Thursday, July 6, 2006

A Call To Arms


To: *.park@gs.com, *.hsu@gs.com, *.kim@gs.com, *.chang@gs.com, *.chung@gs.com, *.lee@ml.com, *.park@ml.com, *.kim@ml.com, *.chang@ml.com, *.chung@ml.com, *.lee@morganstanley.com, *.park@morganstanley.com, *.kim@morganstanley.com, *.chang@morganstanley.com, *.chung@morganstanley.com, *.lee@citigroup.com, *.park@citigroup.com, *.kim@citigroup.com, *.chang@citigroup.com, *.chung@citigroup.com …

Subject: A Call To Arms

Friends and colleagues, I write you with something that may initially appear nonsensical and scatterbrained but will quickly develop into a riot-inspiring manifesto. Please bear with me.

To preface, my name is Jason Kim, and I’m a 24 year old Korean-American Investment Banker at a bulge-bracket in New York City.

This morning began as any other weekday in my life does. I woke up, took a shower, wrangled for 5 minutes with the plastic covering my freshly dry-cleaned and starched shirts, and got dressed. I did what I always do—I stood straight as an arrow in front of my full-length mirror (my Mom always said what I lack in height I can make up for in posture!) and traced with my eyes the razor-sharp pleat of my right pant-leg from mid-thigh to the bottom, where it gracefully sat upon my well worn-in loafers. I pinched my pant leg tenderly and tugged gently upwards, exposing the opulent golden links below and freeing them to twinkle briefly in the incandescence of my room. *twinkle*

I then applied Bed Head gel generously to my damp hair, making sure to cover all strands so that not a single one would have to endure even a minute of the day unspiked or unshiny. I momentarily ruffled my hair with my fingers and smiled at the Asian Brad Pitt I saw in the mirror. But then, as always, I reverted to the trusty, conservative 60 degree angle outward spike. Still pretty hip, I’d say.

Now it may have been the fumes from the product seeping into my dome or the fact that I used the same gel-covered hands to clean and wash my contacts, but somehow I got the inkling it was going to be a bad day.

Anyway, I got into work without incident and said what’s up to some people and plopped down at my desk with a coffee and started computering away diligently. Things were going fine, and I chugged along diligently. Chug chug. But then I got stuck on one of those terribly brain-teasing bits of arithmetic that only exist in banking.

So I did what I do when I need to think hard, I reached into my pencil case (yes I still have a pencil case even though I don’t really write on anything anymore) to pull out my trusty Pentel PD345. I’m sure all of you remember this seminal piece of product design, it was a clear mechanical pencil with the clicker ingenuously positioned right where you’d keep your index finger. Sadly, it’s recently been discontinued and replaced by some disgusting, bloated new version (the PD345-A).

So I reached into my pencil case to get out my thinking pencil—the pencil you can’t buy anymore; the pencil I’d had with me since middle school; the pencil that I used to get a 1600 on the SATs despite it not saying 2HB on it; the very pencil that I had planned on getting an 800 on the GMAT with. Had planned on. I reached in…and it was gone.

“Shibseki!!” I said to myself. Someone took my pencil and didn’t return it?!

How was I going to think? How was I going to tackle the increasingly complex adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing that I had to do everyday to deliver at my job? How could I do anything without being able to twirl my Quicker Clicker between my index and middle fingers like a fan or being able to spin it repeatedly around my thumb like a helicopter? I didn’t know. I still don’t know.

Now I’m not terribly confrontational (they use this to their advantage), so I just sat and stared at my computer and fumed. I looked over at Frank, a Chinese kid that sits near me, and I knew he felt my pain. He was a good guy—a solid dude. He shook his head in disbelief. He would obviously never do something like this.

And so I sat there, and the anger over the pencil built up inside of me for 45 minutes. Then, after about an hour, I simmered down slightly and realized that maybe this blatant act of theft was acceptable. Fine. It was an understandable mistake, I guess. Whatever.

But, more importantly, what I realized was that this total lack of respect for our love of fine writing instruments represented something much bigger than me losing a dear friend—it was symbolic of the White man’s total disregard for the Asian man in this fine industry we call Finance.

I was set off. The rage and pain and angst I’ve been feeling at this job for the past year has built up inside of me for the past 2 hours and now I’m sitting here writing you all this email, hoping that each one of you takes a second and asks yourself this question:

“Do I really need this shit?”

Is it not enough that they call me the human modeling robot?! And that I am expected to bring the diligence of the 24 hour Chinese restaurant and same day dry cleaning service to pitch book creation while Chester and Madison and Oliver prance off in seersucker to their time-share in the Hamptons to play bocce?

Is it not enough that I have to roll up the sleeves of every single one of my shirts because the sleeves are too long? (On a side note: Turnbull & Asser or someone else, please pioneer the shirt for the Asian Banker. We have several innovative breast pocket insignias to offer: the ying-yang, a golden dragon, or any of the 18 billion Kanji characters. You are guaranteed to capture the meathead college wrestler turned asset-backed securities trader market as well).

And is it really not enough that the only real Asian-American we have to look up to is that retard Carlyle dude Paul Chung? The Tribe and the Desis have so many epic young ballers for their little rockstars-in-training to venerate, can’t we at least get one American-born, 28 year old MD named Chang or Tran or Kim (that didn’t take the MCATs)? [note: contrary to popular belief, Harold from Harold and Kumar is not to be venerated][note: Henry Tang looks like my uncle].

I lay myself prostrate before you my brothers, we have to do something about our situation here on Wall Street, because frankly, we are still the mud-people of this industry, and the situation is not going to avail itself. Our numbers are strong and our accents are rapidly fading; we could soon become the dominant force, my friends.

Please, forward this to any other Asian bankers you know, post this up on your Xanga pages, and let’s band together to end ignorance and rise up from the dregs of the Analyst classes!

But let’s try still to do it kinda gingerly because my Mom really likes telling everyone at Church her son works in investment banking…

Cheers,
Jason


54 comments for this post.

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  1. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Brilliant.

  2. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This one is actually not that funny, except for the height/posture crack. Yeah, asian guys need to distinguish themselves, otherwise they?re just another asian dude with that same haircut.

  3. -6 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    hmmm?think YOU may have sold out. this one is really not funny, i?m disappointed.

  4. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    great stuff, definitely picks up in the 2nd half.

  5. +1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    yes, i agree.. this one was witty, but not funny.. the other ones are brilliant.

  6. -4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Who uses a pencil to write the GMAT? It?s a computer test! Besides, getting a 800 is pretty freaky and not really encouraged. Concerning the shirt sleeves,Jason and his pals should buy some made-to-measure shirts. I guess Jason is not nearly as pompous as Gopal but this story is just not as funny. Are all bankers that dull? The only interesting ones don?t seem to last long or they lose all of their personality after one too many Excel allnight affairs. If Jason is complaining about the lack of Asian MDs, what would Jamaal say?

  7. -7 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Who is Jamaal? Are you making a stereotypical comment about African-American names?

  8. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    1:30PM, Would you prefer me to use Cooper or David? It?s not like they are lacking in role models in IB.

  9. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    When did the readers of this satiric website become so lame? Half the above comments bite the big one, especially the Muffy Benson-Perella-inspired entry on SAT scores. Also, dude commenting on ”Jamaal,” lighten up.

  10. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Jason, don?t despair. I just ran into this signing on to the website of a certain bulge bracket firm. She looks like an MD and she?s a hottie: https://clientlogin.ibb.ubs.com/AuthSSO/images/cp_password.jpg

  11. +9 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    That sir, would be a piece of stock photography some webdesigner picked up on Getty Images with the search phrase ”minority business people shaking hands”

  12. +1 votes + -
    hkballer Said:

    Why don?t you get a field reporter from Asia to tell you how Jason?s peers are living over here in growth-fueled NIRVANA? It?s everything Paul Chung said it is and so much more?the girls are HOT, they barely speak english and due to us being raised on American corn-fed beef, we?ve finally got a mild to moderate height advantage over most of the population. It?s all about the context baby, Ballerific Bob

  13. -1 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    If this (*.kim@gs.com, *.chang@gs.com) was an intentional reference to the Korean law firm, it was quite clever. How does one pronounce the last name ”Ng”?is it ”Ing”?

  14. +3 votes + -
    john ou Said:

    rise up, my yellow brother. (i?m a bond trader but i feel your pain.)

  15. +6 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Haha your a trader. And yellow.

  16. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    yo that peter chung kid might actually be doing equities in dallas i just looked him up on alumni directory and it said he lived in dallas hahaha

  17. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    9:25AM, I am neither yellow nor a trader. However, please make sure your statement is grammatically correct when making a crass remark. Many thanks, Your Superior

  18. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This guys doesn?t know what he?s talking about. The Sanford Pro Touch II 0.5mm is a far superior writing utensil.

  19. +5 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    the pencil that I used to get a 1600 on the SATs despite it not saying 2HB on it Dude, how could you have gambled your future on this? What if the answers from this non-compliant pencil failed to register in the machine reader?

  20. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    the first part is too bateman-ish?

  21. -15 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Leveraged Sell Out must be the worst kind of shit on the internet, no doubt! Whats the point? Is it funny, NO. Is it good, NO. But, its useless. (OK, I admit Ive actually met some people in finance as stupid as on this site).

  22. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You guys are worse than a gaggle of geese. Guy afraid using a 2B to write a SAT? Chill out and loose that straight haicut. Many thanks your superior? Please I gave up on those when I was 10. The thing about most of you is that you take yourselves too seriously. Just lighten up dudes.

  23. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    what about the pentel erasers in the keropi holders? every korean kid in my elementary school had those.

  24. -3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    hate to sound like a douche but what is ”the tribe” – desis are obviously brown people.

  25. +1 votes + -
    hairykrishna Said:

    Men with small members never fair well on Broad and Wall.

  26. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Boggle-tastic! These are my confessions (usher music in the background): consultant, not even a firm you?ve heard of. My life: half the firm outsourced to Asia?send them anything you want, go surfing in the morning, sit back and read this blog while waiting for your for your ppt back. Enjoy NYC financiers!!!

  27. +2 votes + -
    Jeff D Said:

    Tailored shirts would solve the sleeve length problem.

  28. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    You are amazing – what an imagination.

  29. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Its even funnier because some of this shit is so dam true! especially the mother/posture crack!

  30. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    you should write an article on ”financial consultants” ? not consultants, not bankers ? just douchebags i.e. Mercer Oliver Wyman Marakon Associates First Manhattan? and the list of crappy firms goes on and on?

  31. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    PE Bitches!

  32. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    you should write an article on ”financial consultants” ? not consultants, not bankers ? just douchebags i.e. Mercer Oliver Wyman Marakon Associates First Manhattan? and the list of crappy firms goes on and on? Miller Fuckbire too. God, what a total bunch of douchebags. Maybe they?d like to bring IBC out of bankrupcy before the end of the decade? What a great racket? they get to put these companies into BK, go to the head of the line of creditors in bankrupcy, and take equity in the reorganized company at the end of the process. I quote Rodney Dangerfield from Back to School: ”Fuck me?? No, fuck you!”

  33. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Maybe a little too close to home for some, but the quality is high as usual?

  34. -16 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This site sucks. Obviously this person went to Rutgers, or some SUNY. I went to Princeton and I have the taste to know good writing.

  35. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    To the douchebag above, you so obviously didn?t go to princeton, but Vassar. And yes I am a Vassar basher, and the creator of this site actually went to princeton.

  36. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    ‘This site sucks. Obviously this person went to Rutgers, or some SUNY. Since you clearly have poor grammar, please elaborate on your definition of good writing.??? Your ill-worded prose should be construed as follows: This site sucks. Obviously, this person went to Rutgers or some SUNY. I went to Princeton, and I have the taste to know good writing.

  37. +4 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    for all the asian bankers, Brooks & Polo Hong Kong make ”asian fit” sleeves? ship that shit.

  38. -1 votes + -
    yellowman Said:

    Dude, Brett Easton Ellis is so 80s.

  39. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    I have about 10 of these Quicker Clickers and thought I had a source for more of them but it turned out it was for the new ones, SHIT. paydro@usa

  40. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Don?t knock SUNY. Binghamton has a niche group of people smarter than your average well-fed inbreds at Cornell.

  41. -8 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    Y-O-U SPACE S-U-C-K

  42. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    12:28 – The Tribe is Jews (and we will continue to dominate)

  43. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    To really appreciate the subtleties you need to have really close asian american friends or be one yourself. And if you are, I?m sure you can relate! This is a great non-ficition ”day in the life of?” Lets see more of these!

  44. 0 votes + -
    anonymous Said:

    asian bankers are so hot.

  45. 0 votes + -
    Andreas Said:

    The Good days in New York are over. Welcome to the reality. The world doesnt put its money in you guys?God bless Globalisation?USA fucked itself with it.

  46. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    This is exactly why all asian american dudes are destined to become homosexuals (not being anti-gay, this is just a fact). They are focusing way too hard on their image in the corporate world and forgetting about their own women. Have you noticed how many asian women are with non-asian guys these days??? It?s out of control. You guys need to check your bitches.

  47. -2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    That?s great. Soon the whole population will get asian blood.

  48. +2 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    btw. I took that pic. nice job on stealing it off my website? and the pic is of two drunk college kids at a new years party. not ibankers. by any stretch of the imagination.

  49. +2 votes + -
    Patrick Bateman Said:

    Great article, but you missed one thing. Bocce is a game of the middle class.

  50. 0 votes + -
    PE Rockstar Said:

    come on bateman, we all know you love knocking balls around.

  51. 0 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    https://www.pentelstore.com/catalog/index.php?grp=784&osCsid=5a23fd9d603995a20617d11d86cbb437

  52. 0 votes + -
    Chelsea Said:

    With your hectic schedule, i?m really impressed that you had time to create this masterpeice Unfortunately for me, I have not yet set foot into the full time banking life style, so I would not know how Asians are treated, but you definitely sold me on this. I suppose once (and if) I get to your level someday, I would be able to provide a more thorough response ~

  53. +3 votes + -
    Anonymous Said:

    shibseki~ LOL! As an asian girl, I must admit I am pretty tired of hair spikes circa 1996.

  54. 0 votes + -
    sellout Said:

    lol that retard carlyle dude lol! priceless

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