Thursday, August 12, 2010

48. Open Bars

48. Open Bars

Since bankers are grinding 24/7 at work they’re always looking to take advantage of any free time they have at night. With that in mind, the idea of an open bar, let alone a FREE open bar, is Christmas come early for a banking analyst. An open bar lets analysts act like they are back in college again, which isn’t too far in the past. The only issue? That they are in fact well paid employees of a top global company and represent the company in all of their actions….yeaaaaaa F that. Definitely not the first, second or fifth thing going through an analyst’s mind.

Soooo naturally one or a few people are going to enjoy their freedom a bit too much and think they are back in college. Simply drinking too much to the point of getting sick is no big surprise, since banking hours have made the analyst’s tolerance suffer. What I love is when an analyst not only drinks to the point of getting sick that night, but shows up to work the next day looking like he/she was hit by a truck and proceeds to make sweet love to the toilet bowl all day. Embarrassing? Yes. Big deal in the overall pyramid of drunken mistakes? Not really.

The mistakes can be amplified as you move up the food chain at a bank. I have heard stories of a married VP who couldn’t his alcohol and decided it was a smart idea to get in a cab and ask the cab to find him a hooker. Fortunately this VP had a trusty analyst hop in the car with him and remind him in not so gentle words that he was married with children and should probably go home. The VP agreed and said that he would hop in another cab to head home, thanking the analyst for reminding him. It would be OK if the story ended there. But instead, the VP decided to hop out of the cab and start sprinting away from the analyst. Out of shape VP < style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 10 points for the analyst, -50 points for the VP in the “Good Guy of the Year” award.

Want to know what can amplify any open bar mistakes? Open bar during the summer when young 21 year old interns are in tow. Oh yes, fresh meat. These college kids are ready to party to stay in shape for their senior years, and the analysts on up want to prove that they can still hang in terms of drinking. Disaster ensues. The mistakes can be “innocent” like a VP dancing around like a fool on bar tops, unaware of the fact that analysts have camera phones nowadays. Innocence can go to the wayside when the older folks decide that the interns are grownups, and should be treated as such, so the bankers decide to grope the analysts while dancing. Oh yes, this happens. Groping can lead to….yeah you get the drill. Open Bar + Summer + repressed i-bankers + young, eager interns = recipe for disaster

These are just a few examples of the various events I have been a witness to or heard stories about. You can add on to this drunken open bar bowling event stories, EDs stealing things from bars, fighting with random people in the street and ordering lobsters at 4:30 in the morning. The stories are endless. Feel free to post some of your best to amuse the rest of us. Enjoy saying goodbye to the interns if you haven’t already!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Follow me on Twitter!

Please follow me on Twitter as I find a new outlet for more bitterness (and humor). Feel free to send me any advice or ideas you may have for future posts. And don't use the "we can't use twitter at work" excuse. That's soft. Find a work around or check when you get home. It's not like you have a girlfriend besides good ol' Palm-ela H-anderson. Now follow me fools!

47. Kids' Excuse

47. Kids' Excuse

(6pm Friday Night)

VP: I need you to run these scenarios through the model and update the deck as of today’s market close for the meeting on Tuesday.

Analyst: Do you mind if I do it tomorrow? I was hoping to go to a friend’s birthday dinner at 7.

VP: No I need you to do it tonight. There will be plenty of birthdays.

Analyst: Yup, ok. Are we going to go through the deck again tonight?

VP: No can do, need to get home to the kids. We can go through it this weekend. Heading home now, thanks.

Typical VP and Directors, they are more than happy to neglect their kids most of the time, but when they ask you to stay late when it is completely unnecessary, they are the first ones to break out the kids excuse. “Oh yeah, I need to get to little…….Timmy’s….I mean Danny’s clarinet recital.” Really sir? I thought you had a girl? And since when do they have recitals on Friday nights? The same guy who just told me my personal life means shit is all of a sudden this great family man who can’t miss a recital. And by the way, you make a million dollars a year, how about you buy the kid a real instrument, like the bass.

Trust me, I would love to be able to use my kids as an excuse to leave but unfortunately I’m not even allowed to go out on a Friday night to meet a girl who I might have a kid with one day. They should making a dating website just for investment banking analysts. It would be similar to JDate, catering to a certain group of people. It would harken back to our middle school days where a “relationship” was seeing a girl in school and going out on a weekend once a month, but otherwise only really talking over AOL Instant Messanger. That sounds like a great way to move a relationship forward, at least it always worked in 8th grade.

If you want to use your kids as an excuse for leaving me stranded on a Friday night, at least let it be known at other times that you do in fact have kids and a wife. It’s called being “personal” with your employees. I see you as a friggin drill sergeant who shouts orders at me and makes my life miserable. I may actually respect you and want to work harder for you if I think you are a good family man. Maybe replace your stupid deal toys on your shelves showing how much money you have helped bring in with some photos of your wife and kids and/or an ugly fire truck your kid drew, and I will begin to buy the story. Until that day, how about you let me enjoy my Friday night and just update your damn pitchbook that you don’t need for another 5 days at some point during the weekend. You’re not reviewing it on Friday night anyways, you’re busy at the recital!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

46. Citigroup

46. Citigroup

$50 million corporate jet? $400 million stadium naming rights deal? Really, Citigroup? Really? For a company that would have completely folded, a la Lehman Brothers, Citigroup seems to still think it is the leading bank in the world. It took hundreds of columnists and TV anchors discussing the stupidity of buying a corporate jet when facing bankruptcy for Citigroup to realize the purchase might not be the wisest decision. Are the people there that dense? Learn to use the phone or teleconference. Let’s put this into an everyday context: Let’s say a friend of yours said he was going broke and if you didn’t help him out with a loan his family would starve as would other people who depend on him for employment and money. So because you are a do-gooder always looking out for others, you decide to lend him some money to help him and his dependents out during these tough times. You overhear this friend a week later talking about the Porsche he has his sights on and is going to buy that weekend. Now, would that make you very happy? Probablyyyyyyy not.

Maybe Vikram and crew figured $50 million would go unnoticed since they have been given so much and no one is going to comb through their every purchase. Fine, be na├»ve and think the government won’t check up on their investment. But when you are about to pay $400 million over 20 years to brand your name on a stadium for the New York Mets, I’m prettyyyyy sure the government will not miss that one. I understand that if you want to work your way back to profitability you are going to have to do some marketing to nab rich investors and other customers. But is the best usage of $20 million in marketing dollars each year to put your name on a stadium in Queens, New York? I think it might be a bit wiser to market on television and print, which is quite a bit cheaper and reaches a broader audience. Citi could have paid for about 7 Super Bowl commercials with that kind of dough. And they would have reached over a hundred million Americans, rather than the bums who are venturing to see New York’s second class franchise play in Queens. Also, this deal eerily reminds me of another great financial institution that decided to go the route of naming a stadium, a little company called Enron. I mean it worked out well for them, so why not? If you asked a group of individuals throughout the world which they think is more well-known, the New York Mets or Citigroup, my money is that Citi would win. The Mets are a second-tier franchise in baseball, whereas Citi has been one of the leading financial institutions for many years. I don’t think Citi needs to link themselves up with the Mets, unless they want to advertise to the world that they are a second-rate bank…

I know I am not the only way saying all of this, but I think of Citi like an alcoholic, the more time the alchy is told he has a problem, the more likely he is to seek help and stop the drinking. Citi is like a alcoholic, stoner, meth-head and glue sniffer all tied up in one. Get a clue Viky and either stop the excessive spending or find yourself a new company to run into the ground.

Monday, September 29, 2008

45. Recession

45. Recession

The past few months have been the equivalent of someone taking a nine-iron and taking swings at your head. Occasionally the club hits its mark and knocks your lights out, and the other times it missed and you throw the middle finger up at the swinger…who precedes to clock you the next time. Lehman? Buh-bye. Bear? Adios. WaMu? Mooove on out. And the list goes on. If you are one of the “lucky” analysts who has kept your job in i-banking, bravo! Despite the hellish hours being spent pitching companies on the idea of IPOs in this shit market, at least you’re still bringing in the big money. And for those of you left to suffer in the worst job market in decades, at least you don’t have to spend all of your waking hours going down on your 20 and 30-something year old associates. You can never try to find your passion, that job you always wanted, rather than the job you only learned about sophomore year in college when you realized that girls dig a guy with cash.

The one thing we can all agree on is this market royally sucks. That bonus from a month ago that you decided to put in stocks because the market had bottomed out? Yeah that’s probably dropped about 20%. Not looking so hot anymore. Plenty of people will tell you, “You’re young, in 5 years when the market is back to normal you’ll be making money.” Thanks for the advice numbnuts, but if I had hid that money under my pillow like any sane person I would still have the same amount of money, and not ¾ of it.

To continue the random tangents of this blog, I’d like to point out to everyone that it doesn’t matter if you’re an i-banker, mortgage broker, gas attendant or bum on the street, everyone has to take some blame for this shitshow. When everything was going well over the past few years, we were all profiting and no one was complaining. Joe NoMoney who couldn’t afford a home suddenly had a nice 3-bedroom in Connecticut that he was able to pay the mortgage for because he could just keep refinancing as his home went up in value. Sure you can blame the bank who decided to not check Joe’s credit history or anything and just give him an adjustable rate mortgage, but at the same time Joe should’ve thought to himself that eventually he’d have to PAY the mortgage payments. You could also blame the investment banks, the Government, and everyone’s favorite couple: Fannie and Freddie. Back in 1999 they decided they’d help out the common folk and buy up this Subprime mortgages ignoring what could happen if housing prices stopped rising, because why would that ever happen…

Link to article about Fannie and Freddie in 1999:

Hilarious explanation of the Subprime crisis:

So while most Americans blame the government for not bailing out the banks right now and have tighter regulation, I say to hell with everyone. These are the same people who during the boom times feel the government should stay out of everyone’s business and let free market principal’s rule. Well if you want the government to let the market figure itself out in the good times, then you must suffer the bad times when people get too loose in their actions and forget about moral hazard. I know it’s awful and I wish the government would come in with the quick fix, but a lot of these companies deserve to fail for giving mortgages to people with no money and who produced no documents. Every sector suffers because of the decisions of the financial sector to produce these risky mortgages that were so profitable for a time. It’s an awful thing, but if we do not want to all suffer like this we’d have to give up the free rein we’ve had for so long and give in to some government regulation. I am all for the regulation, but I just hate that once things get going well again, people will brush off the government and begin begging the government to take off the restraints and let the market roar once again with morals pushed aside.

Good luck to everyone during this tough times.