Re: The Mysteries of Chet


My experience suggests the following:

Derivatives guys aren't Chet. Traders aren't Chet. Hedge fund guys aren't (or at least, until recently, weren't) Chet. Hell, even sell side *analysts* aren't Chet.

Where do you find Chet? Among guys who spent their time selling transactional work. You don't need to be a genius to structure an IPO, or (some) M&A deals. And even there, you will find fewer Chets than you imagine.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 5:31 AM
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"But if this is so, are there wonky types behind the scenes, making the actual money decisions? Strangely enough, I take it that there are not, otherwise there would be all these rich, but wonky, investment bankers. As far as I know, there aren't any."

I believe this is your error. Yes there plenty of morons like Chet --- they are generic salespeople, no different whether they are selling cars, software, or financial products. I personally am amazed that they do the job --- when I encounter them, my attitude is to want to slap them silly, pee all over them, then get the hell as far away from them as possible. It is certainly not to listen respectfully to their bullshit then cut them a check. But each to his own.

Anyway the point is that, how would you know who is doing the real work in the banking world. Do you live in Manhattan (or perhaps SF) and hang out in financial circles? If your interaction with these people is not through real work but through a social process, there's a kind of self-selection going on. I have, for example, two fellow physics grad student friends that I know of who work as quants. These are normal, sane, intelligent people, not twits. They have zero interest in hanging out at country clubs playing golf. Such wealth as they have is being conserved for things they really care about like early retirement, not being used to impress the proles around them. How would you ever run into someone like this?

You can, for example, read both of Andrew Lowenstein's books (esp the one on LTCM but also the more recent one on the 90s bubble) or Emanuel Derman's _My Life as a Quant_ to get an idea of the smart people in finance. I imagine, for example, someone like John Merriwhether would have exactly the same sort of attitude to Chet as you and I do, "upperclass twit", the main difference being that he would be able to get past this to the all-important question of "how can I use this twit to maximally benefit myself".

Posted by: Maynard Handley | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 5:46 AM
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As a rising college senior surrounded by countless future-IBankers (and as someone possibly headed for grad school, ruing my lousy life choice), I think I might have an adequate answer: you nailed it with #3. There are a few mathematical prodigies or lower middle class kids who happen to be brilliant but need to pay off $120k of debt, but for every one of them there are five products of the market failure. Even in college, most future IBankers are smarmy, popped collar frat boys and athletes living with others just like them. Like other colleges, we even have a frat populated almost entirely by rich, white, conservatives with glittering dollar signs in their dreams. Here, it's SAE, quasi-humorously referred to as Same Assholes Everywhere; another friend at another school calls it Sexual Assault Expected. Either way, you get the picture. Besides my memorable run-in with the curve in freshman econ, my number one reason for avoiding I-banking is without question these kinds of loathsome people. And for #5, see #3. These guys do study, since it does take a good GPA, even from my Ivy, to get a Goldman Sachs internship. But when they do, it's about how Latin America is an emerging market or how to prevent recalls when your product explodes upon use. (That last one is entire true. I had a well-intentioned Econ major roommate who stumbled into a class on Law and Economics, in which the prof actually explained the economic benefits of losing a child, right after praising Ford's non-recall of the Pinto even though they had designed it as Molotov cocktail on wheels.)

Posted by: Gump | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 5:55 AM
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Well, I think -

(1) you are discounting the seductive wonders of Chetland - there are more than a couple of dorky people I know who went to Wall Street and, through successive exposures to strip clubs, have become more Chet-like;

(2) you are overestimating the value of superb intelligence and underestimating the value of good intelligence + hard work + a willingness to do a fair bit of grunt work. Chet is more like the latter;

(3) you might be confusing people about how bright Chet is. Chet is not stupid; he's just not ever the smartest guy in the room. But, baa, come on...think of the very smartest guys you know from college and ask yourself how many spent any time on Wall Street. I know a number of smart people who went there, but the scary smart people always ended up in academics or something sort of weird but cooler than you'd have thought really happens.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 6:18 AM
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It doesn't take that many super-smart people to make a difference. My theory is that at least one I-bank is run single-handedly by an Indian guy I went to college with who was like the god of Econ. He's probably the eminence grise behind a good seventh of these Chet people.

And there's one guy I went to high school with who used to take BC Calc in ninth grade, who worked at an I-bank for a while. I knew someone who worked with him, who said that when he left he had to be replaced by an entire department.

Posted by: ac | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 6:22 AM
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I just have to reject the premise on this one. As it happens, quite a number of my college friends spent some time on the street. Some dropped out to do other business work, or law. Several remained. All of them are sharp, sharp folks. One of the smartest people I know works at a hedge fund, and his colleagues are uniformly impressive. This isn't a isoalted observation, either. A friend of mine who works at MSFT laments that they are losing all the elite talent to either Google or the Street.

My current job gives me some exposure to the sell-side analysts who cover the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors. Again, these are impressive people. Even in the most "Chet-heavy" segments of I-banking -- the transactional people who are basically selling simple financial services -- the best people are superb.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 6:34 AM
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Also remember they need some people who haven't a clue so they can stand up in front of the regulator and say, honestly, "we didn't know".

Posted by: dave heasman | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 6:36 AM
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Yeah, I think you're just meeting the wrong people if you've never encountered smart people running hedge funds.

For the last four years, I've helped run the endowment of a non-profit educational foundation. The good managers of all funds (hedge funds, bond fund, small-cap equity) are smart as hell. Now the marketing people they often drag along, that's another story.

Meeting these managers disabused me of the silly notion that the smartest people can be found in the academy.

Posted by: Frolic | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 7:16 AM
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Much of my work revolves around advising banks and other financial institutions. I'd say the work breaks down into three streams. a) Market- Facing Quantitative Finance projects. b) Mid to Back Office Risk Management and ALM projectc c) Financial Controll and MIS projects.

What has struck me in recent years is the commoditisation of the skill sets needed to play in the Quant area. In terms of simple IQ the teams I work with in a and b contain equal amounts of raw brain power. Some of it can be quite frightening to go up against. What differentiates the people is the extrovert/introvert divide and their risk-aversion in terms of career. The girls and boys working in the structured-finance products fields are all extrovert and all have a much higher risk-appetite than their counterparts in Risk Management. None are stupid.

It is however noticeable that the level of formal qualification in the backoffice jobs is rising fast. As the schools turn out rapidly increasing numbers of quants, the competition has become just as brutal as for the classic broker roles.

Selling plain vanilla products/ services has always required clubability and competence over technical brilliance (we have people for that!). Horses for courses. It is as Alameida suspected, the clubability hurdle that ensures the I-Banker stereptype is perpetuated.

Posted by: Austro | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 7:17 AM
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I think it's two things, one of which you suggest and one of which you don't. The first is that many of the things that Chets do (not just banking, but sales of various kinds) are semi-invulnerable to their Chetness. That the economy runs in a way where the variable ability of Chets only creates a small difference. There are crucial exceptions to this at key points in the economy, but by and large I think this is so--it is a machine that runs well even when the oil greasing its motors is thin.

Second, and a couple of other commentators have observed this, it has more to do with the sociology of your (and my) encounters with Chet-types. Chet lives in my neighborhood because my neighborhood is a very nice, pleasant, middle-class/lower-upper middle-class neighborhood full of modestly successful professionals and middle-managers. The people doing the heavy lifting are someplace else, mostly outside of my social world: I may encounter them in more rarified circumstances, but not on a regular basis. They're mostly not very Chet-like, and in any event, I know less about the interior circumstances of their lives than I know about Chet's.

Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 8:12 AM
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Also, and I think SCMT mentioned this before, the truth is that most high paying jobs, in all fields, require lots of mindless, tedious work in the entry level positions. True of law and I-banking. Though Chet has certain draw-backs, and though (for some reason) he wasn't able to muster the energy in college, Chet is up for that kind of grueling work. And he stays cheerful about it. That's a pretty substantial strength that Chet has; I often envy the Chets for it.

The big I-banks weed out a lot of the creative types who are unwilling/unable to put forth the effort on tedious tasks. It's not that the Chets don't have a certain kind of intelligence, my sense is that it isn't a creative intelligence. Really, large banks only need so much of that.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 8:24 AM
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First off, I think I went to the same place as Gump. It is possible, in fact, that I know who Gump is. I share the sentiment. But I also know incredibly smart people who went into I-Banking from the same school. These are not the frat boys, and some of them are the rich right republicans that you deplore, but I do have to take some, not offense, but something to what you said. I'll choose a billy club.

I-Banking is not Quant. Lazard Freres does mostly M&A work. Like most service industries, LF is in the business of hiring people full-time (and then some) to do things that no company will hire someone internally to do. This runs the gamut of topics, from analyzing a certain sale to determining whether a certain sale will be profitable. Most of this is/was modeled out originally by someone else much smarter. The contact I've had with bankers, however, at a higher level than right out of school, is that they are intelligent.

Ownership. I-Bankers are not employees. They are, instead, owned property. Each year, they get paid for their life over the year. They get paid well, but they must get paid well enough, for where will you get someone who will stay up for 72 hours straight working on a power point for a client, when you pay them $45,000 a year? This, I've heard, is much like the legal world.

I-Bankers aren't even the highest paid, or bonused, of the financial world. This goes to the traders. Some of whom are quants, others who are not. These people, while not often the smartest guys in the room overall, are usually very savvy at what they do. Either that, or they get fired.

Now you may be saying, "Well shit! But why should Chet be making more than the guy that modeled it in the first place?" Because without Chet, LF (or whomever you choose) would not make any money off the deal. Chet's job, first and foremost, is to secure a relationship with a client, and to maintain that relationship. This is a revenue generating position. While the modeler guy is not a pure cost-center, and is indeed important, once he lets the model out of his hands, there is no real revenue generation from him beyond the marginal generation produced by Chet using Mod's model. Remember, a bank is about making money. I believe someone once said about marketing and software (and MSFT), that you could build a subpar product and with a good marketing and sales scheme outsell a great product with a mediocre marketing and sales scheme. That marketing scheme is Chet.

Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 8:28 AM
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What baa said. Chets are just the visible face of a part of the business world that includes a lot of very very smart people.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 8:37 AM
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I have to admit that all those fellow social-register types I meet in East Hampton are probably self-selecting for Chetness to a high degree.

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 8:43 AM
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I'm not sure I have that much to add, but when did that stop me?

1 - there are some wonks, especially at hedge funds as folks have mentioned. Liars Poker is a dated, but fun read that touches on the influx of rocket scientists into mortgage-backed securities. In the picture he paints, the guys who run the show are still the "big swinging dicks".

2 - Smartness and inquisitiveness don't always rise together. I think your way of judging smartness (cultural awareness, smart party chatter, other?) may miss exactly what these sorts of jobs select for and indoctrinate into - selective, aggressive cunning without much questioning of the way things are. Other than that, it's just part of the sales job that derivatives are so complex. I knew an economist who specialized in insurance and he went to work for one of the leaders in derivatives and he said nothing they did was terribly complex.

3 - there's a huge amount of research showing how social networks affect everything that's done in financial markets, right down to the moments on the trading floor when there are crisis swings. it's still an open question whether this is market failure or just that a market is really when a bunch of people get together to talk about buying and selling. but the picture of frictionless flow in financial markets is far from the reality. this begs the question of what then is different between economies that seem to allocate capital relatively broadly through independent markets and those that can only support big privately owned conglomerates (ie most developing economies).

4 - if you make a percentage of every IPO and acquisition that's made, and you get to dole out cheap new shares to your well-connected buddies, then the punishment for choosing the "wrong things" is pretty weak and delayed.

5 - See #2. Also, Felix Rohatyn? Robert Rubin? Yes, a rare breed.

Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 8:45 AM
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what cw said

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 8:52 AM
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Piling on with baa--The guy I knew as an undergrad who had maybe more math skillz than anyone (you know how, if you do high school math competitions, eventually you get letters saying, "Sorry, you suck. Here is a list of people who don't suck"? He was always on those lists) went on to work at a hedge fund after he got tired of math in grad school. He was still there last I checked.

On the other hand, this was a fund that AFAICT was particularly well known for seeking out people from the Ivies who hadn't followed typical Wall-Street career paths in college.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 9:12 AM
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Thirded. I know a few physics and chemistry PhD's working for Wall Street firms; to a man (and for whatever reason, they're all men) they tell me that the math is trivial and will admit that Wall Street was a second option when no position of sufficient impressiveness opened up for them in their preferred field.

I think it sounds like we're attacking Chet. I'm not. I went to school with Chet. I roomed with Chet. I hope to be the man Chet's wife cheats with. Hell, but for the awareness to say it and the extraordinary work ethic the best of them (him?) has, I am Chet. And once every few weeks, I go out with some friends and revel in my Chet-ness. At a minimum, I'm certainly not working from a scale that ranks Chet above me in any interesting category.

(NB: In my world, Chet has always been known as "Biff".)

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 9:14 AM
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Fucking Weiner. I'm thirding cw (and seconding text).

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 9:16 AM
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Fucking Weiner.

Do you always have to talk about that?

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 9:19 AM
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I totally agree with tweedle, et al. I think that part of the reason why we underestimate many bankers' intelligence is that most of us in humanities rarely cross academic paths with the kids on the traditional Wall St. path. When the odd History or English major winds up in finance, we tend to label them as "one of the smart ones" or "one of the good ones". And while there are some kids who seem like they've memorized one too many Gordon Gekko lines, they don't end up being the 20% that last beyond the first two years of data entry.

What most of my friends find repellent is less the econ major's apparently vaulting ambition than that their ambition is solely related to the production and acquisition of wealth. And that's why we all end up as striking TAs or freelance writers moonlighting as bartenders.

Posted by: Gump | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 11:12 AM
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One of my better TA's as an undergrad was a guy in his 30s who decided to leave his job in banking and finance to go pursue a history PhD. FWIW, I think he's also the only one of my TA's in the humanities who's gone on to get a tenure-track job and, I think, tenure.

The funny thing is that even though he said he left banking because he was tired of it, his dissertation ended up being on the history of banking and finance.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 11:27 AM
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Brad DeLong has an interesting explanation as to why Chet is paid so much - as far as your question was posed. But tweak the question a bit differently in terms of Chet being a highly paid tax attorney ...

Posted by: pgl | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 12:59 PM
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It's the same thing. As I noted in my comment, it's a) about making your client money, and b) the firm owning your life and your time. Weekends are just another billable 48 hours.

Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 3:51 PM
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the thing is, I know plenty of Chet-esque lawyers who make lots of money (not as much as Chet, obvs.) and they share many traits: ruthless negotiating skills, schmoozing, working day and night. the lawyers, in my experience, are a lot smarter. I don't think people have to know Latin or know shit about Nietzsche to be smart or whatever.

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-16-05 9:35 PM
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Help me... I work among the Chets...

Posted by: Jeremy Osner | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 6:25 AM
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The guys running the corporations are all Chets, so of course the other Chets do well. In crony capitalism, connections are all-important and actual smarts are secondary. Even Chet-related disasters like Enron will not change this.

Posted by: Tim H. | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 6:49 AM
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Wasn't the Enron disaster in some ways a failure of meritocracy?

Posted by: ac | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 7:20 AM
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I knew a guy who took BC calc in 9th grade who was one of the math-competition guys Weiner mentions. No idea what became of him. (Another super-smart guy, probably smarter than the 9th grader, and I (not nearly as smart as either of them) took calc & physics b in 10th grade. I think that kind of thing is largely dependent on how much you payed attention in math in 5th grade.)

I believe someone once said about marketing and software (and MSFT), that you could build a subpar product and with a good marketing and sales scheme outsell a great product with a mediocre marketing and sales scheme. That marketing scheme is Chet.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 9:11 AM
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Oh whoops. After the italics was supposed to be a link to Richard Gabriel's "Worse is Better" essay.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 9:13 AM
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I've read all the posts here and those over at Brad DeLong. Incredibly to me, it seems very much to me that a basic assumption made throughout is that compensation is based on meritocracy. It's not.

Now I have no doubt that the Chets of the world are reasonably smart and some very smart. But it seems quite clear to me that getting to be Chet starts in high school when you get that internship with an I-Bank through connections. That, family money and a good prep school get you to the Ivy. Which leads you back to the bank. From there the bank gets you into B-school, pays your way, and takes you back at the far end. Now with all that education, it's hard to be a total dunce. But the thing is that it's hard to break into Chet-dom if you haven't started before college because the qualifications are self-generating and passed down in a non-meritocratic manner. There is simply no entry-way. And so it is that Chet-dom is simply an attractive way for people who are rich to pass along their fortunes to their offspring.

Posted by: Huh | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 1:20 PM
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Augh! You have to get an Ivy degree to become a well-paid dim bulb? Nobody told me that when we were discussing where I should go to college!

Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 1:41 PM
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Maybe you can transfer to Brown.

Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 1:49 PM
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nobody interns at an I-Bank in high school. This is getting to be a little paranoid. Even if they did, I don't think that internship would play much of a factor in getting them into an ivy leage school.

The entry way is not that complex. (a) Major in econ (neither the most difficult nor easies of majors) while in college. (b) Get close to all A's. (c) Interview well. Connections will help you as well, but I know I-bankers who didn't have them in college, much less high school.

So the thing is: you have to be fairly smart to get all A's in econ, but it doesn't require a lot of creativity. That's fine. Most I-banking jobs don't require it, but they require other things that are equally rare.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 1:49 PM
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Interviewing well is the Chet weed-out stage.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 1:52 PM
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L., see point 3--you blew your chance at Chetdom well before deciding where to go to college. It's Dad's fault.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 1:56 PM
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I just contacted my friend who I thought most likely to have interned for an I-Bank in high school to ask him if he constitutes a counterexample to your claim. He responded: yes, I interned for a small, boutique bank--I was technicall on the research side of the bank, but part of our job was to support our bankers.

I can safely assume that he is not the only person who went to my high school of whom that is true.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:02 PM
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I knew a guy at college who had to take a year off because a woman brought a sexual assault complaint against him. The disciplinary committee sent him away so she could finish her last year in peace. While he was away, he got a job in the House of Commons as a legislative aide for a Tory MP. Which of course looked great on his resume when he was applying for I-banking jobs the following year.

He and the Indian Econ god were the two guys that got offers from all the banks.

Posted by: ac | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:02 PM
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Text, please get the fuck out of my head. I would only add that I think family does help, but most by pre-training you for a certain kind of life. If your dad is an I-banker, saw you but two hours a week, and you still had a happy home life, you probably have a much better idea about how to reconcile (in choosing your mate, etc.) the long hours you'll work with a home life that you're taught. The same thing happens in every field.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:03 PM
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35 -- I think that is true. People with stuff unnecessary for chet-dom are often weeded out that way. But if so -- great. "Interviewing Well" could be a stand-in for a lot of different attributes, some negative.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:03 PM
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I wonder what you thought I meant by 35, text.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n, no friend to chet | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:06 PM
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wd -- the survey would be to see how many i-bankers actually interned for an i-bank in high school. My guess: marginal percentage at best. For one thing -- a bunch of high school kids would just get in the way.

The even more ludicrous claim was that the i-banking internship would help get you into college. The reason that is nonsense is that college admission folk are hardly chet-types. They would much rather see that you lived for a month on an Indian reservation, or something like that. Of course, Dad's i-banking money would help, yes.

SCMT -- I will not leave.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:09 PM
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I think that college admissions types encourage chetdom, but chetdom of a different stripe.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:11 PM
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My friend wouldn't even be a tally in your survey then, he's a consultant. Which probably doesn't take him out of chetdom.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:11 PM
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I just meant to repeat what you said in a less cogent manner, bw. My m.o.

I have ambivalent feelings about chets. No fan of them personally, but I can see why they are compensated for what they do, and I don't think they involve a national conspiracy.

The scarier wealth consolidation stories involve those that never fill entry level positions.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:13 PM
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The scarier wealth consolidation stories involve those that never fill entry level positions.

My personal wealth-consolidation plan—marrying money—will involve a good deal of filling entry-level positions.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:15 PM
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Haven't I already told you, Ben, about the great line whose author I can't remember? When you marry for money, you have to work for every cent you get. I don't think it means the kind of work you're hoping for.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:18 PM
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You did tell me that, ogged.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:19 PM
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I would hope that there is some variance in the positions you are planning to fill.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:19 PM
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One of my wife's groups of friends are all chets' wives. I luckly don't have to interact with the chets at all. The wives all seem nice although they did almost convince my wife to send my eldest kid to an absurdly expensive elementary school.

Posted by: joe o | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:20 PM
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Yebbut, marrying money != marrying for money. Maybe the Shrew (kidding!) just happens to be really rich.

Anyway, I like Woody Allen: "Jenny married money. Not an actual human being - it was a pile of singles." Which makes what Ben said sound pretty gross.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:21 PM
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I don't think they involve a national conspiracy.

Yeah, I think people are confusing two things, here. Chets often move up by merit, at least as judged by the system within which they work. The system is or intends to be neutral, and really is just about getting more cash for the company. That doesn't mean the system actually measures the right things. There are people (e.g., some physicists) who claim that people in finance aren't really doing anything other than telling a pretty story for investors. The better you tell that story, the more likely you are to advance. But the people doing the judging actually believe that story, so it isn't as if they're consciously picking good "story-tellers".

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:23 PM
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marrying money != marrying for money

This is true, but Ben said his plan was to marry money, which just might = marrying for money.

And don't we already know the Shrew's name?

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:25 PM
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My plan is more twisty than you give me credit for, ogged! It will involve either the Beeblebrox Manoeuvre, in which I will operate upon my own brain so that, without knowing the true motivation, I am attracted to and compelled to seduce a wealthy woman, or the Roman Holiday (Revised) Gambit, in which I fall in reciprocated love with a woman without knowing her true status.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:29 PM
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What if instead of Roman Holiday, you end up in Charade? Other than being in a better movie, you're screwed.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:35 PM
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It's not like Peck and Hepburn end up together in Roman Holiday, you know. Hence "Revised". And I've never seen Charade.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:37 PM
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Oddly enough, that remark seemed kinder with "The Shrew" rather than her real name. I'm not sure why. Maybe the specificity makes it really mean.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:38 PM
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I agree with 57.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:39 PM
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I recommend Charade, though not being a character in it.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:43 PM
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Time to take a page from L's playbook: Anyone know of good (or existing) law (or law related) summer jobs in New York which are open to people applying approx. five months late?

The first "or" is inclusive. I suppose the second one is too, can't have a law job that isn't law-related.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:57 PM
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So you're looking for jobs that are either good but nonexistent, or existing but bad, or both good and existent? Are you sure the first "or" isn't "and"?

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 2:59 PM
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Existing but bad is fine because of how late I am.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 3:02 PM
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Going to be hard this late.

Try working for a (very) small firm -- the kind that doesn't do a big fall recruiting push. The idea would be -- no promise of future employment, but I'll be your research monkey this summer.

Or, if money not an issue/ you have enough student loans to live on, try clerking for free for a judge in the SDNY. You would be a secondary type clerk, but depending on the judge, do a lot of real-clerk type things, and because for free, easier to get.

These are very general ideas. Sorry.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 3:05 PM
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Or maybe it's just mean to accuse a specific person of dating Ben.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 3:09 PM
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or, even better, run away from law right now and don't look back. Go watch a movie.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-17-05 3:10 PM
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Heh - I hadn't meant my point to imply that one had to intern at an I-Bank during the summer - though there is little doubt that that is one path. Rather I'm suggesting an overall paradigm. I'm saying that getting access to the high paying I-Bank jobs - that goes for big Law and big consulting jobs too - is something that by and large only opens from the inside.....It's a connections driven world and industry. Sure it's sales - It's always about sales. But as one of my I-Bank friends said - sales is a lot easier when I use my Dad's Rolodex.

Can you go rags to riches? Sure it's anecdotally possible - but it's really really hard - and therefore highly unlikely. Even the WSJ of all things has been running a series of articles about the lack of weath mobility lately. I don't actually think that's very controvertial . . . but it does answer the question of why Chet makes so much . . .

And Washer, I'd agree with text about running from law. . . except that you probably have about a zillion dollars in loans that you have to pay off....

Posted by: Huh | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 7:39 AM
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Reading all of this has given me an idea.

In my RL existence I am a senior manager for one of the "Big Consulting" houses. I work mostly with banks on the Risk Management and Financial Control side - designing and building strategies, systems and processes yaddadaa yaddaday... Actually the work can be cool, demanding and rewarding.

It is not a mono-culture though: I also advise non- Banking clients in the field of financial systems and processes.

We are in the process of rebuilding the practice in Vienna (defections after merger etc etc) and are currently recruiting juniors. I thought I'd announce in the thread that if anyone has a good degree

with a vaguely numerical content, or indeed in business, is interested in banking and finance, can speak german already or would be prepared to

learn it prior to starting, would be prepared to locate in Vienna Austria (yes EU work Permits could be an issue) and would be prepared to start at the bottom in consulting, then I might have a job for them.

No promises etc... but we are definitely hiring and are having a hard time finding the quality we demand.

We work with quants and controller, rarely with Chet, although you need to be able to persuade him too, cos he tends to be the boss.

if you are interested, email me at the address below and we can start the veil dance. I m wary about giving my identity away here at this moment. In return i ll accept anonymous CVs for the minute.

What Im not looking for is minds in suits. I want minds that criticise and then "solve" intelligently.

No promises, but I'm willing to give this a chance.

Posted by: Austro | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 11:05 AM
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Awww, dude. I'm so not quant. If you ever need a MarComm guy, gimme a jingle.

Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-18-05 11:12 AM
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Nice site.

Posted by: Pacific Poker | Link to this comment | 01-24-06 12:31 PM
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I think we're all missing a big point with Investment Bankers. By and large, the people paying the bill for Investment Banking are spending other peoples money. And when people spend other people's money, they notoriously overspend.

One of the real culprits here is lazy capital , taken in by I Bankers the same way they spend too much on lawyers, accountants,themselves etc.

Posted by: Dave | Link to this comment | 03-25-06 2:04 AM
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