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Wall Street bankers find out how the other nine-tenths live, join the proles

Blog_CBO_Income_Inequality_2007Sure, 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.

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Double shot? Cinnamon?
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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

these are bright, articulate people, who have had a nasty splash of reality. these are exactly the sort of people who are ready to question the value of an employer based insurance system. they might be receptive to HR 676.

Submitted by lambert on

And let me be Bud White! Takes two...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by cg.eye on

Is Axelrod Dudley Smith, or the weasely blackmailed LA DA?

Please cast KO as Sid Hudgens? Please? Please?

(couldn't resist. i am weak. convinced we're in a road show of The Cold Six Thousand....)

hypnot's picture
Submitted by hypnot on

I can't bring myself to go read the article, so I hope you'll help me out. Did it mention that these depressed unemployed brokers had been in the business of buying and selling other people's livelihoods to make sure that they and the stockholders could suck up what would have gone to the employees of the companies they wrecked? Did it mention that it was on the basis of their advice that the wrecked companies' employees' insurance and other residual benefits went up in financial smoke rings? Did it mention that if these financial geniuses had been any good at their jobs, they would have seen what was coming?

These insiders find themselves temporarily rubbing shoulders with the rest of us. The old song goes, "Once I built a railroad … ." What did these self-pitying vampires build? If a broker falls in New York City and there's no Wall Street Journal to hear it, does anyone care?

Call me when they've had a change of heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

enormous financial cushions and have assets and stuff that would support them for years if needed--the problem we have w/Wall St jobs disappearing is those who depend on those companie/guys throwing their money (and massive annual bonuses) around--it's the trickle-down thing that really hurts people--these guys only have wounded egos--they're not gonna be homeless or hungry like the busboys/waiters at their favorite restaurants/bars or the salespeople at clothing and other stores, etc.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

...was worried about my friend who does computer for a similar bloated company who got fired months ago because he was almost "out of money"--then they told me that they had to borrow against their life insurance...not what I would call rock bottom. Turns out they still had health insurance too.
Not like my other friends who farm and do construction who have two weeks of money left...they are going out and getting even more jobs...and they already haven't been able to afford health insurance for the last few years...
What's that line about one family's ceiling is another family's floor?
(And guess who was first in line to help the other family?)

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Very few ever learn. They do belong to a different breed. They are special. This where it stays even when they only find a job at Mickey D.

It has nothing to do with left or right. That's why the big religions tell you to be humble, to need little worldly possession and help the poor. In plain language, it's on the books but no one practices it.

Ian Welsh's picture
Submitted by Ian Welsh on

graph. You guys at Corrente are giving me all my stats porn lately.