Wall Street bankers find out how the other nine-tenths live, join the proles
Sure, I know that layoffs can be personal tragedies. But when only they happen on Wall Street, to bankers, will the Old Grey Whore get sloppy sentimental. Missed this story the other day:
Wall Street Exodus: Fear, Panic and Anger
Join the club!
THE mind wraps itself around losing a job, one of life’s great traumas, in jagged and swerving fits. When the call comes in, when rumor turns to reality, when it’s not the broker in the next cubicle but you who is presented with a stack of severance papers, the psyche takes over.
"It's not the broker in the next cubicle...." I love it! You know, I've never been in a cube adjacent to a broker... Imagine! I wonder how many people have?
It goes numb. It goes into survival mode. Fear quickly turns into anger. For some, there may be relief in saying goodbye to what therapists call the “psychological terror” that has haunted the corridors of troubled financial institutions since last summer. But what follows — the unknown — may be no less frightening.
"The unknown...." Yeah, like being unemployed? My goodness! Like that's never happened to anyone else!
“These are people’s lives,” said an investment banker in his 30s who was laid off in November from his job at a Bank of America office in New York. “It’s not head count. We’re not cattle.”
Haw. Silly boy! Of course you're cattle! That's why you got laid off! People in the nine-tenths get laid off. Whyever would you think you're immune?
He described widespread anger, mistrust and angst at Merrill, both among those leaving and those staying. “People are reeling,” he said. “The culture has turned. It is a nasty culture.”
No shit, Sherlock, especially since the financial markets melted down after the "complex," "innovative" financial instruments you guys were paid to create blew up in your faces. Boo fucking hoo.
Marlin Potash, a Manhattan psychologist who specializes in financial issues and whose practice has been overwhelmed with new clients from Wall Street in recent months, describes the emotional reaction as “the depression of the depression,” even as she acknowledges that the economy hasn’t ground into a recession, let alone a depression.
“This time versus other times, it feels like there are more moving parts moving faster, and more unpredictability,” she said. “The lack of predictability seems to be taking a huge psychological toll.” After the crash of 1987, for example, the markets stabilized quickly.
And Potash is paid for this? I could have told you that for nothing; in fact, I have been!
Among the patients who have seen Alden M. Cass, a psychologist who treats Wall Street traders and executives, are several who were laid off from Bear Stearns after the bank collapsed.
“They felt as if they were led with blindfolds on into a firing squad,” Dr. Cass said.
Well, they can still afford their shrink. $100 an hour -- that's a little over three months of food for me at my rock-bottom baseline.
Double shot? Cinnamon?