Why Wall Street became soft?

I'm curious, why Wall Street banks/shops agreed to implement all the liberal agenda and political correctness instead of remaining with the same atmosphere that they had as the one portrayed in Liar's Poker or in this memo:

https://preview.redd.it/uq68voe1bjd81.png?auto=we…

Beside a small number, aren't most of us attracted by this industry because of the competitiveness and "anyone can succeed if they pay the price" which was there on the 90s and 2004 - 2007? Why would they be interested in diversity/women/LGBT (or in one word: "inclusive environment") when performance is the only thing which matters?

What happened/what changed?

Comments (63)

Jun 25, 2022 - 9:17am
financeabc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Target schools like the ivys are comprised largely of liberals.  Since these people disproportionately rise to executive levels, it makes sense that some of the management teams may support liberal causes.

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Jun 25, 2022 - 9:46am
eloquence, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If anything, far fewer people could succeed in the 90s/early 2000s... banks only recruited from Ivies and non-targets had no shot. You can hate on diversity, but hand in hand with that has been greatly expanded recruiting from all types of schools.

Also Wall Street has evolved but I'd hardly call it soft - technology has made bankers work even longer hours. Junior bankers in the 90s didn't have cell phones or remote-in laptops, once they left work they were done and not expected to be monitoring emails 24/7 like they are now. No complicated Excel models to spend hours on either. 

Array

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Jun 25, 2022 - 1:20pm
guyfromct, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It was rough in the nineties think back to the DLJ bed check email:

'It has come to my attention (largely because of my inability to staff deals) that everyone claims to be "too busy" which can cause inequalities in assignments.

The one true definition of "too busy" is being physically unable and having no more time to do more work (Not to take on one more deal).

Let's define "busy". You are "busy" is you are working each weekday at least 16 hours and at least 16 hours on the weekend. These are working hours – not traveling, gabbing or eating time. If these are not your hours at the office, you have the capacity to take on more work.

Vacations, weekend plans, roadshows, overstaffed due diligence of drafting sessions must take a back seat to getting work done. If you are planning any such activities you should see me before going.

As you know, we rely on your judgment in taking on new deals. Bed checks, beepers, sign-in sheets, etc, are not part of our culture. Fairness and equitable treatment are part of our fabric. And if someone is not pulling as hard on their oar as hard as our hardest worker, then they are, pardon the expression, freeloading. Since none of you are held accountable for revenue, the issue comes down to fairness of the distribution of work.

At a time when we are trying to establish DLJ as the best firm on Wall Street, we all have to pull together equally until more help arrives. It's only fair to your colleagues.'

https://www.efinancialcareers.com/news/finance/dlj-memo-too-busy

Jun 30, 2022 - 10:12am
yoyomamaobama20, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The weird thing about the guy is that he only says wouldn't send the same thing now because IB is less profitable. As if profitability is an excuse to grind people to dust...

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Jun 25, 2022 - 4:06pm
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

fascist cancel culture means the banks have to average themselves down with diversity.

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Funniest
Jun 25, 2022 - 6:25pm
UFOinsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Tucker Carlson is that you?

Get busy living
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Jun 25, 2022 - 4:24pm
SoraisWind, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"Performance is what matters"... that's the point. Firms these days intend to have a diverse workforce not just to comply with social affairs, which is a big point, but actually, they do that because it has been shown that a diverse way of thinking leads to better performance as a group, you can even think about it as a way to manage risk. Performance = Revenues. A guy from Shzenzen does not think the same as a guy from Denver, that, in many cases, will add value to decision making.

Most Helpful
Jun 25, 2022 - 6:42pm
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

ah right, you've experienced diversity being a driver for performance, being a first year university student? do not dare reply with some BS you've regurgitated from your tier 400 university ethics class. this is the real world and I am thoroughly engaged in diversity and inclusion initiatives in one of the worlds best known asset managers, you little nobody. 

"a guy from ShZenZen DoEsNT thINK thE sAmE wAy" what are you talking about? that is not diversity you will experience (when you actually graduate and get in to a working environment). diversity is being told to overlook the top 5 candidate profiles because they are White males, in order to get to the Black female who performed considerably worse during the interview than the others, just to tick some tick some ESG boxes on marketing materials. diversity is hiring the "gUy FrOM sCHzENzEN" who can barely speak English, under the guise of diverse views, over the perfectly capable domestic applicant. diversity is having a programme for black people exclusively, in lieu of racial inequality in a completely different country (USA), over any other minorities. it is all complete and utter BS.

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Jun 27, 2022 - 12:42am
EasyMoneyyy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As a black professional, comments like this are great fuel. You put every black person in one group regardless of their backgrounds, accomplishments, abilities etc. Keep them coming.

Controversial
Jun 25, 2022 - 5:10pm
UFOinsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lot of Republican incels on WSO lately goddayum 

Ever consider the world is changing and your own point of view is so stupidly outdated that everything seems liberal by comparison?  You're behind the times.
 

Biggest producer in my last group was a black chick that NEVER would have been hired at 1980s DLJ.  
 

Grow up.

Get busy living
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Jun 25, 2022 - 6:42pm
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"grow up you have a different view from me omg"

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Jun 28, 2022 - 10:54am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Source?

I'm skeptical knowing that soyboys will date anybody (including girls that cheat on them)

Array

Jun 26, 2022 - 12:52am
anonguytoibd, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You are mistaken if you think banks are not doing what's best for business. Every business decision is made to optimize strategy at minimum even if it isn't immediately apparent for their bottom lines. All of what you have listed are adjustments in response to market forces and politics. There are large investors and important clients who care about the issues you listed. Not properly addressing these issues can potentially impact cost of equity and revenue. What's happened is that large endowments and pension funds, who in aggregate lean left, had issues they cared about. GP's adapted their businesses to these concerns and more or less demanded their portfolio companies, including banks, to do the same. Not only that but they saw a business opportunity and created ESG investment vehicles. They "financialized" politics and created market pressure to change behavior and made money in the process. BlackRock led this change. 

Jun 26, 2022 - 1:45pm
UFOinsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How about present some type of analysis that adds value to the conversation instead of whatever triggered bullshit this is

Get busy living
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Jun 27, 2022 - 9:58am
anonguytoibd, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know which documentary you are talking about. Look at how many companies are actively trying to incorporate ESG in their operations. A firm my company acquired spent $7M on buying carbon credits and hired an entire department to create and manage an ESG strategy. These people are now involved in product and company planning and have the mandate to ensure ESG is at least thought about or implemented in these processes. In total, the company probably spent $10M if you include compensation, software, and external consultant spend for this new department. This number doesn't even capture other internal resources which could easily double the figure. This is not tiny expense and to put it in context, it was a few points of total company spend for a year. What's insane is the power this department has given that it's not leading a core business unit or any growth strategy efforts. I can only conclude that they made the calculations and decided they will get more revenue and obtain cheaper financing outweighing the ESG spend.

Jul 9, 2022 - 12:07am
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:
anonguytoibd

You are mistaken if you think banks are not doing what's best for business. Every business decision is made to optimize strategy at minimum even if it isn't immediately apparent for their bottom lines. All of what you have listed are adjustments in response to market forces and politics. There are large investors and important clients who care about the issues you listed. Not properly addressing these issues can potentially impact cost of equity and revenue. What's happened is that large endowments and pension funds, who in aggregate lean left, had issues they cared about. GP's adapted their businesses to these concerns and more or less demanded their portfolio companies, including banks, to do the same. Not only that but they saw a business opportunity and created ESG investment vehicles. They "financialized" politics and created market pressure to change behavior and made money in the process. BlackRock led this change. 

And what, specifically, have they accomplished? With race riots in the street, C02 emissions globally continuing to rise, and with gender pay gaps persisting (according to the Left's trumped up stats), it doesn't look like they've accomplished much of anything. 

Array

Jul 9, 2022 - 1:18am
anonguytoibd, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sure. I only said that it's being done largely for business reasons. I don't know if it's that effective in the short term for the environment. Some positives have emerged from an environmental perspective like sustainable packaging in e-commerce but time will tell if it will be truly impactful. Buying carbon credits is bs.

Outside of the environmental impacts, ESG sounds dubious.

Jun 27, 2022 - 6:13am
medellin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What is even this question? Lmao these hardo incels are really getting funny.

The world, in case you haven't noticed, is developing and being more inclusive, equal and 'human'. Wall Street notices and takes a little part.

It really amazes me how some of you actually *want* the culture of hazing, facetime, long nights and pointless work. Why the fuck being hardo is a badge of honor? It's the ultimate loser feature to me. If you're willingly putting mindless work above your friends, family, and straight up can't have fun - you're a massive, massive tool.

Jun 27, 2022 - 4:55pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why can't Wall Street sweatshops just also give the option of working 1/2 the time for 1/2 the money (then hire 2 people for the one role)? Or 3/4 weeks and 3/4 pay. Seems like a healthy alternative. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jun 28, 2022 - 7:24am
Iko_, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So I'm not sure what rank OP has of if he's still a student or not, but as far as I'm concerned I don't see the point of artificially maintaining terrible working conditions that lead to stress, no personal life, and sleep deprivation (leading to physical conditions long term and overall much lower productivity and social skills). 
 

If OP want to maintain this culture for himself, I'm sure his MDs would be more than happy to shout at him if he asks politely, and also more than happy to give him twice as many marketing materials if he has extra time.

As for the ESG stuff linked to diversified recruiting, while I agree it's complete bullshit to "refuse the top 5 applicants to recruit the black girl way down the list so we can tick the box" as someone put it earlier - I agree it is wrong from a pure performance perspective, however clients think that they need gender and cultural diversity On their teams, so as an advisor you have to comply.

Because as the moment when clients ask to show 50% female diversity on deal team, it can be quite problematic. Not that I agree with their logic (I personally don't agree with positive discrimination), but you literally don't have a choice. 
 

A better question IMO though would be asking why so few females apply to and stay on investment banking (they don't like working 80 hours a week and not being able to see their children when they grow up? No shit...)

Jun 28, 2022 - 10:29am
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I mean, the obvious answer is that both internally their employees pushed for it, and externally clients pushed for it.

This idea that the "woke left" is so dominant and overpowering and is the new Illuminati and yet can't seem to get its shit together to, you know... win elections consistently, is absolutely hilarious.

I mean, why do banks hire minorities?  Why aren't there solely Jewish banks and solely white shoe WASP banks?  The world progresses.  Sitting and complaining that because social values don't align with yours any more probably says a lot more about you than it does about the giant agglomerations of people and opinions contained in a Wall Street institution.  Why can't Wall Street insider trade anymore, or water stock, or anything else that was legal for decades?

Jun 30, 2022 - 12:17am
bawstin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The woke left was always part of the 4th branch of government. The woke left always existed under the shadows and under different names (cultural Marxists, Frankfurt School). One of the many tools that will be used to bring down the United States.

They can't get their shit together? Huh. They poisoned the Supreme Court in the 1930s. They have poisoned the social studies department of top universities since the 1960s, further accelerated by the 1990s. 90% of all mainstream television, radio, and newspaper are owned by the cultural Marxist deep state. This group can band together to create a firewall against information (Hunter Biden story, every outlet blocked its reporting to protect Joe Biden). An entire generation is now brainwashed thanks to these freaks, and that's nothing to the shit they're brainwashing to Gen Z and Alpha.

But in my opinion, these deep state groups are set out in factions. You have the Soros, Bill Gates, Klaus Schwab, the Freemasons, the Illuminati, all competing against each other for clout and who would receive credit. There are also white hats within these groups. That's how Trump was able to win in 2016 and in 2020. The Federalist Society is doing an amazing job fighting off the Marxists infiltrating the judicial system. We are almost back to a Supreme Court similar to what we had since the 1800s-1930s. People are waking up and fighting against these corrupt institutions, but the deep state uniparty fights back as well, like in the 2020 election with the ballots scandals and how even the Repubs didn't want to count or audit the votes. Trump was about to bring down the entire deep state in his second term with his executive order 13957, with Schedule F that would have resulted in the possible termination of 88% of federal agents that would have taken effect after Jan 20. Biden ended the order immediately.

Back to banking, it only takes a few loonies in the HR department to convince a CEO to turn the firm as liberal and gay as possible. Cultural Marxists are a virus that infect healthy corporations who do not want to seem racist/sexist/homophobic. The majority of people don't want cultural Marxists, but are afraid to speak out.

Call it whatever you want. This is not progress, and people are beginning to fight back.

Jun 30, 2022 - 10:31am
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Usually you're supposed to compose these things with words and letter cut out of magazines and newspapers.  It's hardly intelligible like this!

Jun 28, 2022 - 10:51am
Strats, what's your opinion? Comment below:

People who wish for a meritocracy disregard it when it's implemented through diversity programs. If you're not willfully blind to the faults our institutions, then you would realize that people who qualify for diversity programs are merely being brought into a level playing field - it is a pure meritocracy. 

These "agendas" (loaded word) are the future. The people you describe as the types with an "anyone can succeed if they pay the price" attitude are able to prosper in an environment with these programs - it's the reason that the industry is still not as representative as it should/would be statistically. 

Affirmative action and diversity programs aren't the problem. Hiring the kids of rich clients, or the son of your college buddy, etc. is the problem with our industry - if you focus on the racial and social diversities and ignore the elite and white nepotistic hires then the problem lies with your bias.

Surely, someone as deserving of success in the meritocracy, and intelligent and hard working as they see themselves, they should easily be able to find studies and data and research proving the above and shattering their world view that the gay black guy got hired over them for simply diversity reasons. 

tl;dr Wall Street has embraced meritocracy. Don't blame diversity programs because you're not as good as you think you are. 

Jul 7, 2022 - 7:27pm
Iko_, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have my own views on pros and cons, but please tell me how diversity programs are meritocratic ?

the % of kids being recruited with daddy's help is pretty small.

Personally, seeing girls from top schools being put way above the pile of equally qualified males does not seem very meritocratic. Nor does it seem very meritocratic to put kids from rich Asian/African/etc. families in front of potentially poorer white kids with same skills. Forcing diversity when the underlying pool is not diverse is one thing (that may be required by clients etc, you want to have a good image, you believe you need diverse backgrounds etc., which is totally fine), but saying it is meritocratic is another. 
 

You really think gender or skin colour gives kids more merit ? Lol. If you want meritocracy you would only filter based on grades and extra curricular achievements. Definitely not perfect but there is no better alternative FROM A MERITOCRACY POW.

what I'm saying is getting programs for either girls or x origin is not going to isolate the poor kid from Malaysia that put his family savings on the line to buy a one way ticket to the US, it will likely just go to average females and "minorities" that are already doing well and at top colleges. But give them an "unfair" advantage vs. White males. Not meritocratic. 

Jul 8, 2022 - 11:43am
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Iko_

I have my own views on pros and cons, but please tell me how diversity programs are meritocratic ?

the % of kids being recruited with daddy's help is pretty small.

I guarantee you it is not.  How many tens of thousands of applications does JP Morgan get for their analyst classes?  Is every single CV being read through and interviewed?  Of course not.  Go to an Ivy League School, go to the top of the pile, and never mind the huge numbers of legacy students that get in through their parents.  Does your dad play golf with an MD?  They get a hearing.  Did the hiring manager for your group go to Rice?  Guess which resumes are getting a closer look!

Hiring (or school admissions, for that matter) is barely meritocratic in name, let alone in fact.  Anyone you see complaining about diversity hiring and not also railing against the fact that rich white kids are the default demographic in the absence of that isn't upset about not getting a job, they're upset that a minority is getting it, full stop.

Personally, seeing girls from top schools being put way above the pile of equally qualified males does not seem very meritocratic. Nor does it seem very meritocratic to put kids from rich Asian/African/etc. families in front of potentially poorer white kids with same skills. Forcing diversity when the underlying pool is not diverse is one thing (that may be required by clients etc, you want to have a good image, you believe you need diverse backgrounds etc., which is totally fine), but saying it is meritocratic is another. 

Unless, you know... there are structural factors at play in American society which make it difficult for poor kids, or minorities, to get noticed by financial institutions or top colleges or what have you.

You really think gender or skin colour gives kids more merit ? Lol. If you want meritocracy you would only filter based on grades and extra curricular achievements. Definitely not perfect but there is no better alternative FROM A MERITOCRACY POW.

So, in other words, you'd weight things that wealthy kids have a massive advantage in?  People who can afford tutoring, or don't have to work after school to help their family pay bills?  This is the exact opposite of meritocratic, in that it helps enshrine access for the wealthy to the highest paying jobs.

Moreover, it seems obvious, but a diverse set of employees should lead to better policy decisions in an outward facing sense.  John Smith III, who went to Yale like his father and grandfather before him, and who summers in Cape Cod every year, may be extremely intelligent and good at his job.  But does he really understand what kind of financial services a lower middle class black person in Atlanta needs?  Or an immigrant Latino family in El Paso?  Probably not.  Bringing those kinds of perspectives into the firm can help broaden services and bring in new clients; certainly if you were to go in and find someone who looks and speaks like you, you'd be more interested in giving that place your business, as opposed to a place that is uniform in ethnic and religious background and experience.  That's a hard thing to achieve, of course... hence diversity hires, which is trying to get this diverse set of opinions and experiences without reading a million resumes.

Plus, the assumption is always that a diversity hire is unqualified, which is bullshit on it's face.  Plenty of unqualified people get hired every year, and yet somehow it's only the women or the ones with darker skin which are a "problem"

Jul 7, 2022 - 5:19pm
PEarbitrage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Liberal arts majors that are absolutely rampant in HR departments.

Jul 8, 2022 - 12:11pm
adm98, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I always get a kick out of the people who spent a whole year crying about having to wear a mask calling other people "soft".

Jul 9, 2022 - 12:02am
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:
adm98

I always get a kick out of the people who spent a whole year crying about having to wear a mask calling other people "soft".

Ah yes, yet another inversion of reality from the left. The hypochondriacs terrified of Covid were the strong ones. Those who understood the real science on masking and who weren't unreasonably afraid of Covid were the "soft" ones.

Array

Jul 9, 2022 - 12:00am
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This topic was explored in the book Woke Capitalism. It's a direct response to Occupy Wall Street movement of 2009-2011. Woke-ism provides major corporations progressive cover from attacks on their exploitation of nations and people. They haven't had to materially change their behavior but they now maintain cover from their left flank attacks.

Array

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Jul 9, 2022 - 12:16am
Lvl99Bankstanding, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Because this is a service based business and the world itself is more diverse and tolerant now lol? How dense are you.

I too am kind of disappointed by the lack of toxic work environments these days because I'm kind of an asshole myself and have pretty thick skin and know others don't so it's advantage.

Regardless the world has changed though. The objective is to move money from your clients pocket to your pocket. It's a facade. You think the MDs rolling in cash really give a shit about anyone else but their bottom line? Absolutely not, but CREAM so everyone plays the game, even if it in my opinion is less honest than it used to be.

Jul 9, 2022 - 1:51am
Memberberries, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Lvl99Bankstanding

Because this is a service based business and the world itself is more diverse and tolerant now lol? How dense are you.

I too am kind of disappointed by the lack of toxic work environments these days because I'm kind of an asshole myself and have pretty thick skin and know others don't so it's advantage.

Regardless the world has changed though. The objective is to move money from your clients pocket to your pocket. It's a facade. You think the MDs rolling in cash really give a shit about anyone else but their bottom line? Absolutely not, but CREAM so everyone plays the game, even if it in my opinion is less honest than it used to be.

Yeah I'm sure digging the "inclusive" work environment that sends out emails from HR condemning the Supreme Court for its abortion ruling. My company sure made me feel "included" by essentially saying I'm a bad person for not wanting to murder babies. Super inclusive. So glad corporate America is tolerant now of everyone except *checks notes* half the country that thinks differently from a 23-year-old Goldman Sachs analyst fresh out of 4 years of Yale indoctrination camp.

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Jul 9, 2022 - 7:50pm
new-legend, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Find a different profession then. If you think that 10 year old girl in Ohio should've been forced to carry her rapist's baby to term (destroying her tiny body in the process), then you're in the minority in banking/finance.

Also it's not "half the country", the latest poll has only 29% of Americans saying they'd be "happy" or "satisfied" to see Roe v Wade overturned.

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Jul 14, 2022 - 9:48pm
financeabc's_wife's_bull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jul 22, 2022 - 5:12pm
BullRunKid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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