Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Several times a year, I receive a forward in which some young analyst at an Investment Bank has flipped out, decided to quit, and written an embittered email manifesto to his group detailing his thought process. These emails ring of both anger and haste, and, without fail, they carry the tone of “I’m meant to be doing something better than this.”
I read these emails, and I chuckle. I laugh not only because these kids are raging pussies but because their naiveté is overwhelming. It’s as if they’ve had some sort lack of sleep induced revelation and are convinced that their true “path” has suddenly become clear—they aren’t meant to be working on pitch books for deals that alter the global economic landscape or doing complex analysis—they’re meant to be “using their minds.”
The most recent one of these emails is from a young analyst at some small shop called “UBS.” I hadn’t really heard of it before, but apparently they are not only “everywhere,” they’re “right next to me.” To which I say: How the fuck did you creep up into my prestigious-ass building, UBS? And no, I do not want your estate planning services!
Anyway, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate hubris; I applaud it. But when someone is so deluded to think that he is better than Banking, he is advertising his stupidity. These kinds of people don’t understand the solid fundamentals that come with getting one’s hands dirty, and it’s obvious that these quitters are just scared of a little hard work and the occasional all-nighter.
Grip some Red Bull and shut the fuck up, kids—everyone has to put in dues. You think Scott Kapnick was bitching about long hours when he started out? What would have become of King Leonidas if instead of braving the cold and killing that beady-eyed wolf, he had just set his spear down on his desk and ran away like a sissy? They would have ended up like you, UBS: jobless.
In the spirit of being scientific, I had the drones over at Sunday, LLC (appropriately, the sad little personal assistant startup of an ex-CS-Banker) pull me some historical data on all these “Fuck you. I quit” Banking defectors. Ran a quick little regression, and the results were just as I had speculated: R2 of 1.0 with the line going straight to shit.
Turns out that storming out of finance violates what some might call “the cardinal fucking rule”—it leaves you no outs. Those that have left are forced to take on small business ventures, work random in-house corporate finance jobs, and return, hat-in-hand, to family businesses. Guys that were once a part of an extremely elite finance set are now living godknowswhere, dreaming of the past and trying to apply their rusty DCF skills to the income they’ve managed to stuff underneath their mattresses (“$12 valuation, baby! Woo!”).
So I ask our UBS friend: are you worried about the significance of these data points? Has it occurred to you that perhaps you should have taken a moment to breathe and think before you made such a rash decision, squandering your life and the opportunity you had been so lucky to receive?
Perhaps there should be a counseling center for Bankers on Tilt that could save these young confused souls and guide them back to sanity. Perhaps their MDs should be instructed to give them another shot and forget about the momentary insanity. But then again, perhaps not.
I’m fairly certain all these kids were destined to be pretty shitty Bankers anyway, so the only net loss was that someone missed out on the sheer pleasure of informing them of their bottom tieredness and the joy of presenting them with a measly $2k bonus. No big deal.
Thanks for quitting, guys—you would have been weeded out anyway.