Why Shitty Bonuses Might Actually be Good for Wall Street Culture

Most people working on the street will agree with me that the culture is full of people with egos bigger than the size of their brains. Your most trusted comrades at work will not think twice before sticking a knife in your ass.

From working for the last few months and hearing people gossip around the office (you won't believe what people say behind each others back), I have come to the conclusion that if bonuses were not such a huge deal, the guy in the next cube might actually sincerely be interested in your success. We have grown to love money so much that the jungle called wall street creates pariahs from once boisterous and very driven individuals (I have seen very nice people just deciding to quit).

I am not complaining about the culture or anything of the sorts. I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed up and I usually adapt well to most situations; but reflecting on these things sometimes just brings me to the conclusion that shitty bonuses would actually bring the assholes 2 steps down the douchebag ladder.

Comments (17)

Dec 12, 2008

Agreed.

Take it for all it's worth.

Dec 12, 2008

Interesting

Dec 12, 2008

It will not net any significant shift on the douche-baggery on wall st for a simple reason:

Its all relative. Yeah, maybe Johnny LeDouche's bonus just got massacred, but so did yours and everyone else Johnny shits on to make himself feel better. Johnny projects his insecurities through self-important arrogance towards the non-wall street crowd. Because the wall st crowd, knows very well that Johnny spends the bulk of his days walking behind his VP/Associate in order to make sure their balls don't touch the ground. Since the wall streeters know this, he counters any way he can: his firm, his division, his group, and finally his bonus.... not to mention that in light of recent events, he still has his job... so he must be a bad ass

Dec 12, 2008

At least the industry will likely attract fewer douchebags (at least for the next few years), since most of them will likely be too busy trying to chase the next get-rich-quick industry, whatever that happens to be. I say good riddance.

Dec 12, 2008

hopefully all the dbags go to law school.

edit: on second thought, that would be worse than a dbag banker.

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Dec 12, 2008

I agree....in the end it won't really matter. As long as investment banking is viewed as a glamorous profession there will be dbags. The dbags are almost always attracted to the business for the wrong reasons.

Dec 12, 2008
IBchimp:

I agree....in the end it won't really matter. As long as investment banking is viewed as a glamorous profession there will be dbags. The dbags are almost always attracted to the business for the wrong reasons.

Wrong reasons? As opposed to the right reasons like a fondness for EDGAR, the desire to sit silent in meetings, and eating dinner every night in an office?

The fact is, 90% or more of the people who enter the industry do so because of the remuneration involved. While I do enjoy financial modeling and making nice slides in power point, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the money. If my bonus is very low (as it may be) this year, I am going to need to think long and hard about whether or not it makes sense to stay.

Dec 12, 2008

I like the law school idea. For example, that kid who wrote a letter to Michael Lewis whining about not being able to get rich quick (reference article Lewis published a few days ago) -- it would be great to see him and all those like him choose law school instead. That way the only people who have to deal with him are
a) those who are in trouble with the law; or
b) other law students or lawyers.

Dec 12, 2008

I dunno about you guys, but I'm still pulling 70-90 hrs a week even in this environment...I think a reasonalbe bonus is not asking for too much given the scarifice that analysts make to their health (yes I'm sick like a dog ritenow from all the late nites I pulled this past month) and their social life (my buddies are out with 7 girls ritenow and about to have an orgy while I'm sitting here spreading comps).

Dec 12, 2008
lynnventures:

(my buddies are out with 7 girls ritenow and about to have an orgy while I'm sitting here spreading comps).

lol. that should be our shirt slogan.

Dec 13, 2008
lynnventures:

(my buddies are out with 7 girls ritenow and about to have an orgy while I'm sitting here spreading comps).

Statements like this even after 2 summers on the Street make me wonder what the fuck I'm really getting myself into next summer.

Dec 13, 2008

If you have some other option, you should go for it. For the next few years, you will not really be learning much as an analyst so talk of leveraging your experience for something else might not sell.

And honestly, no one should give the crap about them doing the job because they love it. Only reason people work these miserable hours and jettison personal interests is the money.

Dec 14, 2008
lynnventures:

I dunno about you guys, but I'm still pulling 70-90 hrs a week even in this environment...I think a reasonalbe bonus is not asking for too much given the scarifice that analysts make to their health (yes I'm sick like a dog ritenow from all the late nites I pulled this past month) and their social life (my buddies are out with 7 girls ritenow and about to have an orgy while I'm sitting here spreading comps).

Sounds like there will be plenty of spreading going on for both you and your buddies.

Dec 12, 2008

Perhaps not getting a(nother) VD could be your bonus - for today at least.

I agree though, the guys at the top should hurt a little more than analysts. Their bonus should be more directly linked to bringing in business whereas associates/analyst should be linked to performance, quality of output and amount of work executed. I know this will never happen but it should.

Take it for all it's worth.

Dec 12, 2008

Everyone's talking about how bonuses are going down and the renumeration being abysmal, but have they considered that relative to other jobs out there, your 60k + whatever "miserable" bonus is still higher that the average salary you could get as a fresh grad/1,2 years outta school?

Sure the hours are terrible, but you're still making a decent amount no?

Dec 12, 2008

Very true, it is important to not look at your salary in terms of a per hour wage but rather consider your time as an analyst as an investment in your future. Those who can not are utterly sad people.

Take it for all it's worth.

Dec 13, 2008
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