Why would I still do banking now?

So I'm going through this banking process as a student and I have answered the "why banking" question and I have accepted my offer and done all of that stuff. So now that the process is over I'm wondering to myself.... with the decrease in bonuses and the fear of layoffs... what is the upside to accepting a banking job/internship and pursuing a career in banking when I may work 100 hours a week and not get paid that much any more?

I'm not bashing banking, in fact, I've accepted a job at a bank, but I'm just trying to justify to myself why I'm about to punish myself with these hours when I'm not even going to get paid.

Anybody have any good thoughts like its good resume building or the pay will come back or something along those lines (hopefully something better than that)?

Comments (76)

Mar 6, 2009

The hours in this market aren't that bad from what I heard (hence low or no bonus at all)

Mar 6, 2009

I start work in July, and I ask myself this all the time.

Mar 6, 2009

If you're working 100 hours a week, you're in a group that will be getting a competitive bonus.

If you're working 70 hours a week, obviously you're comp will be proportional.

Bottom line... the comp will be commensurate to the work (more or less) no matter what market you're working in and no matter what group you're working in.

Mar 6, 2009

if you're doing it for the money you're in it for the wrong reasons. not saying that money doesn't play a role, but it can't be your only source of motivation.

Mar 6, 2009

Through no fault of your own, your timing sucks. The best days of banking are behind us.

That being said, you have a great opportunity to excel in a job that really sucks, and that will prepare you for great things later. Just get in there and learn all you can. Keep your eyes open for any opportunity to jump ship to something better. If you subscribe to Jim Rogers' way of thinking, start buying farmland.

My point is, make the best of a bad situation and you'll develop the skills necessary to succeed in any other aspect of life. If you want to look on the really bright side, your boss won't have any leverage over you because you can tell him to go get bent knowing you'll find something else that pays the same or better. There is immense power and freedom in that knowledge.

Mar 6, 2009

Banking should still give you modelling and valuation experience. That's a good enough reason to me.

Mar 6, 2009

It's the best time to get in to banking. The worst time to be already in it.

Mar 6, 2009
LondonE1:

It's the best time to get in to banking. The worst time to be already in it.

This might be a stupid question, but why do you think it's the best time to get into banking?

Mar 6, 2009
ejk702:
LondonE1:

It's the best time to get in to banking. The worst time to be already in it.

This might be a stupid question, but why do you think it's the best time to get into banking?

I agree with LondonE1, because you don't make squat as an analyst anyway.

Even if the recession (depression) lasts another 5 years, followed by 5 years of prosperity; then 5-10 years from now there will be a HUGE hole to fill at the VP, MD level and you will be first in line to get promoted since there will not be many experienced candidates.

Look at the big picture:

Would you have rather entered the field in 2003-2006 (great years) and worked as an associate/VP in 2008; or in 2000-2002 (crappy years) and worked as an associate/VP in 2006?

Mar 6, 2009

Best time for restructuring folks, distressed funds
Prestigious MM boutiques that take on the MM deals because bigger deals won't flow

But on a personal level, why would it be London?

Mar 6, 2009

patience is a virtue... in time, those in banking will be well rewarded.

Mar 6, 2009

Why is it a good time to be in banking...?

Comp is down, deal flow is non-existant, entire deal teams are being let go, there is a ton of in-fighting within groups due to the consolidation and exit opps are not what they used to be...i think London's comment is moronic but with that said I still think banking provides a compelling offering and is still better than most alternatives

in this environment having A job should be your top priority

Mar 7, 2009

If you are 1 year into banking already, it sucks.

what i mean is that, the banks know that those who got ibd offers this year are strong talents. also, look at the job market from a contrarian view. you do your SA in 2009, hopefully get a ft position and start working ft in 2010...by 2012 or 2013, things might look much more rosy than now...by that time, you are at the top of the game.

would you go into banking in 2007 and end up getting fired now...and be in this shitty job market for the next 2 to 3 years? i would rather try to get in at a shitty time and come out at the peak of the market.

Mar 7, 2009
LondonE1:

you do your SA in 2009, hopefully get a ft position and start working ft in 2010...by 2012 or 2013, things might look much more rosy than now...by that time, you are at the top of the game.

Just in time for the mandatory 401(k) drawdowns that will provide selling pressure to the markets for the subsequent decade.

Don't underestimate the trick bag we're all in here. The government has been deferring taxes on 401(k) funds for decades, and they want to get paid. The bulk of the baby boomers start reaching age 70 and a half in 2012, which is the age of mandatory distribution. It will be a massive amount of selling pressure that will not abate until they start dying off in large numbers.

Add to that all of Obama's proposed tax increases that are scheduled to go into effect in 2011-2012, and all the compensation curbs that have been put in place on Wall Street.

Yup. I'd sooner wait tables...lol

Mar 6, 2009

For what it's worth I still regard banking as one of the best careers to have out of undergrad, despite the current environment. Sure, your chances of completing a deal of any significance or ending up in private equity or hedge funds (if that's even palatable to you anymore) is significantly smaller now, but that's a small part of why I felt banking was a good first job (and not just a stepping stone, like it has been used in years past).

By virtue of the sheer amount of hours worked, you learn that much more. In addition, I would argue your maturity level increases exponentially as well. Starting off in PE out of undergrad is nice, but it was banking that exposed me to modeling, pitching, and underwriting all types of transactions - from debt securities, to hybrid debt securities, to M&A/LBO, to situational (defense, etc.). You find that your work quality goes up and you're more efficient because you have to be. So when you finally do do something else, be it PE or whatever, you're that much quicker. In PE, alot of times you need to be self-motivated, you don't have somebody breathing down your neck to get something done. Alot of the pace of work is left to your discretion, so oftentimes, if you are efficient and accurate, you end up leaving the office earlier and working less weekends, etc. Just something banking helps with, as well.

Mar 6, 2009

I want to do banking because of experience I'll get from the job, and opportunities to network with ambitious, talented, and intelligent people.

Mar 6, 2009

Q: Why banking now?
A: To win.

Just my 2c.

Just my 2c.

Mar 6, 2009

Not to hijack this post, but what about the Why Banking question out of an MBA? Is banking only a good deal for undergrad exit ops now? What about career changers with no analyst experience? I would love to hear some advice from the more seasoned people on here like compbanker, junkbondswap, gametheory, patrick, or edmundo if possible. Thanks.

Mar 6, 2009

If you are going into banking out of your MBA it's because that's what you want to do for your career. If it is what you want to do for your career, you better like/love the job, even if the pay can suck for a while.

Mar 7, 2009

Refresh my memory. Aren't you transitioning out of the military? I might have you confused with someone else.

Mar 7, 2009

Edmundo--Yeah you are right, but now with the way the industry is going it is making me think twice about getting out of the AF when I can do 20 years and retire at 42 with pension and benefits for life. Obviously I could start another whole career at 42. Its not banker money but the hours let you live your actual life through your 20s and 30s. Don't get me wrong--finance and wall street appeals to me, but I doubt many who do it now would do it for the same money they could get working a 50-60 hour week at a F500 company.

I live in a nice house in Ohio right now and have some decent savings with no debt. I pay no state tax currently. I would be getting out of the AF to go 100K in debt on an MBA and then work grueling hours to make 150-200K a year (assuming little/no bonus) and then cut that in half when Obama taxes the fuck out of me in NYC while living in a small apartment. You still think VPs will be pulling in 400-500K/year?

Mar 7, 2009

I'll start at the bottom and work up. First, if the guys at the top are limited to $500k a year plus options that are locked up until hell freezes over, I highly doubt underlings will even come close to that figure. Could be wrong, time will tell, but I doubt it. To say it only effects TARP banks is a non starter because almost every bank will be a TARP bank and those few that aren't won't have much reason to pay their people more when the TARP banks are getting away with paying them a pittance (compared to '07 numbers anyway).

Now to your specific situation. Not knowing what you do in the Air Force, it is hard for me to recommend staying in and doing 20. While I do believe we will have a more humble foreign policy in the future (if for no other reason than we can't afford otherwise), no amount of job security is worth getting your ass shot off. I did one stretch in the Marines and it was more than enough for me. I realize the Air Force is a lot different, though.

To the heart of the matter: you'd have to be insane to go 100 grand into debt to get into this business. Leverage your experience and leadership capabilities in ways that will set you free when you get out - not shackle you to a desk and put you in another situation where every day of your life is spent saying, "By your leave, Sir." The hierarchy of a bank is no different than the military and, last time I checked, shit still rolls downhill.

I know I sound negative about this and some people will probably get pissed, but it's the advice I'd want someone to give me in your position. Why go from one government regulated mess to another?

Mar 7, 2009

Wow. No, I am actually in a career field that keeps me stateside pretty much all the time--engineer. I work 9 to 5 5 days a week. I am going to Iraq for a year but I did that for my own life adventure.

This really pisses me off...I spent a lot of time working for a 720 GMAT, not to mention I just committed $6K on Stacy Blackman Consulting's 4 school package.

...Fuck

Mar 7, 2009

That doesn't mean you shouldn't still get an MBA if you're still interested. Banking isn't the only field or the only option you have. It may have been your 1st choice career change, but just think of this as an opportunity to think of other things you'd like to accomplish in the future.

Mar 8, 2009

If you were going into banking for a quick hit and run for an 80 bonus before you follow your true passion then it is a terrible time to be in banking.

If you were looking to get valuable experience that will serve you well in a career in finance, then the incentive to do banking hasn't changed very much.

You want to cry that your pay will be less than it would have been two years ago? You are 22 years old with no work experience. Either suck it up or get out of the way, there is a line of people behind you waiting for the opportunity to do what you are doing.

If you think your time is too valuable to work 100 hours and "only" get paid 80-100k, quit. They don't need you and definitely do not what to hear your whining.

Mar 9, 2009
structure:

If you were going into banking for a quick hit and run for an 80 bonus before you follow your true passion then it is a terrible time to be in banking.

If you were looking to get valuable experience that will serve you well in a career in finance, then the incentive to do banking hasn't changed very much.

You want to cry that your pay will be less than it would have been two years ago? You are 22 years old with no work experience. Either suck it up or get out of the way, there is a line of people behind you waiting for the opportunity to do what you are doing.

If you think your time is too valuable to work 100 hours and "only" get paid 80-100k, quit. They don't need you and definitely do not what to hear your whining.

Well said.

Mar 8, 2009

If you want a long term career in finance, then you can get good experience. That is why I am willing to do a ton of work, so that later down the line I have the experience to do more interesting work. I'm gonna be in finance for at least 20 years, and 100k over the next 3 years that I won't be getting in bonuses is probably about 1/500 of what I will make in my total career. I can live very comfortably on the 100k that I will probably make this year and the next 3 years, and will get really good experience

Mar 9, 2009

2007 Median annual household income: $50,233
2007 Median women income: $35,102
2007 Median men income: $45,113
Medina income of $100,000 or above: 84 percentile of US population

I go to top10 public school. Absolute non-target for banking, but pretty good school for everything else. Average salary after 10 years in work force: $91k for men, $66k for women.

Top 10 most lucrative undergraduate college majors
Major
Starting-Median-Salary Mid-Career-Median-Salary
Chemical Engineering
$63,200 $107,000
Computer Engineering
$61,400 $105,000
Electrical Engineering
$60,900 $103,000
Aerospace Engineering
$57,700 $101,000
Economics
$50,100 $98,600
Physics
$50,300 $97,300
Computer Science
$55,900 $95,500
Industrial Engineering
$57,700 $94,700
Mechanical Engineering
$57,900 $93,600
Math
$45,400 $92,400

"Mid-Career Median Salary" is salary after 10 years of working in the industry.

My point is, some people need to stop complaining about making only $90 - 100k right out of college. Most of our classmates will be lucky to get a job that pays $50k with $3k increase every year.

Mar 9, 2009

Yes, but Marcus makes a good point. There's a strong chance that banking will never return to what it was-- especially in terms of comp and prestige. This translates into the industry's inability to recruit and retain top talent which means exit opps won't be the same and other industries will be the "it" place to work.

Mar 9, 2009
bankerchic:

Yes, but Marcus makes a good point. There's a strong chance that banking will never return to what it was-- especially in terms of comp and prestige. This translates into the industry's inability to recruit and retain top talent which means exit opps won't be the same and other industries will be the "it" place to work.

Do you mean there's a strong chance banking will never return to what it was between 2002 and 2008? And fresh out-of-college kids will not make over $150k their 1st year? And what "it" industries might take over ibanking in terms of comp and prestige? Consulting? PE? VC? HF? PWM?

Back in 2000 - 2001 1st year computer engineers were making up to $80k. At my college a good portion of students got FT offers their Junior year; they didn't even bother finishing college. And that's for students from not-so strong school.

Mar 9, 2009

The assumptions were meant to be stupid because they're based off of your asinine comment on how this is the best time to get into banking.

Your whole argument is based off the assumption that the current recession will last for 5 years... while no one knows how long it will last, its fair to say that unless this seriously becomes a depression (which it may), it wont last past mid-2010. In which case, the best place to be would be a Jr/Sophmore in college since the hiring frenzy will start about the time you're on the FT recruiting circuit.

According to you the best time to get into banking is when it is harder than ever to get in and when bonuses are less than half of what they have been.

Mar 9, 2009
Marcus_Halberstram:

Your whole argument is based off the assumption that the current recession will last for 5 years... while no one knows how long it will last, its fair to say that unless this seriously becomes a depression (which it may), it wont last past mid-2010. In which case, the best place to be would be a Jr/Sophmore in college since the hiring frenzy will start about the time you're on the FT recruiting circuit.

Wouldnt the best place to be during hte hiring frenzy to ACTUALLY be in the business? Like being a VP or MD and raking in huge bonuses, instead of joining in as an analyst, in which case by the time you're a VP, things go down hill, or worst, you lose your job a few years down the road when things go bad? (much like what happened to many who graduated in 06/07)

I think this is a good time to GET IN to the industry, and not actually the best time to be IN the industry. Its all a matter of how you view the future. The analyst class will be very small in the coming few years, and people who are able to get in now, and tough it out till a (possible) boom occurs 5 year down the road, will benefit since there are less people of their qualifications at their age. (of course, assuming that people who get in now, due to competition, are the best of the best)

Another arguement of course is that you know what its like to work during the tough time etc, instead of going in during the good times and getting fired when shit happens. And plus, during hiring frenzy, this is the time when subpar people are able to get in when they would otherwise not.

There's one small catch of course, like some people said, banking might have lost its prestige and the talent will flow away. I personally think we will lost some, but im doubtful we will lose much, considering that there were always more people qualified for the job than there are enough spots, and competition for full time and summer internships have never been more fierce as well. Where are all the talents planning to go, when the whole economy is shit and no one is planning to hire anyways?

Mar 9, 2009

This is what it comes down to - banking is in the shitter, but so is everything else. If you already have an offer, consider yourself lucky compared to the majority of formerly finance-bound graduates who know find themselves shit out of luck.

No one can predict the future with any modicum of certainty, in fact the only true assurance anyone can offer you is that none of us really know what will happen. A lot of people have been trying to figure out what the next hot industry is going to be, as if it's some secret that only a select few are in on. There are no answers to be found.

I truly believe that anyone with the ability to generate an offer amidst the current level of competition could do pretty well for themselves in any industry. If that is in a field you love, even better. Truth be told, I have no idea what the fuck I want to do in the long term either. This particular bit of advice tends to be easy to understand, yet quite challenging to apply.

Mar 9, 2009

The swarms of hiring/firing are not done at the MD level. In 2 years(worst case), when this recession is over, if you just got into banking you'll be an analyst-2. There's plenty of VPs/associates to fill the MD/VP positions that open up along that time.... its is largely an A shaped org structure.... several MDs, a few VPs per MD, a few associates per VP, a few analysts per associate (15 MDs, 45 VPs, 135 associates, 405 analysts). The hiring frenzy will come at the On Campus Recruiting at UG and MBA level.

Mar 9, 2009

Thank you Duno1234!

You saved me a lot of typing, that is exactly the point that I am trying to get across.
It doesn't matter whether the economy will start turning around next year or five years from now. The whole point is that with all the layoffs and small recruiting classes this year and possibly next, there will be a shortage of qualified employees that started in 2008-2010 which will lead to more opportunities for people in that age group; whether it be direct promotions to associate in 2011-2012 or earlier promotions to VP in 2013-2015.

Mar 9, 2009

Ok people this is getting a little ridiculous.

First of all, maybe this isn't as obvious as I thought, but of all the options you have, deciding what level you will be at is not one of them.

This isn't a very sophisticated argument. Bonuses are waaaay down. It has become ridiculously competitive to get into banking. I work at a boutique that is hiring, and we're dinging guys from top groups at top banks.

Yeah it would be preferable to be a 3rd year associate right now, so your odds of becoming a VP quickly would be best. But I doubt anyone on here has that option.

Like I said before, its is an A shaped org structure. So SR people are less effected by the layoffs. What that also means is, that when business picks up, there wont be a HUGE need for SR level people. Yes, if you would have joined in 2004 you would have been in an analyst class of 400, now you're in an analyst class of 225. Thats about the only difference. Of that 175, there is a good proportion of people who weren't even good enough to be contenders for Assoc/VP positions. They never would have made it that far, but they got hired as an analyst monkey cuz the street was hiring hand over fist. The 225 people would have been, for the most part, the top 225 people in a class of 400... so your competition hasn't changed much. Those of you that are recruiting right now know whats going on out there.

In 2005, there were 400 analyst, each one is numbered 1-400 in order of their analyst class rank. Only the top 50 candidates are considered for promotion. In 2009, theres 225 analysts. Only the top 50 candidates are considered for promotion when business picks up in '11. As selective as recruiting is right now, the top 50 '09 class is just as competitive as the top 50 '05 class. Thats what I'm trying to explain to you. So yeah... you're not competing with the bottom 175 analysts. But that doesn't make 2 shits of a difference, because you're not going to get promoted by being the 200th analyst, whereas before you may have been the 300th. The 175 monkeys that didnt get hired, were weeded out during recruiting for much of the same reasons they wouldn't have been top-of-the-class analysts.

Mar 9, 2009

yeh, you dont get to choose of course, and i/we were in no way implying you get to choose (but you do choose when you start as an analyst/associate (if you can get in), which further directs when you might become vp/md)

the original point of discussion was really
"is it better to start a career in say, 2010 as an analyst, or is it better to start during the hiring frenzy in 05-07" IF YOU CAN GET IN NOW OF COURSE

and my arguement was simply that if you can get in now and tough it out a few years, the rewards might be greater, as compared to getting in during 2006, where you are now fired/dont get promoted to associate or vp/get low bonuses during your associate or vp period/ and have a ton of people that were in ibanking fighting for your job

Mar 9, 2009

Marcus, I know the questions is pretty vague, but what qualities do VPs/MDs look for in Analysts to promote them to 1) 2+ year; 2) Associates while skipping MBA; 3) To VP?

Not saying I am trying to plan my future, but just curious

Mar 9, 2009

i see your point with the 400->225 class point. But when the boom occurs, it happens across all levels in the banks, not just on the analyst level. obviously, if you need 400 analysts, you need more associates and vps to handle them and execute deals and transactions. MY intepretation is that if your class is 400, when VP promotion time comes, the economy will nto be booming, and it will be say a 'normal' period, so only 30 VPs will get promoted, while if you got in with say 225 class, during VP promotion times, things look good and there wil be 50 VPs spot. I guess the class size in this point is negligible though, but i honestly feel that there are less of those 225 equally talented people being hired, meaning that there IS less competition, at least from a statistical view.
Put it another way, im just very doubtful that that during the (possible)boom in 5(?) years, the current analyst class that stays on till then will be enough to fill in all those mid level spots.

Mar 10, 2009

What are you guys talking about? You become an analyst because you enjoy that aspect of work - modelling, comps etc. It all makes sense to you or at least it seems more interesting than other corporate jobs out there.

If you're in it solely for the money like some of you are saying:

a) you're MOST likely in college and havent a clue
b) if you are in banking, you are very junior and won't last long

And whoever said compensation is proportional to the amount of hours you work, you're definitely in college. Probably secondary school.

Mar 10, 2009
charlemenge:

What are you guys talking about? You become an analyst because you enjoy that aspect of work - modelling, comps etc. It all makes sense to you or at least it seems more interesting than other corporate jobs out there.

If you're in it solely for the money like some of you are saying:

a) you're MOST likely in college and havent a clue
b) if you are in banking, you are very junior and won't last long

And whoever said compensation is proportional to the amount of hours you work, you're definitely in college. Probably secondary school.

Dude, it's not like kids in highschool (or early years in college) decide they are going to get into banking for the money, despite the fact that they hate finance, business, the stock martket and modelling. No one is going to put themselves through hell for four years of college and then several years of work doing something that they hate. Just like I am not going to become a surgeon no matter how much it pays, because that stuff grosses me out.

It is pretty obvious that most people going into banking like the work aspect of it. But at the same time it is not like it is extremely exciting work, and no one is going to work back-breaking hours without adequate compensation.

We are having a discussion here about the future of the banking industry and whether it is a good career choice for college students entering the workforce. If you (with your "great" knowledge of banking) have anything on topic to add, please do so. Otherwise, your criticisims are meaningless and aren't helping the OP answer his question.

Mar 10, 2009

Isn't the bigger issue the extent to which the government fucks up the industry? No matter how things turn around, if there are huge restrictions on pay packages, credit, leveraging, etc., things will never be the same.

Mar 10, 2009

Who's to say banks will be needing 50 VPs five years from now? Considering our current state of affairs, to say we will be in a new speculative bubble 5 years from now is quite an assumption. My guess would be that things will be pretty slow for a long time (5 to 10 years), even if the country will be experiencing growth. I doubt we will be experiencing anything like the last PE/Asset-backed finance boom. A modern-day version of the 50s seems more like it.

In the end, an analyst stint is still the same thing: you do it for the skills and exit opps, not to become an MD who didn't get burned out like everybody else.

Mar 10, 2009

dude, those are just are just arbitrary numbers, i said POSSIBLE for the boom, and (?) for the 5. And whos to say its not? You're also making the guess that it wil be slow for 5-10 years, and i believe your guess is as good as mine (slow for 5-10 years, however, is a VERY long time though).

but will the analyst stint stil be the same thing as before if you won't be compensated much in bonus anymore? or if you wont be compensated as much even on the VP level? again... just a hypothetical scenario...

Mar 10, 2009

Seems to me there's a consensus that banking is still worth it, as long as you can get in.

Mar 10, 2009

Seems to me there's a consensus that banking is still worth it, as long as you can get in.

Mar 10, 2009

charlemenge, you're a wanker.

Hours vs comp: I was referring to the person who claimed that you would be getting the current sub-par (5-15K) bonus and be working 100 hr week. You will not. Hours are determined by deal flow. Comp is determined by deal flow. Is it possible you'll work long hours pitching, yes. More likely than not, the analysts out there working long hours are in a group with good deal flow. The ones who are sitting on their hands all day, have no deal flow. Poll the people on this forum, the people working 60-70 hour weeks are the ones who aren't getting much of a bonus. The ones working 100+ hours, are the ones still getting good comp(more deals). Don't need to graduate secondary school (is that what you homo Euros call HS) to know that. I'm not saying this is ALWAYS the case, and I'm not saying the guy working 110 hrs is making more than the guy working 90 hrs. Im saying in THIS environment, that is an accurate assessment.

I agree with you about not being able to make it if you're in it for the money. But the bottom line is, VERY few people would be in it if it wasn't for the money. The money makes it bearable.

Mar 10, 2009

^agree

Mar 10, 2009

That's not an accurate assessment, kid. In this environment, even if you have no dealflow you'd be doing lots of pitching because there are so many opportunities out there and plenty of companies are in distress. No one sits on their hands all day in this industry regardless of whether there's actual deals in the pipeline - the MDs always going on roadshows or seeing clients with new opportunities even when there's no deal in the pipeline. In fact, a lot of clients approach us right now (today, for example) for ideas/work these days but never follow through.

Right now you'll be working long hours and getting a horrendous bonus or in fact have got a horrendous bonus. For the rent you pay, I suppose getting 25k pretax as opposed to 15k pretax is a big difference for someone in NYC, if that's what you meant. Which is funny... I've never worked in the US. But if I did the reason I'd want a banking job would be so I could at least afford my rent and buy a piece of bread for lunch. In most other jobs I might have to choose between bed or bread. So much for Euro homos huh, Marcus? Are you working as an analyst?

On the point about choosing a job for money, if you're fairly indifferent between a lot of jobs (banking, trading, consulting etc) and you chose banking because you're after the money and you're conservative (I've always seen this as a conservative hard worker's career path), then life will be quite miserable for you. And the attitude I get from some of you are exactly that.

Mar 10, 2009
charlemenge:

I've never worked in the US. But if I did the reason I'd want a banking job would be so I could at least afford my rent and buy a piece of bread for lunch. In most other jobs I might have to choose between bed or bread.

These sum up your credibility: 1) You didn't work in the US; 2) You think only bankers can afford a rent, and a piece of bread for lunch in NY.

Mar 10, 2009

Heheh.

Well, I should have been more clear.... It is a generally accurate assessment unless you work at a shitty third-rate eastern european bank. I take it since you're living like Oliver Twist, you belong to that group of outliers. Although I'm sure there are plenty of soccerball factories in Latvia looking to bubble-fuck UK banks to give them ideas on how to survive the downturn, I don't think that qualifies as "plenty of opportunities.". If you're constantly pitching, your MDs are busy on road shows, and you're not doing any deals, then you work at a shitty bank. That's why you're getting a turd with a ribbon tied around it for your bonus. If there are plenty of opporunities out there why aren't there any deals in your pipeline? And if there's tons of distress, that means there's tons of deals for distress bankers (ie. the ones doing all the pitching, the ones getting the deals, and the ones getting the bonus). The structured finance guys, DCM, ECM, LevFin... they're not doing shit. How many ECM bankers are pitching IPOs because of all the "opportunities" in distress? Or DCM, or levfin, or structured products?

And the "you must not have any money left after rent" argument works about as well for Euro-fag bankers as it does for Jacksonville, Florida bankers. Your claim to fame is that you live in a town full of peasants where no one wants to live? If you work at a half-decent bank, you can afford rent in NYC in a nice apt, save money, and still enjoy yourself.

Mar 10, 2009
Marcus_Halbersram:

I take it since you're living like Oliver Twist, you belong to that group of outliers. Although I'm sure there are plenty of soccerball factories in Latvia looking to bubble-fuck UK banks to give them ideas on how to survive the downturn, I don't think that qualifies as "plenty of opportunities."

Hahahahahah.

From his NY/rent reference, I doubt he's in London.

Why would you even bother?

Mar 10, 2009

Halberstram droppin the American ether

Mar 11, 2009

Haha it's funny how aggressive you guys get. No I'm not in London or NYC. They are great cities. But in good times, all bankers can get a job there. It's not that exclusive. In bad times, you've just lost your job or probably couldn't find one if you haven't started work already, and you're faced with high costs of living. I'd take HK any day over any of those two places. Get a housing allowance, low taxes and still work on great deals. Poor American kids, did you have to pay state and federal taxes again? Good luck sending your kids through college and still affording that piece of bread for the family.

No. ECM bankers are not pitching IPOs, they are being approached for raisings. Our ECM team is flat out. You clearly aren't working in a bank yet... or maybe the US is just really that screwed.

"If you work at a half-decent bank, you can afford rent in NYC in a nice apt, save money, and still enjoy yourself." Come back and tell me when you actually get a job, or maybe when you come visit Hong Kong.

Mar 11, 2009

It's funny how aggressive WE get? You're the one attacking the wealth of an entire nation. Beyond that, you're trying to perpetuate the idea that Hong Kong is this glorious global financial center that eclipses traditional hubs like New York and London. I'm sorry, but you're wrong in so many ways. It's easier to get a job in HK than in NY and London, no matter what kind of market you're in. Your bankers are not doing IPOs and in particular they're not being approached by any reputable firms for raisings--even during the dot com bubble banks had to fight their way into a lead left position for a good IPO. Lastly, yes you may have lower taxes, but you don't have any advantages beyond that. Ask bankers which city they'd want to work in and almost unanimously you'd get London and New York. HK is for those that couldn't get either. Finally, Marcus has this wonderful little orange star by his name: it means that he has a job. Oddly enough, you do not appear to have one. Why is that?

Mar 11, 2009

What are you talking about? Are you doing a lot of IPOs now? Or did you mean back then - either way unless you're from London (which would be a very strange time to post), I think Hong Kong did more IPOs than your city? I won't even bother to allude to the rankings that I thought everybody knew, because you obviously don't. Oh of course Hong Kong doesn't have any reputable company... how can we be as famous as ML or Lehman?

Whether there're other lifestyle advantages in Hong Kong is a very personal thing. You might not like the culture. Good for you. Have fun wherever you are. I mean it sure looks fun right now.

And yea... so that's how you tell if a person's employed. A star... Wooooo, behold the Star!!

Mar 11, 2009

charlemenge, I do agree with you there, the banks in NYC and London aren't nearly selective as the illustrious ones in Helsinki and Bratislava.

charlemenge's views on banking are clearly not the same as some of ours. Obviously our experiences come from different banks, different cities, and different countries. Some banks are better than others, so people getting shit on at 3rd rate banks in 2nd rate countries will obviously be inclined to make themselves feel better by saying "everyone is getting paid shit, everyone is pitching 24/7 and not getting any deals." I'm in restructuring, and we're doing all we can to not turn deals away. I have friends in M&A, ABS, commercial banking, structured products... and while they may not be working 110 hour weeks... they are at premier banks and they are still getting deals done. Others may be in M&A at Slovski & Hundrich pitching all day and all night and still not getting any deals. Its all a matter of where you are.

The guy at Houlihan restructuring will tell you banking has never been better, he's waist deep in deals and neck deep in the bonus pool. The guy at Goldman M&A will tell you deals are down but are still getting done, people have been let go, and bonuses aren't as fat, the guy at Slovski & Hunrich will... well I'll let you scroll up and read Charlemenge's posts for yourself.

Mar 11, 2009

That's right, I'm in Helsinki and Bratislava. Wherever that is.

Enough slandering anyway for me. All I can say is dealflow is down. Bonuses are down. But we're still getting some deals done. Not too many people have been laid off, though I couldn't vouch for America.

My original point was if you do your job primarily for money, you won't last long. Had no idea how you think I'm from Eastern Europe or even the western civilisation - just because I've mastered your language...

Mar 12, 2009

yeah, you have clearly mastered the language there buddy.

Mar 12, 2009

If you need to go on a forum to get an answer for why you should do something as a career, you most likely won't be successful and more importantly you are an absolute moron.

Mar 12, 2009

I am going to be a SA with a top BB here in the US, but come full time I am really tempted to go for HK. It is the center of the fastest growing economy in the world and is a really, really fun place to be (outstanding night life!). I truly believe that China/HK is the future.

This is not to bash on NY/London, as those are undoubtedly the financial centers of the global economy as well as really great places to live.

Just my 2c.

Mar 12, 2009
Beast Mode:

I am going to be a SA with a top BB here in the US, but come full time I am really tempted to go for HK. It is the center of the fastest growing economy in the world and is a really, really fun place to be (outstanding night life!). I truly believe that China/HK is the future.

This is not to bash on NY/London, as those are undoubtedly the financial centers of the global economy as well as really great places to live.

Just my 2c.

IMO for any place to have a great night life the legit-to-hooker ratio for women in a club has to be a bare minimum of 10:1.

Mar 12, 2009

I'm pretty sure Songdo is the future...

http://www.songdo.com/default.aspx

Mar 12, 2009

If beast mode budgets as much money for rent as charlemenge does, I doubt he'll be too concerned with that particular ratio.

Mar 12, 2009

I'm sorry, we get a pretty good housing allowance in HK - so technically speaking I could blow 100% of my after-tax salary (approx 85%) on that sort of stuff and rely on firm meals.

Mar 12, 2009
charlemenge:

I'm sorry, we get a pretty good housing allowance in HK - so technically speaking I could blow 100% of my after-tax salary (approx 85%) on that sort of stuff and rely on firm meals.

When you say you rely on firm meals, are you referring to a meal comped by your employer or literally a meal with a dense consistency?

Mar 12, 2009

I believe the word 'meal' was merely a figure of speech, while 'firm' is quite literal. Putting that in the same sentence as "blow 100%" was actually rather clever.

Mar 13, 2009
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Mar 13, 2009