Thoughts on HBO’s “Industry”

HBO just released the first episode of the show "Industry" which focuses on college grads trying to make it at a large Investment bank in London. The main character is in sales/trading but has major characters in ER and IBD.

What are your thoughts on the show? How realistic are certain scenes? There's a pretty big scene at the end of Episode 1 but everything else seems to follow a lot of what gets said on this page.

Comments (147)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 10, 2020 - 11:16pm

Echo the above, was alright for a first episode. Definitely think they really did the most to try and make it way too dramatic but was still entertained

Most Helpful
Nov 10, 2020 - 11:38pm

I'm a few years removed from IBD but I thought the show was decent and fairly accurate with the caveat being the dramatic factor was turned up a lot. I've never had an associate yell at me like the one on the show but have definitely had a VP do it when giving me work / turns. The interview part at the beginning was cheesy too but sometimes kids say some wild stuff in interviews.

Also, having spent a bit of time in London, all the cultural references are spot on (Annabels, 5 Hertford, etc.), it would've been even more accurate if the one analyst from Eton / Westminster was a member ($$$) and took the other analysts. While I've never met someone who stays awake all night for no reason, it happens. A younger friend told me of a guy at EVR who'd stay up till 3am even without any work and is now going to MFPE so it's not out of the question. The commentary about diversity hiring is pretty spot on... that there are privileged people who think some people don't deserve to be there because of diversity circumstances and the reverse, privileged minority (Eton / Oxbridge grad) who doesn't want to be seen as part of the diversity group at the firm, I've seen and overheard both at work (in a private conversation after a few beers) and at school.

The staying out all night on a weeknight and showing up to work with no sleep is a common one too, can't say most people do it but I have once to realize how stupid it is (for me personally, I need some sleep) and have friends and coworkers who've done it before too.

Overall, I feel like the show has captured a lot of themes of a BB really well. There are still trading desks at JPM (which I pretty sure the show is based off of) who make interns go get lunch daily. MDs who don't talk to you for weeks but then make a comment about something you are wearing or that you look too tired and that's the basis of a longer-term mentor / mentee relationship. My summer staffer only started talking to me daily despite sitting between his office and the elevator once he heard from another analyst that I broke my finger from drinking too much and doing something stupid on a night out. Then the scene with the client hitting on the main character, I've never seen that before, however, it probably happens. Even if it doesn't, other shit like that does. I'm sure the stories about Lazard's HR department and banking analysts would make for another fun plot line.

It kinda makes me miss being an intern and miss the pre-Covid days where you'd work your ass of every week and get sloshed with the gang on the weekends.


  • Intern in AM - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:04am

Can you give us one of the stories about Lazard's HR department ?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 11, 2020 - 4:21am

What's the Lazard HR and Analysts story?

Nov 15, 2020 - 5:54am

Great perspectives and well said. I will say that everyone I know including myself, eventually felt a penchant to start going out during the weekday (like you said, awful idea), but it was just something which I had to go through. Not sure why, I have no good answer. Maybe it was reminisce of my fraternity days or maybe it was a rebel cry to the slavery hours we were subjected to the last four years. All I know is that those days are biologically behind me haha

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Nov 26, 2020 - 1:32pm

I still go out on weekdays but I don't stay out all night haha. I've found that on weekdays / nights you don't have control over your schedule so grabbing the closest analyst who also has a bit of free time or hitting up your friend group to grab the one or two people who happen to be free is a nice way to enjoy the small amount of time that you do have. Weekdays are also a much easier time to grab a reservation at a hot restaurant (using Resy's last-minute notifications) or going to a cocktail bar that would otherwise require you to wait awhile before walking in on the weekends. I usually end up calling it by 2 at the latest and only go do something when I'm done with work before 11/11:30

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind
Nov 10, 2020 - 11:56pm

I knew it was at least accurate when my GF looked at me and goes "wtf are you doing?" as I subconsciously started to shift around and sit on the edge of the couch because I got second hand anxiety when I realized he used the wrong font on one of the pages. God that's lame..

Overall I think it has potential, as I thought it did before based off the previews. Lots of interesting dynamics being built but the job is very boring at the junior level and If they focus on the small details on the job the show will suck. If we get into it with the characters and focus on the stress and work/life it could be interesting. Also...did they really need to end it like that?? the FIRST episode?

As someone pointed out- also got JPM vibes 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:56am

feel like these are the type of shows that finance wannabes obsess over and follow. the type of people that will watch 8 hours of Billions straight but aren't willing to even make two network calls in a day.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Nov 11, 2020 - 2:02am

ehh.. it's just fun to see what you do all day being portrayed by actors made for a broad audience. Billions and this show are very different, Billions is not even good TV after season 1, this has decent execution and as another person pointed out is somewhat accurate.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Nov 11, 2020 - 5:53pm

what type of weird ass analogy is this? lmfao I get what you're trying to say but word it a bit better next time bud

Nov 24, 2020 - 5:25am

MS is from all the juniors who idolized/idolize Billions.

"Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes." -U.S. Navy General Farragut
Dec 16, 2020 - 12:31am

Yeah this is right. That's the problem too. No one wants to see what investment banking or trading is really like on the job obviously. Imagine a show which was just a screenshare of an excel LBO model or the buyer section of the pitchbook. No one wants to see that shit so they dramatize with with: racial tension, gay tension, ageist tension, substance-abuse tension etc. Basically what the world expects a banking/trading floor to look like. The people who watch a show like Industry and expect a similar lifestyle in reality are the kids who never make it past the coffee chats because they tried fist-bumping the MD while trading their blazer for a vest. This show was made for entertainment, not reality and I would hope those who watch it view it in the same lens as I do.

  • 1
Nov 11, 2020 - 4:46am

Could have done without that full frontal male nudity.  Yikes....


Might not be the show for me

  • 1
  • 1
Nov 11, 2020 - 3:19pm

Bro when im watching hbo...and there's nudity..i do not want it to be an ib analyst with an uncut penor in all his frontal glory. 


  • 7
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 17, 2020 - 2:00pm

remember that thread a while back about being gay / some EB intern sleeping with his assoc or something 

Nov 11, 2020 - 5:17pm

Gonna be honest in that I can't understand like 25% of what they saying due the British accent (espcially the black guy).   I wouldn't last working in London I think 

Nov 11, 2020 - 9:18pm

Its a pretty decent as caricatures of all the finance personalities you will likely meet. You probably know someone somewhat like most of these characters but with certain characteristics dialed up to 10 in the show to make it more exciting

I expect it will become only more unrealistic from here with some crazy storylines 

Succession is a much more balanced show imo

Nov 12, 2020 - 4:32am

I came here to ask about this. Seen it on instagram. Can we have a spoiler alert for people giving away the plot in the replies ha

Nov 12, 2020 - 6:43am

Coincidentally I just watched the first episode and posted about this on another thread. Thinking about it my initial review was maybe a bit harsh - given it was an HBO show my expectations were perhaps a bit too high. The production values were great, and it's certainly the most realistic depiction of banking that I've seen in TV/film (which isn't saying that much) however as others have said the drama was notched up 10x (guess that's understandable as a true real-life show about banking would be pretty dull especially for audiences without a finance background).

Reading the reviews in liberal-leaning publications e.g. Guardian/GQ/Rolling Stones, it gets raved about but not for the same reason as on here - one reviewer (think it was the Guardian) said "it excels at showing the cold reality of banking and capitalism" etc. Which is a bit laughable as the reviewers seem to think this is a 100% accurate portrayal of banking (apparently the scriptwriters worked in banking for 12-18 months a long time ago).

Agree I could recognize the character types (confident Eton schoolboy vs smart but insecure working-class kid), although again they were dialled up 10x to create drama. Also the main character getting told "you're a world-killer" or whatever by the senior MD at the end of the first episode was ridiculous - I guess I can understand this though, as watching new analysts who work hard but don't really produce any exceptional insight/output for their first 2 years would be quite dull (this is obviously the reality for most analysts IRL, as when you are updating slide decks and barely touching models that have been used 100 times before, how can you really add anything new).

Finally, agree with you guys on the ending. It annoyed me as seemed excessive, also thought that guy was my favourite character - as an American-Brit (one parent from the UK) I can say the actor nailed the persona of a very smart but very insecure British working-class kid. Ironically in my real-life experience those guys often end up becoming the best analysts/associates - just because they have the hunger and drive to prove themselves and constantly learn. Whereas you do come across a lot of "rich kids" (in both the UK and US) who are smart and hard-working, but don't have that killer drive to constantly push themselves because the money doesn't mean as much or they have other options. (Obviously these are stereotypes, there are still a lot of super-successful MDs and PE partners from wealthy backgrounds).


Edit: like one other poster said, it made me reminisce and think about my IB analyst days when we'd work hard and then all hit the bars whenever it was a quiet(er) Thursday or Friday and we could get out early. Now I work in PE where almost everyone is older and has families, we still go for occasional drinks but it's not the same as that analyst camaraderie you get from being all young graduates in the trenches together.

Nov 14, 2020 - 11:41am

Actually the diversity person WAS portrayed as unqualified(had to fake her transcript)

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 14, 2020 - 1:22pm

Thought it was actually kind of well done compared to others I have seen. Obviously, they need to make it more intense but thought it was decent. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Nov 16, 2020 - 2:07pm

- Was counting down the minutes it took to mention race from start of the show

- Great milkies on that one girl from the club who hooked up with the manlet

- Assault scene in the taxi/uber thing made me wonder how common it is for women to get assaulted by other women, especially when the older one is single

- Elitism thing was about the most realistic thing

- Counted down how long it took them to mention 'non-target'

- Excessive amounts of sex scene

This show is only going to make us look worse to the rest of the world, but it's not like they didn't hate us that much to begin with.

Nov 17, 2020 - 12:42pm

I can not think of a more boring premise


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.
Nov 18, 2020 - 2:52pm

This isn't a good show by any means but I actually find it to be a pretty good guilty pleasure

Kinda like watching Entourage or something. You know its not great and totally unrealistic but a good escape from reality

Nov 18, 2020 - 5:36pm

After episode 2 we see that a pure S&T story line would be too boring for the average TV consumer. No way people would watch that, so they had to add (so far) sexual assault, same-sex relationships, cocaine lines in the restaurant, death of a junior colleague, more sexual acts, uber aggressive team leads and issues about race. I spent a good chunk of my life in London and there is no chance all of this is happening in a single team withing a few days.


Dec 7, 2020 - 3:13pm

S&T maybe, but IBD definitely. With S&T you at least have yelling in the background, but it is absolutely impossible to make font sizes, pitch decks, and 3 stmt models be remotely interesting.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 22, 2020 - 3:40pm

I just feel bad for gus man. Homie came for an ib internship, groupmate dies and gets transferred to s&t. big f

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind
Nov 24, 2020 - 9:16am

What was initially curiosity has all but died along with any desire I have to watch the show. Lena Dunham was clearly crossed in her past by some bisexual finance guy because she's somehow made every main male character gay/bi and that's basically half the show now. Even hetero charachters make comments. The drama outside of that isn't bad, but even then don't see how it's sustainable. Just whack all around 

Nov 25, 2020 - 4:26pm

IMDb describes the show as:

Young bankers and traders make their way in the financial world in the aftermath of the 2008 collapse.

Maybe my knowledge of S&T isn't strong enough (have never worked in it), but has anyone found any evidence of the financial crisis in any dialogues or story lines?
I was in London during/after the crisis and it was way more gloomy.


  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Nov 25, 2020 - 5:14pm

Maybe focus on the bits where they talk about her housing pitch. The blonde associate (?) Has a response about housing trends that seem like they are closer to nowadays than eg 2010. Granted it was background watching for me wasn't paying too close attention 

Nov 25, 2020 - 5:28pm

Thanks! Makes sense, and I only know episode 1, with small bits of 2.
I had hopes that some financial/technical story line would appear, but there wasn't anything reasonable until this point.


  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Nov 28, 2020 - 1:01pm

Don't understand why people are complaining, the show is more about the personal relationships and drama in a banking environment. It's not a finance version of suits.


In suits the job is like 80-90% of the show here it's 10-20% max.


Anyways, can someone explain why Harper's trade still ended up making money? Or was it a different trade that the other client made that gave them P&L? 

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Nov 29, 2020 - 4:42pm

Thanks. What kind of size must it have been to go from -140k to +200k? I don't know how commissions work in s&t but assuming it's 0.5-1% then that's a £34-68m order? Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

If I am right then it's incredible shed ruin that relationship after the client went to bat for her like that. Totally incomprehensible situation

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 30, 2020 - 11:56am

Suits used to be about the job in the early seasons. Later seasons it's about who gets their name on the door, Louis trying not to be a pussy, and Donna somehow knowing I'm how to run everything - definitely devolved to character drama rather than interesting cases.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 30, 2020 - 11:54am

What happened with Yasmin and the messages? Must not have been paying attention as I totally didn't understand why/what was the big deal

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Nov 30, 2020 - 11:57am

she kept talking about hookers and cocaine on her Bloomberg terminal. Was flagged. MD finally looked into his team and realised Kenny was super inappropriate (forcing her to get stripper dance in front of clients). Gave her option to escalate but hinted that no point and if she keeps quiet she will be seen as team player and he will go to bat for her to get a job. 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 30, 2020 - 2:25pm

I hope no one put on Harper's brilliant trade idea! 4% call options on 10yr I think? Because "the instability Donald Trump is causing..." That fund would have been insolvent haha

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Nov 30, 2020 - 3:18pm

Can you explain please how big a trade would need to be placed to take Harper from -140k to 200k profit? Is it usually commission based in S&T? Because that would be £34-68m trade assuming 0.5-1%.

Also would be very grateful if you explained her idea. Was it basic, stupid, far out etc? 

Thanks in advance 

Dec 9, 2020 - 11:10am

Dealers primarily profit on bid/ask spread in G10 FX vanilla products - and it is very low (think 1bp for a trade of around 50m). 

Typically dealers will hedge out any exposure they retain relatively quickly so that they are not left holding residual risk. In this case because she entered the trade inappropriately, the residual risk that was hedged was off and left the firm exposed to something like 10 million of exposure (recall it being 50m trade). The P+L swing of around 300k described would be consistent with a 3% or so market move on 10 million in unhedged exposure.

Nov 30, 2020 - 3:34pm

Harper is an opportunist but dangerous. She manipulated Nicole, even though Nicole did sexually assault her first. She flipped flopped on Eric and Dara. Although I will say Dara had a personal vendetta against Eric and was looking for any way to oust him. Eric is a narcissist but he is great at what he does and really looks out for Harper. He just has to tone down his brash behavior. Dara did let the power get to her head when she was upped to MD. Robert is someone who I think can win business just by being sociable, but he isn't smart or innovative. Yasmine tries too much to be squeaky clean. She wants to play inside the lines, but to really excel, you have to be bold and challenge the norms. Finally we have Gus, his character is so cumbersome. Like yeah he's smart but he tries to overcompensate. Then he's an emotional wreck with his romantic relationship and lets it interfere with his work too often. You can also say he's a prestige whore. 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 30, 2020 - 6:25pm

I know what you're referring to from the recent episode but I wasn't paying attention. I'm talking about one of the first things she pitched to that fund manager who tried to get with her. I think it was calls on TNX (10 year) where the implied yield of the 10yr would have to be ~4% to be ITM. Considering it is at like 80bps it was a shit call.

I'm usually on my phone during this show, but that was a stand out idiotic call especially considering her rationale. 

Nov 30, 2020 - 7:37pm

I did too but the show writers made his character confusing. At first, he was the money maker who did not hide his emotion. Also had a soft side to him when he interacted with Harper. Then as the show went on, he just became really flippant and petulant - shown by when he lashed out at Gus, Dara, and pretty much everyone else lol. So idk how he will be portrayed in the next season. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 30, 2020 - 8:24pm

Yeah, I think inconsistent would be the operative word for most of the characterizations on this show. Having just finished the last episode I'm just kinda confused about what point they were trying to make about sexism and cultural change? Is all they were trying to say was that change is hard because of self-interested people? Also waaay too sex scenes, I watched this alone and it made me so uncomfortable I had to skip over most of it. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Dec 1, 2020 - 12:02am

Key takeaways from season 1: 

1. Too much unnecessary sex scenes (and penises) that doesn't even make sense story-wise.

2. Way too much back-stabbing. I'm sure it was to make the show more interesting, but seriously? on every friggin episode? 

3. Daria was kinda hot. More so than Yasmin. Sad that she's gone now. 

4. WTF is a RIF day?

Dec 1, 2020 - 1:14am

I tried to look up the RIF day but couldn't find anything lol. It seems that London business practices differ from the US. An example would be is that they refer to first year analysts as "graduates". But graduates are temporary, not full-time hires, which makes it confusing because that would imply that they are interns. At the same time they can't be interns because they get paid full salaries and bonuses. My assumption is a RIF day is the day when a final decision is made on whether they should retain a graduate or send them packing. It's basically a final presentation in which the graduate has to synthesize all the information that they have learned over the past 6 months and articulate how they can benefit the firm going forward. This presentation combined with previous performance and recommendations by their MD is what goes into the decision. 

  • Associate 2 in Consulting
Dec 1, 2020 - 2:50am

In UK graduates are usually out of uni or recently and given a multi year contract. Eg in Big 4 it's 3 years. After which they are evaluated and either given normal job or fired.

Rif stands for reduction in force. I've never heard of it happening so soon in S&T. I assumed those grad schemes are also 2-3 years.

The main thing that still doesn't make sense to me is how big an order Harper received from Nicole (?) To go from -140 to 200k profit. What are the mechanics? How did she manage to ruin the relationship afterwards? Why force her to "back" her she's the only grad with a "deal"! 

Also, how is Kenny a VP? He melted in front of clients. I assume most of his clients would be wealthy upper class and he seems incapable of talking to them - unlike that "hide that I'm Scottish" MD

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Dec 1, 2020 - 5:07am

It's also fun to listen to what the traders are yelling in the background. 


Rishi: (on the phone) I'm not gonna hold your hand! Contrary to popular belief I am not God! Listen, if anyone wants me, f***ing IM me. Stop ringing my Line!

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 1, 2020 - 2:04pm

Rishi has a lot of good lines in the background.

I swear I also heard someone say Arbitrage Andy in one of the earlier episodes.

Dec 5, 2020 - 2:26am

The desk MD played by the asian guy in episode 2 said it, called him the "permabear."

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Dec 5, 2020 - 4:01am

defo heard the global head of ficc guy say Trust Fund Terry in the last episode (or 2nd last forgot)

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

Dec 6, 2020 - 11:19pm

cant believe i missed this - which ep is this?

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

Dec 5, 2020 - 4:02am

probably cuz the MD panel made a note of how the big boss liked him

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Dec 2, 2020 - 6:45am

I kinda enjoyed the last episode. The scene in which Harper recovers her P&L but fucks it up out of greed. Seems like a realistic thing that has happened in the past.

The drugs abuse and all night parties on weekends seems a bit fake in my opinion

Dec 5, 2020 - 2:24am

Slammed some bud heavies and watched the first 4 episodes. Pretty enjoyable, though I was under the impression London's nightlife wasn't actually good irl. Overdone as HBO now usually is with the rampant sex, the indian guy's experience from the first episode (sans his death) is more relatable.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Dec 5, 2020 - 4:05am

"Buy the dip, short the VIX, fuck Bitcoin"



"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

  • 4
Dec 6, 2020 - 12:47am

full frontal dick on the other hand was def a bottom 3 moment

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

Dec 5, 2020 - 5:49am

its sort of sad that literally the only thing realistic about this show is the indian guy that died in IB.  working all nighters, sleeping in the bathroom, taking adderal and dying from a heart issue exacerbated from IB (like the BoA intern) / all realistic.



Dec 9, 2020 - 3:00am

Legit...hoping ma man Robert finally hits that in S2

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

  • 3
Dec 9, 2020 - 4:18pm

Watched a few episodes and this show has so many bizarre WTF scenes.  Like no logical reason to include and/or straight awkward.  Strangest show I've seen.

1. Yasmine turning up Robert's treadmill to full speed and staring intently at his running short dick bulge out of the blue

2. Old S&T MD taking a piss with his pants at his ankles

3. Tons of random scene of Harper and other girls sitting on toilets taking dumps or pissing

4. A random set of scenes of Harper looking for an apartment out of the blue (zero value add to the plot)

5. Yasmine's boyfriend being totally awkward in every scene (and falling asleep with a sock on his dick)

6. Asian MD having a complete character reversal in later episodes

7. Super long dinner scene with Yasmine and Kenny that seemed like it was improv'd with zero edits or rehearsals

So many strange scenes.....WTF were the HBO writers on when they made this.

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