could easily have lost their jobs if you revealed their IDs?

Feb 19, 2014

Hi guys! Thanks for doing this and thanks to WSO for setting it up.

Re: the analysts' skepticism, I would say they were 10/10 skeptical the first time I talked to them, then maybe 8/10, then eventually down to 2 or 3 by the time I finished the book. It took a lot of convincing, but after I assured them that I would keep them anonymous, they eventually believed me and opened up. It was really trusting of them.

Feb 19, 2014

How scary was Mike Novogratz? Was he sloshed enough where you could have held your own, or just drunk enough to lack human empathy?

Feb 19, 2014

He's a big dude! And he wrestled at Princeton, which makes him about 100% more athletic than me. (For those who don't know what we're referring to, there's a chapter in my book about the Kappa Beta Phi dinner, where Novogratz comes pretty close to kicking my ass.) I don't want to comment on his state of inebriation, but his BAC was a non-zero number. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/i-cra...

Feb 19, 2014

Hello Kevin, I want to start out by saying thank your for your time and insight in regards to completing this AMA.

In what ways do you think the finance industry will transform as a new generation takes over the havily regulated industry?

Buy fear, sell cheer

Feb 19, 2014

Thanks for participating! I think the finance industry already HAS transformed, in so many ways, since the crash. Dodd-Frank, Basel III, etc. have all changed the capital structure and risk models of banks, and the industry has less swagger than it did. I don't know how the new generation will change it -- it depends on how dedicated banks are to changing their cultures from within. Risk you can regulate, but cultural change has to be self-imposed.

Feb 19, 2014
Kevin Roose:

Thanks for participating! I think the finance industry already HAS transformed, in so many ways, since the crash. Dodd-Frank, Basel III, etc. have all changed the capital structure and risk models of banks, and the industry has less swagger than it did. I don't know how the new generation will change it -- it depends on how dedicated banks are to changing their cultures from within. Risk you can regulate, but cultural change has to be self-imposed.

Kevin,

Can you elaborate on your comment about how the industry already has transformed? I worked in investment banking before (and during) the crash. From an analyst's perspective, I find that the finance industry is almost exactly the same as it was back in 2007. There are a few things that define the investment banking analyst experience: A brutal two - three years of non-stop work in exchange for a large paycheck and the opportunity to move to the buyside (or anywhere else). Sure, capital structure and risk models may be different, but these have virtually no impact on the life of any investment bankers from analysts to MDs. The work / pay / career prospects are identical.

Best Response
Feb 19, 2014

You mention drug-fueled all-nighters, top-secret fraternity parties, and Harvard hedge funds. I worked in investment banking for two years followed by Private Equity for four years. I've worked in three different cities and have interacted with hundreds of current and former investment bankers. I have never seen any hard drug use nor heard of these frat parties and Harvard hedge funds. I'm concerned that your research may be incredibly limited in scope given that you shadowed only eight bankers at just two investment banks, both of which are incredibly similar.

So my questions are this: How did you take into consideration Middle Market firms and cities outside of NYC (or San Francisco) that account for the majority of M&A transactions and the majority of individuals that are actually working in investment banking? Do you feel like the eight individuals you shadowed are representative of the entire investment banking industry?

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Feb 19, 2014

I'm not sure where you're getting the "two investment banks" thing. There are actually 7 banks represented in the book, including one regional office in Chicago. I did want to focus on New York finance, though, because a) I live in New York, and b) I think New York is still what most people think of, rightly or wrongly, as the big leagues of finance. I wanted to get a diverse cross-section of Wall Street, and I think I did (IB, sales-and-trading, middle-office, etc.). But of course it could have been more diverse, if I'd chosen 20 bankers to follow instead of 8.

On the first part, the drugs, you're right. I never saw anyone do coke on Wall Street, and I think that's a stereotype that doesn't play out. The sad thing is, most of the drugs people were taking (Adderall, Modafinil, etc.) were meant to help them stay up later and work.

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Feb 19, 2014
Kevin Roose:

I'm not sure where you're getting the "two investment banks" thing. There are actually 7 banks represented in the book, including one regional office in Chicago. I did want to focus on New York finance, though, because a) I live in New York, and b) I think New York is still what most people think of, rightly or wrongly, as the big leagues of finance. I wanted to get a diverse cross-section of Wall Street, and I think I did (IB, sales-and-trading, middle-office, etc.). But of course it could have been more diverse, if I'd chosen 20 bankers to follow instead of 8.

You're correct on the two investment banks point -- I didn't realize in one of your blurbs that you were giving examples rather than listing all of the participants.

The other part does concern me. You're right that New York is what people (New Yorkers) think about as the big leagues of finance. However, by willingly ignoring the rest of the finance world, which is massive and is the majority of investment banking, you're findings are obviously going to corroborate the pre-existing views that are also based on this very narrow focus.

Feb 19, 2014

What inspired you to write your book in light of other books in circulation such as Monkey Business, Liar's Poker and The Buyside?

Feb 19, 2014

Those books (with the exception of the Buyside) are really old! Most of the books written about Wall Street (Too Big to Fail, The Big Short, etc.) are about the CEOs and executives who run Wall Street firms. I wanted to look at the people in the trenches.

Feb 19, 2014

you bust a wall street event, get your article published on nymag, do a little marketing on buzzfeed, do an interview for business insider, and now you're on here again, who knows where else. I mean it's not like I'm looking up your name on google, I don't care about your book, you're just everywhere. I'm sorry but makes me start to resent you, so annoying...

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Feb 19, 2014

you can be annoyed, but he just released a book - isn't that good marketing? also, nobody is twisting your arm to open this thread or participate...we have hundreds if not thousands of other active discussions going on right here:

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/tracker

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Feb 19, 2014

Dude, if it's annoying for you, imagine how my friends feel! I'm getting sick of my own face TBH. But you gotta sell books. And doing media (and WSO AMAs) is part of that.

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Feb 19, 2014

Also just buy my book and then I'll go away, I promise.

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Feb 19, 2014
Kevin Roose:

Also just buy my book and then I'll go away, I promise.

Feb 19, 2014

Hi Kevin -- thanks for doing this and writing your book, I am really looking forward for going through it. I was wondering what fueled you to start your investigation into the lifestyle of junior bankers / kappa beta phi parties. Was it the OWS movement, something that interested you as a reporter, etc.? I am envisioning you as the young Wall Street version of Glenn Greenwald -- just wanted to know what your motivation was.

Feb 19, 2014

I respect Glenn Greenwald, but I wouldn't compare myself to him. I started this project out of curiosity, not with a political agenda. I wrote a book a few years ago (The Unlikely Disciple) about a religious college in VA, and I thought Wall Street would be a good follow-up. It's a very rich subculture, and nobody had really explored what happened to it after the crash.

Feb 19, 2014

That guy's [former] boss comparing private equity work to surgery comes of as underhanded.

@"CompBanker" "I have never seen any hard drug use nor heard of these frat parties in his years" also echoes my experience. Of course, it's understandable that excess and wild parties sell books and movies.

Feb 19, 2014

What is your end game with writing the book? Clearly all of us don't intend to work for free and niether do you. Were you aiming to take a fresh perspective on IB culture or write more of an updated Liar's Poker? I understand the marketing people wanted you to highlight the more extreme aspects of the book but what was your overall intention?

Feb 19, 2014

My end game? My end game was to write a good book. Some have compared it to Liar's Poker, and that's amazing and undeserved (Michael Lewis is a god among men). But really, I just wanted to shed some light on a part of the banking industry that I don't think gets much attention. You guys don't realize it, but you're interesting!

Feb 19, 2014

Do you see the culture of the industry converging between the major financial hubs, e.g. NYC and London, and if not, what do differences do you think persist?

Feb 19, 2014

I have no idea! I've heard from some UK bankers since the book came out and apparently it's a whole different culture over there. Maybe you guys can fill me in?

Feb 19, 2014

I also spent over two years in investment banking at a bulge bracket bank here in New York City, and presently work in private equity. Like @"CompBanker", whom I know personally, I too, have hundreds of contacts across all levels the financial strata. While I may have a slightly different perspective on the social life of NYC-based bankers than he does given that my whole career has taken place here, I share his concerns over the tone of much of your commentary both in your book (admittedly have only read excerpts up to this point, but will finish it) and in recent interviews promoting it. Given, that you are not an insider of the industry yourself, but have merely observed it secondhand thru an undeniably limited lens of a handful of analysts at a small sample size of banks, how comfortable do you feel with your commentary on the state of the industry, given that many on this board have vastly more experience than yourself and cannot espouse so emphatically the views you are purporting. That Wall Street is "structurally" never going to get back to the way it was. Sorkin's comments on the tech bubble crash and other crashes seem relevant here.

I can't help but feel that you haven't represented our industry fairly or accurately, and that, as evidenced by your commentary and matter-of-fact presentation of findings based on limited and arguably biased research, you have merely attempted to cash-in on populist sentiment, masquerading as objective perspective. What have you uncovered during your research that makes you believe that young bankers are all as uniformly naive, self-absorbed, and overpaid as you present them to be?

Do you think the extent that your perspective differs from others who have written similar accounts a la Lewis, Rolfe, and Troob is due to bias or lack of direct participation?

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Feb 19, 2014

Who said anything about young bankers being "uniformly naive, self-absorbed, and overpaid?" I never did. In fact, if you read my book, I think you'll find that I actually end up liking and respecting many of the bankers I followed.

I'm not a banker, you're right. I've never worked at a BB. That's why Young Money isn't a memoir, like the other books you mention. I'm a reporter. And with the book, I wanted to pick 8 people, get as diverse a sampling as possible, and let them tell their own stories. What I think about Wall Street doesn't matter nearly as much as what they think.

As far as my sample size being too small, sure, I could have followed 100 bankers. But the book would have been 17,000 pages long, and also I never would have gotten the depth with the 8 I followed that I got.

I know you think I'm misrepresenting the industry, but I hope you'll give the book (and not just the excerpts) a shot. The stories these eight bankers tell are really compelling, in my opinion.

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Feb 19, 2014
Roose:

In some ways it's hard to feel sorry for people who are making so much money at such a young age. At times I'd want to break out the small violins when they were telling me how hard their jobs were. But I realized about halfway through the reporting that I wouldn't do these guys' jobs for any amount of money. It's very sad that these extremely talented, extremely smart, gifted young people are being thrust into these jobs where they're doing robotic tasks, when there are so many other industries that could use their help.

This type of thing reinforces the mainstream stereotype that bankers are all overpaid and entitled... Given that you shadowed eight bankers for three years, you would think you would be making greater strides to make known that many of these "kids" are working nearly 5,000 hours per year and that even though jokes are made on internet forums about a small component of the job you really trivialize the sacrifice and work ethic at play for many of us in this industry. This is our livelihood, and we are devoting a substantial amount of time to it. Despite the negative sentiment, it isn't purely about money, and much of the work we do absolutely does matter. A travesty, given your opportunity here to speak to a potentially vast audience who is already ill-informed of what we do, would be if you failed to convey this... That's the impetus behind the frustration many of us likely feel...

I'm sure you get to it in the book, but it would be nice to hear someone for once talking about the tangible aspects of our job instead of taking these contrived and beaten-to-death cliches about models and bottles and making text changes. Why not highlight the work done by one of our buddies on a $45 billion dollar acquisition that may very well change the competitive landscape of delivered media, or my buddy who worked on the recapitalization of AIG in the throes of the crisis. Even pulling from my own personal experience, during my tenure in banking I worked on two of the biggest leveraged buyouts in my space at the time.

We make jokes about the the monotonous and sometimes robotic - to borrow your phrase - nature of our work to fight off the boredom. That's the reason for the existence of this community. I realize that demonizing bankers is en vogue right now, but you could be more on point than what you showed in your interviews, particularly after three years of research. When you only play to the tried and true polarization of our profession in order to drum up interest, even if your body of work is stellar (yet to be determined), you cheapen what we do... And it's frustrating...

Apologies if that came across as naive... Sometimes all this adderall impacts my ability to relay cogent points.

Roose:

"Everyone's always measuring their d - - ks," one young financier explains. "If I'm a Goldman banker, I go up to a McKinsey consultant and I'm like, 'My d - - k's bigger than yours.' " The Goldman banker is then scoffed at by a Blackstone analyst, who in turn gets reamed by a Greenlight Capital portfolio manager.

I fully believe that someone said this, but this type of statement is a throwaway comment that is likely taken out of context. I can promise you that not all of our industry is this narcissistic and petty in their daily lives. It definitely happens, and I understand you have books to sell and that serving up cringe worthy quotes to those salivating for a good banker bashing is a good way to do it, but it seems one sided and half-baked. Then again, the Post isn't exactly a bastion of balanced journalistic reporting.

Roose:

After the Occupy Movements I heard some of them say things like "I had never really thought about my job in moral terms before..."

Sorkin called BS on this one and I do too... How can you say that you aren't portraying young bankers as naive, self-absorbed and entitled, when you go on CNBC and say things like the above in trying to plug your book. You're doing it to be controversial, which is a great marketing approach, but when you say things like this it makes it difficult for an insider who has lived in the world you are merely reporting about question whether the motivation here is the monetary success of your book, not the journalistic integrity of it.

These are the types of comments I am referring to when I say that my concern is that the tone of delivery may not be an accurate representation of our industry. I'm keeping an open mind and am hoping that the book will prove both entertaining and balanced. Just offering my observations of how the marketing is perceived.

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Feb 19, 2014

Do you feel like you could ruin someone's entire reputation by quoting them saying something politically incorrect? I mean people could be saying all sorts of un-PC things in the company of their friends where you have no right to overhear their conversations, much less create a sensational story in the press because the general public is hungry for news of Wall St's wrongdoings.

I definitely remember you were at on WSO Happy Hour. Who knows what I might have said while being inebriated? Hopefully you don't infiltrate another WSO HH. Granted I am a nobody, but still I'll watch what I say when you're around.

I hope that the Army Special Forces guy who caught you kicked you in the balls!

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Feb 19, 2014

I didn't "infiltrate" a WSO happy hour. I was invited. And yes, I know the power words have, especially in an industry like finance. That's why I kept all my sources anonymous, and protected them from retribution by their firms.

But you should definitely be careful around reporters. That's a good general rule for life.

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Feb 19, 2014
Kevin Roose:

But you should definitely be careful around reporters. That's a good general rule for life.

Oh the irony

Feb 19, 2014

Hello Kevin,
An article you wrote about your investigation of KBT and there secret meeting has garnered a lot of attention on Reddit. I don't know if you've had the a chance to read the comments on that post, but the majority of people posting seem to be perturbed. I read the article and felt that this brought into question the groups overall moral character, but nothing in particular that would come across as illegal or could be perceived as a conspiracy. many on reddit would disagree with me, so this brings me to my main question. Do you believe that the hostility towards bankers and those in the financial industry is due to a lack of understanding of how the industry works or is it based on the perceived lack of morality by those who are in charge?

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Feb 19, 2014

I think hostility toward bankers has been a thing since long before any of us were born. (FDR used one of his inaugural addresses to blast bankers, if I recall correctly.)

But I think the recent wave is because of the crisis, and the way executives behaved while it was all going down. I think the public should know more about what goes on on Wall Street, which is part of why I wrote Young Money. But I think the Kappa chapter illuminates a lot of why people hate CEOs on Wall Street. It was 3 years after a global financial crisis, one that erased trillions of dollars in middle-class savings, and the executives responsible for at least some of the misery were laughing it off. That's terrible!

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Feb 19, 2014

AMA http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/has-silicon-va... How does it feel to get 15 MS thrown at you? P.S. you had a huge booger in your nose this morning on CNBC.

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Feb 19, 2014
AdrenalineJunkie:

AMA //www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/has-silicon-va... How does it feel to get 15 MS thrown at you? P.S. you had a huge booger in your nose this morning on CNBC.

I don't know why, but this comment nearly had me in tears.

Feb 19, 2014
DickFuld:
AdrenalineJunkie:

AMA //www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/has-silicon-va... How does it feel to get 15 MS thrown at you? P.S. you had a huge booger in your nose this morning on CNBC.

I don't know why, but this comment nearly had me in tears.

You soft bro?

Feb 19, 2014

I worked at a bulge bracket investment bank and now work at one of the "elite" private equity firms that a lot of people interview for coming out of the sell-side (I work in a hedge fund group within the firm, but also am friends with guys on the PE side). I also have fancy suits (I lean Armani), cufflinks, pocket squares, tons of dress shirts, >20 pairs of Ferragamos and Allen Edmonds, and all that which comes with living in this city for >50 months and constantly buying new stuff. I graduated in the middle of the recession like your subjects, and either know some of your sources personally or worked with them in some capacity over the years. On paper, I'm the stereotype of someone who's in the top "caste" based on some of the articles you've put out - particularly this one: "http://nypost.com/2014/02/17/the-new-caste-of-wall..."

So I have two main questions based on my experience and primarily in reference to the NY Post article.

Do the photos you use in your marketing actually look like real bankers you talked to?

Aren't most people you interview poorly dressed/out of shape/have bad posture as opposed to the impeccably dressed greasy people you illustrate in the NY Post photos? What I mean is, having nice suits and stuff is one thing, but most of the people I work with look nothing like the modelesque toolish guys you posted on the NY Post article, who in reality would be widely mocked at most Wall Street firms for looking and dressing like they do.

Instead, most people are relatively skinny fat (reference: "http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/the-sell-side-...") and generally don't look that great in terms of their apparel. Certainly don't see much or any sleeked back hair. If you wear a pocket square to work you are considered a complete tool unless its for a formal event. Of course, there's an exception for when I meet with investors or have important meetings...but in general the stereotype you portray of bankers based on the photo selection is not how they actually look besides maybe 0.5% of the time.

So my question: Do you think you are portraying a stereotype of how bankers/hedge fund analysts look and act based on the selection of photos you've used in your NY Post article? Is there a reason for that?

Because that is NOT how the vast majority of my +200 contacts in front-office investment banking/sales/private equity/trading/hedge fund look almost any of the time.

What kind of tools did you interview for the following quote?

From your NY Post article, someone you interviewed said the following: ""If I'm a Goldman banker, I go up to a McKinsey consultant and I'm like, 'My d - - k's bigger than yours.' " The Goldman banker is then scoffed at by a Blackstone analyst, who in turn gets reamed by a Greenlight Capital portfolio manager."

Is this a joke? I do know a few people from my undergrad who would brag about working at Goldman, but these are the same kids who usually got stuffed into lockers in high school and are widely laughed at. There are also like

In general, if the above quote is accurate and someone actually said this, it really sounds like you found the ABSOLUTE BIGGEST TOOL in finance, who is so different than almost everyone I interacted with that its almost unbelievable. I don't know ANYONE who would act like that or speak like that. Who from Goldman would make fun of someone for working at McKinsey? Why is some Blackstone PE associate looking down at a GS banker and bragging about it? And who are their friends who aren't punching them in the nads for being a tool?

The fact is, it really seems like most of the content from that quote in your NY Post article comes from the semi-satirical comments of people who post on forums like WSO, as opposed to a real life person.

Honestly, some aspects of Wall Street are awesome - the partying, the drugs can be interesting (though it seems like you missed out on witnessing the fun stuff), the learning experience - but it seems like the sources from your NY Post articles are just total tools that seem nothing like a real person in finance 99% of the time (everyone goes into tool mode once in a while).

Aside from that, I really like your breakdown of the different 'castes' in a sense - I wrote up a similar version focusing primarily within the S&T business ("http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/the-types-of-m...") and what you say mostly checks out (aside from the fashion tips which I pointed out above).

I wish you had interviewed more people like me for this book - it would been more interesting than the depressing dudes you mostly seem to interact with. I would have focused on the $5k tabs at Murray Hill hang outs, all nighters with clients in AC, things like that, as opposed to using uppers to stay awake for pitchbooks. Obviously, my disclaimer is that I've only read secondary sources and your NY Post article, but not the actual book, which I promise I will get to because it seems like a fun read.

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Feb 19, 2014

Wow, long question! Thanks. (And sorry other folks -- I gotta run after this one.)

Re #1, I will just say that I did not pick the NY Post photos, had no role in selecting the models or what they wore, and was actually disappointed that the group shown wasn't more diverse. (No women or people of color.) So I hear you there.

Re #2, I promise you the dick-measuring comment was legit! I talked to dozens of financiers over the course of the 3 years I spent reporting this book. Some were tools, some were the kindest people you'll ever meet. I hope you'll read the book, and see the full spectrum.

Feb 19, 2014
Kevin Roose:

Wow, long question! Thanks. (And sorry other folks -- I gotta run after this one.)

Re #1, I will just say that I did not pick the NY Post photos, had no role in selecting the models or what they wore, and was actually disappointed that the group shown wasn't more diverse. (No women or people of color.) So I hear you there.

Re #2, I promise you the dick-measuring comment was legit! I talked to dozens of financiers over the course of the 3 years I spent reporting this book. Some were tools, some were the kindest people you'll ever meet. I hope you'll read the book, and see the full spectrum.

I figured as much on the first part - I'm glad you agree with me. Under 25% of people on Wall Street are WASP males these days. There are as many Asian girls as there are WASP guys in most groups. I figured it was more NY Post than you, in order to grab the most attention, which I guess makes sense.

On the second part, that actually makes sense - it also makes sense that you would quote the tooliest comment. I still haven't met anyone who pulls out the 'I work here' card. Most people I know try not to show off where they work. Thanks again for taking the time.

Feb 19, 2014

How does one run up a $5k tab at a joint in Murray Hill?
To spend that much on one outing one would normally be ordering bottle services. It would have to be somewhere like the Gansevoort Hotel on Park.

Feb 19, 2014

Agreed... Wouldn't waste 5k in Murray Hill.

Feb 19, 2014
brandon st randy:

How does one run up a $5k tab at a joint in Murray Hill?

To spend that much on one outing one would normally be ordering bottle services. It would have to be somewhere like the Gansevoort Hotel on Park.

On the corporate card. No bottle service. Lots of shots.

Feb 19, 2014

Thanks guys! This was fun. I hope you'll all check out the book (http://www.youngmoneybook.com) and feel free to argue with me on Twitter (@kevinroose) if you still have unanswered questions.

Feb 19, 2014

.

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Feb 19, 2014

A lot of the response in this thread typifies why Bret Easton Ellis calls you younger guys Generation Wuss. A little too reactionary about what might be criticism (based on blurbs you've read secondhand).

Feb 19, 2014

Sorry for not bending over while an outsider talks shit about our already misunderstood industry. We get enough shit from senior bankers.

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Feb 19, 2014

Also, you guys being up interesting points but hey, what's stopping you from writing about it? Seriously, I'd love to hear about your viewpoints if you've got a compelling post-crash narrative

Feb 19, 2014

I wish I could've asked him about the moral quandry of sneaking into an invite-only event.

You wouldn't crash someone else's wedding, so why is the Kappa Beta Phi gala any different?

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Feb 19, 2014

There were three posters who had substantive criticisms/questions. No one asked the rest of you to "bend over," but maybe when Patrick has an author do an AMA, you could hike up your drawers a bit.

Feb 19, 2014

Has anyone actually read the book? I got a terrible initial impression from some of the marketing, particularly the outrageous tag lines and a few of the recent articles. I don't judge the Super Bowl based on Media Day though. From hearing Kevin actually talk about the book, I don't get the impression it's as outlandish/stereotypical/overblown as some seem to think (I could of course be wrong).

I do understand the knee jerk reaction, particularly with the marketing hype, to blast a complete outsider's take on an industry we live and breathe every day. I plan on reserving my judgement, however, until I can give it a fair shake. Sometimes an outsider offers some valuable perspective.

Feb 19, 2014

hey kevin congrats on the book...i think those on here criticizing it for portraying an inaccurate lifestyle or stereotypes about people using drugs haven't read the book. There is a decided lack of drug use and to be honest my only problem with the book is that the subjects were in most cases very boring people...that isnt bad in real life but there is a reason u dont see too many books tracing the rise of bank middle managers. That said as someone who never was in the whole early-20s "high achiever"/analyst-type situation it was interesting to see how that (small) part of the finance world looks. If you want to write one about slightly older people in the hedge fund industry i can give u better stories, more eccentric personalities, and even the hard drugs you want to have in their for the promo tour!

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Feb 19, 2014

The books only go to those posting "legitimate questions..." Have all four books been claimed? (If not, this post should not be considered a legitimate question... Would like to save it for someone interested in reading the book.)

Without going too much into detail, I think there is an interesting business case study in this and the other Kevin Roose threads.

Feb 19, 2014

I'm surprised so many people care how one guy reports on the industry. Everyone who buys the book will think bankers are pricks and the book will confirm it or they'll think they're normal people and will think Roose is full of shit. It's not going to change any minds. For that reason, I say who gives a shit.

Feb 19, 2014

This clown went on the Chris Hayes show on MSNBC (biggest idiot on TV these days on the stupidest channel!) and the segment is titled "Are we living in a new 'Gilded Age'?"

Just wow!

Feb 19, 2014

I don't care how the book sells. But selling it here is like trying to sell Barbershop (the movie) to black people... Or Bowling for Columbine to NRA members.

Just because it's a book about guns and the NRA doesn't mean you should sell it to NRA members. Just because it's a book about Wall Street...

Seriously Roose needs to fire his publicist. She was supposed to get him a column on huff post and an interview with Rachel Maddow and a segment on the Daily Show so the book could reach its target audience- liberals who are misinformed about Wall Street.

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Feb 19, 2014

Here is a pic of Roose at the 2nd or 3rd WSO Happy Hour.

http://tinyurl.com/mfm5fsy

WSO'ers: Watch out for this clown at the next WSO HH. You never know what you might say after a few drinks and you don't want to end in the headlines tomorrow morning.

ITF, you should definitely warn people if any reporter ever shows up at an event you organize.

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Feb 19, 2014

I dunno...I read the book, worked in a NY BB for 3 years, and all the stories he wrote rang pretty true to me...I'm not really sure why people think it's so egregious

Feb 20, 2014

If you REALLY want to hate a journalist for their treatment of finance, read this and you won't be disappointed:

flavorwire.com/439462/kevin-rooses-young-money-is-about-wall-streets-misery-not-its-debauchery/

Feb 20, 2014

Will Lil Wayne sue Kevin Roose for copy write infringement? Also, I'm reading the book and it's pretty good. I'm going into IB this summer btw before you criticize me as an outsider. It shows the really human aspect of these recruits. What hopes and dreams are made of.

Feb 20, 2014
RisingTide:

Will Lil Wayne sue Kevin Roose for copy write infringement? Also, I'm reading the book and it's pretty good. I'm going into IB this summer btw before you criticize me as an outsider. It shows the really human aspect of these recruits. What hopes and dreams are made of.

You are 'going into IB this summer'? So you haven't worked on Wall Street? Actually working there is a lot different from an interview process.

I think most people who don't like the media portrayal of the book and what it assumes about people work in finance are people who actually work in Wall Street already so can firsthand deny the stereotypes perpetuated in some aspects of the marketing.

Also, I don't think many of my friends who were analysts are thinking about their hopes and dreams when they sign up for IB - I hope you aren't too!

YOUNG MONEY ENTERTAINMENT

Feb 20, 2014

Kevin, Let me begin by echoing what everyone else has said about taking the time to do this. (Savvy marketing move on your part by the way, so kudos!)

I was hoping to learn a little bit more about the editorial choices underpinning the final draft of /Young Money/. Presumably, you worked closely with your publisher's editorial team to complete the book, and I presume that this process involved choosing from among reams and reams of interviews, notes, insightful anecdotes, and the like. Could you walk us through this process from rough draft to galley to final printing? What kinds of questions or concerns contributed to the narrative arc of your book? Were there any memorable episodes or pieces of information that didn't make it into the final draft? If so, what were they - and why didn't they make the cut? How did you tackle the challenge of situating the the idiosyncratic and personal experiences of your junior bankers within the larger (and semantically loaded) context of "working on Wall Street"? Did your publisher pressure you to make any decisions that you felt were geared more towards sensationalizing / marketing your work than soberly and objectively presenting the fruits of your research?

In a similar vein: do you have any plays to write follow up pieces on any of the young bankers profiled in your book? I, for one, would be very interested to see how things change for these guys as they complete their entry-level tours of duty and move onto the next stage of their careers.

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond to our questions. Best of luck with the new book and with your future endeavors!

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"A man can do all things if he will." - Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472)

"It never got weird enough for me." - Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005)

Mar 9, 2014

To Kevin:

I just completed your latest book. I'll spare my critiques as well as my many praises (plenty of that already). I do have a question, however.

Will you please consider advancing on Washington and authoring a book on young politics in America?

You have written on subject of finance and, more compelling for me, the subject of religion (i.e. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University). Thank you for both. I cannot, now, conceive of a better pairing than your journalistic ability and the subject of aspiring politicians in America; their true motivations/inspirations, how they become the politicians they become and process by which they attain the governmental power they are granted. Thanks again, for both of your current books.

Mar 17, 2014
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"The code of competence is the only system of morality that's on a gold standard." - Francisco d'Anconia

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