Being Boomer is Paradise

Imagine this. You're a rough and tumble kid from the neighborhood in queens. The year is 1960. People still have manners, dress nicely and are genuinely afraid to break the law. There are no plastic or glass cases covering the isles in your local neighborhood corner store owned by the friendly Italian man who stocks it with fresh, non-processed meat every day. Little do you know you will one day have the entire world as your hostage…

You spend your high school days fucking around and skipping class to caddy at the local golf course. A few of the guys there take a liking to you because you always have a beer waiting for them and can hit a driver well. They offer you a position in the mail room of a prestigious Wall Street bank. After two years of hard, part-time work from ages 18-20, you’ve saved up enough money to afford undergrad and an MBA and a house. Being not particularly academically minded and having no idea what the hell a “target school” is, you sign yourself up for SUNY – Albany, ultimately graduating with a 2.9 GPA.

Fortunately, your old friends from the golf course have moved up quite a bit and their old bank has been acquired by Merrill Lynch, placing them at the management rank on one of Wall Street’s leading bond sales teams. You have no idea what a bond even is, but you’re a good looking white guy in the 1970s that golfs and nobody gives a fuck. You have a firm handshake and make good eye contact, so your old golf friends recruit you as an Analyst on their fixed income team. Without knowing what you’re even doing you cold call like a machine. Quickly, you realize that your clients and investor accounts also don’t know what they’re doing. They’re all a bunch of kids from the neighborhood like you but everybody just keeps buying so the price of everything goes up. Roaring ‘80s baby! Before you know it the credit quality of what you’re selling deteriorates further and further. The fixed income products also become more derivative and complex because you’ve ran out of regular corporate bonds to sell. Subrpime ABS? No problem. Junk Bonds? Fuck yeah! It’s the ‘80s baby, everyone is getting laid and paid. The more dog shit the products you’re selling become the higher the spreads run and the richer you get. Before you know it you’re a full-blown American Psycho and still don’t know how to run a simple DCF or what you’re actually selling. Unfortunately, the fun can’t last forever and your clients begin blowing up one by one over the years. Dot Com bubbles, junk bond defaults, the whole nine yards. Each time one of your deals goes south a new regulation is put into place that prevents the next financial institutional from replicating that deal again in the future. But what the fuck do you care? That happens AFTER you get your check in the mail. Your firm is still a privately held partnership so you actually get to keep your earnings and not use it to subsidize the commercial banking team’s losses like Goldman in ’23.

Finally it’s the early 2000s and you’ve got one last big hoorah up your sleeve. It’s double dipping time. The firm has been good to you over your life. You’ve made tens of millions from the partnership unit distributions, your commissions and your salary and bonus. Each of these income streams in of itself is enough to get one rich. But you aren’t satisfied quite yet, and you won’t be until you rape the competition. It’s not enough to collect your piece from the firm over the years, fuck no. You and your friends plan to suck SO much value out of the firm that no one who comes after you will ever have it as good: you are going to take the firm public. You know that once you do this there is no going back and the culture will never be the same. You are actively allowing institutional, lame outsiders to trojan horse their special interests, DEI bullshit and compensation cutting activities into your firm by offering securities to the general public. Moreover, once the firm goes public, the majority of earnings will go to dividends to shareholders and no longer will Partners receive rich partnership unit distributions. Moreover, bit by bit the public shareholders will wear down the culture and comp. You do the deal in a heartbeat, “fuck them kids” you tell yourself as you chuckle.

There you are, the peak of your career. Everything in your life has lead up to this moment. You stand on the NYSE platform smiling like an absolute dickhead. Your entire firm is watching on CNBC from the trading floor. You flash two big thumbs up while smiling directly into the lens of the onlooking cameras and imagine your junior traders and bankers back at the office watching you….”God you guys are so fucked” you think to yourself as you belly laugh for the cameras.

Fast forward another few years, you’ve achieved greatness. You no longer “work” as in go into the office and poor through numbers. You typically just take Zoom calls from your Palm Beach estate, that junior traders who work 90 hours a week schedule for you. Despite this, you’re still the first person to get a deal trophy when a deal closes, you’re still the highest paid and you still control the temperament and culture of the firm (as much as that is possible given public shareholders). You have begun to notice a suspicious trend going on and your gut tells you it’s those damn millennials fault. The juniors in the office always look tired and sickly. They now wear JC Penny instead of Gucci and Ferragamo. When you ask them what golf course they belong to and where their home is, they nervously look down and explain that they are only 10% of the way there to saving enough money for a down payment and additionally still have $90K of loans outstanding. “What a fucking idiot” you think. “When I was your age I paid my entire way through college by the time I was 24!” you exclaim to him, thinking to yourself “what is wrong with these kids”. Even more disturbing, the firm’s revenue/headcount has declined drastically. Fortunately, because you still control the board, this only effects the salaries of those beneath you, the rank and file. Exec Comp has actually increased at the same time and you are richer than ever.

Nonetheless, you can’t help but question the direction of things. The majority of the transactions that made your bank earlier in your career ended up going sour and subsequently rendered the playbook illegal, taking many weapons out of the arsenal. Additionally, your O&G clients have done their thing over the years, with them raping the environment such that increased regulations have also rendered their playbook illegal and decreased profits. As you hop into your luxury limo (you still don’t know what Uber is and make your Analyst arrange a limo for you every morning. That same analyst has a $5 stipend for transportation each night but only if he works past midnight). The orange horizon beams at you, smoke and smog blocking out anything besides the sun that’s further than a mile away. The world is on fire again, earnings are down, half of what made you rich is illegal and your kids aren’t alright. Is it possible that your pursuit of taking over the world didn’t leave much for those that came next? Nah. “Fucking millennials are fucking us in the ass” you complain to your driver. The thought quickly vanishes from your mind. You’ve got a big board meeting later in which you’re planning to argue for another round of exec bonuses simultaneous with Analyst layoffs.


The year is 1960. People still have manners, dress nicely and are genuinely afraid to break the law. There are no plastic or glass cases covering the isles in your local neighborhood corner store owned by the friendly Italian man who stocks it with fresh, non-processed meat every day.

I'm nostalgic for a time when I didn't even exist.


We romanticize the era in which we did not live too much, and all our knowledge of that time is drawn from movies. These are certainly beautiful stories, but the picture is not fully revealed, because in fact, it was a complex and cruel time, no better than now.

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You eagerly mandate 5-days a week back in the office to improve productivity and culture. It doesn’t matter if I work from the Hamptons, you think - kids these days need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and take initiative. You become bitter as 90% of each analysts class leaves for the buyside - loyalty just isn’t what it used to be, you grumble.


this is great. one of the best paradise posts i've read


There is some truth to that. You’re factoring out a lot of details like reliability of vehicles, limited computer technology early on in their career. The biggest advantages they had were that going to college actually set you apart, college was expensive but the burden was much less over the long haul. However, same job, limited technology. They worked weekends, but they were told when they were. They didn’t have an electronic leash in their pocket or the ‘luxury’ of working from home unless they brought it with them.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.

I feel like there was just massively more low-hanging fruit that's sort of been gobbled up at this point. Like most mature industries at this point are dominated by a handful of large, public companies that maybe do a few tac-ons a year. There used to be actual fragmented markets and no-brainer consolidation opportunities at every turn.

Plus, imagine how much fucking easier it is to sell financial products when there are no DIY financial products or even websites to check to verify data? You're like god in that situation, because you're working from a MASSIVE informational advantage and there are no DIY alternatives for saving with mass adaptation. People HAVE to go through you whether they want to or not. Now it's actually easier to buypass the system and middle-men with Robinhood, Etrade, etc. There is no denying that opportunities have become much more marginal and few. I mean fuck even just how abundant resources used to be, there was so much excess it's insane that one generation sucked up so much of it. Idk if it's impressive or selfish or what. 

Yinz in the flesh

It’s insane - now we have to fix the shitstorm they left us with (i.e., destroyed climate, no hope of owning home until 40s, unsustainable economic inequality, debt from Iraq, divorce rates, etc.) - yet they call us idealistic socialists.

Like bro - we have no other option than to innovate and change the fucked up world you left to us.

Regardless - boomers somehow expect us to bow down to them and are appalled that we don’t respect them / their inefficient / unsustainable ways. Then they point the finger at us / lay us off / call us lazy, despite the fact that we have to work way harder for shit (college admissions, IB job, a fucking wife, etc).


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