Wednesday, November 5, 2008
New York, NY—Every year, the trade publication American Banker presents a Banker of the Year award to one individual, celebrating his contributions to the field. This year, however, the magazine took a very Time approach to the concept, giving the award to the collective “You.”
“We just really felt everyone had to be acknowledged,” said Richard Melville, Editorial Director at American Banker. “This massive clusterfuck could not have happened without each and every banker out there.”
Melville’s middle finger to Wall Street, however, has been somewhat misinterpreted by the award’s recipients.
“I’m so happy!” said Goldman analyst Melissa Chang, holding up the magazine like an Oscar. Giddy, she fanned herself with her free hand and added: “I’d like to thank The Academy: my associate, my VP, and most of all, my MD…” Emotion overwhelmed her, but Melissa stammered out: “It just feels good to be noticed…”
“Most Valuable Banker, bitch!” screamed another young Asian girl from over Melissa’s shoulder.
Many industry experts, however, did not take kindly to the act and felt that in these tough conditions, more traditional candidates such as Ken Lewis and Jaime Dimon merited recognition for their efforts.
But Melville stood by his decision. The editor, whose own 30 year long career of financial journalism has been seriously threatened by market conditions, was sardonic as he responded: “I guess I just wanted to say ‘thanks.’” And then he coughed out: “Assholes.”
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