There is an article about a fellow in the 30's named James Levin (search him up) from Harvard and works at Och-Ziff. He was recently given $250 million (couple years ago he was given $119m compensation package). Levin made a bet on structured credit that netted OZM $2 billion back when he was 29. As a high school student who read a lot of books about finance, it gave me hope again that the lucrativeness of wall street is not entirely dead yet - further, it reminded me of the good old days in the 80's and 90's when Wall St was the place that could blast you off from 0 to a million in no time if u were committed, smart, and lucky.
Way before 2008, firms like Drexel, Enron, and Gruntal offered a lot of opportunity for young guys to make their names on Wall Street by making a lot of money for their firms (usually through prop. trading). Those were the times when star traders and bankers racked up million dollar salaries in their 20s. Even Goldman and other BB's used to give employees greater autonomy to bring in the dough. Now it seems, these types of opportunities are not available anymore (w/exceptions like the James Levin guy).
What happened? Perhaps it was increased regulations, interest rate changes, increased quantitative trading, or maybe society's growing hatred of Wall St. And, how can young Wall Streeters make it big nowadays?
Market volatility and market inefficiencies have generally declined over time - and I believe this is reason why there are no more opportunities to make extremely lucrative trades (think: Soros Breaking the pound or John Paulson shorting CDOs). What James Levin of OZM did with his structured credit bet is extremely rare to see in our present financial paradigm. Moreover, the modern-day challenge is not only finding a extremely lucrative investment opportunity but also to wield a large amount of capital in order to make a lot of money. No longer do you see banks and funds giving young guys the opportunity to make these types of bets due to regulation and perhaps simply a general distrust towards them.
What do you think?