Before the big bang in , if there were losses, you had to pay for them. But that quickly changed to the American way of doing things: the one-way bet. Bet all, lose nothing? Pretty much. It was a huge casino when I started — if you screwed up, you could lose your job — and my senior colleagues would tell me that the casino could blow up at any time. They say, "The best trick the Devil ever pulled was to make everybody think he didn't exist. They can never lose.
Catching Up with the City Boy Who Spilled the City's Secrets
I still don't understand how they got away with that. And everybody else is paying the costs. How important is cocaine in the investment banking business? A lot of people used cocaine in my time. It's the perfect drug for city boys.
It's glamorous, it's expensive, it gives you a buzz like you get on the trading floor. For me, it was useful to get clients on side. We entered this Faustian pact.
We both knew we were doing something illegal that could lose us our jobs, so we bonded. A line straightens you right up. Are there sex parties for city boys? There are orgies, man!
And what's the worst thing that could happen to you at a sex party? Not being able to get an erection because you've done too much cocaine. There's this company called Killing Kittens who book a big house in, say, South Kensington and fill it with sex toys and playrooms. There are always more women than men and the women are in control. Surely not all bankers conform to the coke-snorting, sex-psychopath stereotype?
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No, but some do; especially Euro-trash bankers. Loads of French and German guys go there and the Germans are really into it. Everyone knows they're perverts, though. How did you get into the banking business? You had no idea about finance before, did you? My brother was a banker and he got me the job. Sounds professional.
City Boy | Judd Greenstein
I think the very same day, one of the guys who'd interviewed me took me to his mistress. We went to a strip-club and he pointed at this young Brazilian chick pulling her butt cheeks apart, who turned out to be his girlfriend. It was after that I thought, 'This job's alright.
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This could be OK. That's depressing.
What kind of men tend to work in investment banking? The bonus system exacerbates it, because it's a precise way of keeping score of how "brilliant" you are. If I get a million pounds and you get two, that means you're twice the man I am. And the market, which is God in that world, has spoken. Obviously a lot of the guys are evil bastards, too. Some of them would sell their grandmothers to make a quick buck — the psychopaths.
There are a lot of studies that investigate investment bankers being psychopathic. What are the key features of psychopaths? They're manipulative, deceiving, charming, have no empathy, no remorse and are guilt-free. I worked with loads of people who were like that and they were the best bankers. You're a better banker if you don't care about other human beings.
If you organise take-overs and know that thousands of people will lose their job because of it, you best not give a shit. And stuff like insider trading happens a lot? Yeah, it happens all the time. It's disgusting because it's not a victimless crime. Every Morning. Tell Everybody I Know. Love Blues. Victims of Comfort. Anybody Seen My Girl. She Just Wants to Dance. Am I Wrong. Come On In My Kitchen.