Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Are some rumors self-fulfilling?

So, this is a challenge to figure out - are rumors self-fulfilling prophecies? Consider this:

I work for one of the firms included in there, and I know for a fact that the numbers at our firm have not been decided as yet. Some of my friends at other firms have told me the same - so who is promoting this propaganda? Do the analysts working at some of these firms really think that putting numbers out there would help them get bigger bonuses? Maybe it might have some impact, but for the most part, it would just be a rude awakening to some and a pleasant surprise to others. so, why do this? I'm lost!
who would have thought?

It's almost a year we graduated from business school. Not yet a year since we started working. I believe one-sixth of my classmates who started working in banking have switched jobs within the last six months - in less than a year! why does it happen so fast? why do people jump around within a year and within the same industry? As far as I know, none of the moves have been to upgrade - most are moves within the same tier - all of them involve bulge bracket firms, so compensation or reputation is not a factor. then why? Is it because people get disenchanted with the firm they joined, find they don't fit in well b'coz of the "asshole factor" prevalent at most wallstreet firms. They move, only to find out that the new place is not really very different. what if I become a culprit of the same, now that I am exploring? The issue is I would never know unless I take a leap..

Monday, February 26, 2007

This last weekend was my first weekend in 8 weeks, when I was at work only for a couple of hours. I did end up working for more than 10 hours from home over the weekend though.

Over the weekend, I caught up with a friend I had not met in years who lives in another country and I had another friend who lives in another city visit. It was a pleasure just talking to these guys about stuff - life, work, issues, anything. These are people I have known for years and I can sit around and talk to them forever. Of course all good things come to an end, but small things like these are the joys of life one looks forward to.

And going back to my post a couple of weeks ago, again why do we work so hard?
The Price of Wall Street

In Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities,” Master of the Universe Sherman McCoy lists all of the daily expenses that are draining his Wall Street pay of $1 million a year.
There’s the $21,000 monthly mortgage payments on the Park Avenue apartment, $116,000 for the place in the Hamptons (those were the days!), entertaining, restaurants, private schools and $65,000 a year for furniture and clothes. “I’m already going broke on a million dollars a year,” he exclaims.
The same might be said of some of today’s Wall Street bankers. In my print column today, I cite a new study by Prince & Associates that looks at how Wall Streeters plan to spend their record 2006 bonuses. The findings are surprising: They spent 11% of their bonus on watches and jewelry, 11% on art and other collectibles, and 16% on homes. They saved or invested 16%.
As I point out, the bankers deserve to splurge since they work so hard and the financial-services business is doing so well. As one banker told me, “I work 18-hour days, six days a week. I’m sitting on planes for 20 hours straight and I’m dealing with high-pressure decisions. I deserve rewards.”
Yet the risks are that the good times won’t last forever — that low savings rate could catch up to them if there’s a downturn. As Wall Street sage Peter Solomon told me, “This is a cyclical business. We’re in a period of easy credit and people throwing money around, and no one in investment banking should assume that next year will be better than last year.”
If only Sherman McCoy had said the same.

(This article is from Wall street Journal)

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Yesterday someone asked me - "why do you work such long hours? Of course, it must be the money, but what would you do with all the money?"

Now, this sets a chain reaction in my tiny brain. Food for thought - is it really worth it? Reminds me of an old story - Some americans on a vacation in a small island of Greece come across a young fisherman, who looks poor by their standards. But all he does the whole day is lay on the beach with a net in the sea and wait for fish to fall in his net, while he is soaking in the sun. Day in and day out, that's his routine every day. The americans are perplexed by that, especially since he does not seem to have a lot of amenities. So they approach him one day and ask him why does he not work harder and try to have a better life. The perplexed fisherman asked them to explain. So, the americans explained to him that they could help him develop a business plan such that he could start by catching more fish every day, and eventually build a large fishing empire. The fisherman asked the americans what would he attain by giving up his lifestyle and working so hard. The americans replied so he could retire rich, live on an island, lay on a beach doing nothing in his old age. The fisherman replied - so you want me to give up my youth, work like a dog for 20-30 years to achieve what I already have right now?

Life is not so simple, but the question yesterday did make me think. Why do we work so hard, making numerous sacrifices now for a better future? We miss out on the small pleasures of life, compromise in our relationships day in and day out, to what end?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

and it's 15th of February. Phew, how did I get from December 31st to February 15th, I have no idea. It's been a crazy 7 weeks. I have had to cancel dinner plans 7 times in 7 weeks. If this goes on, my friends will stop inviting me to anything..

And yesterday, I had to cancel my valentine day plans. This must be one Valentine Day a lot of people had to cancel their plans and blame it on the snowstorm. I wish I could blame it on the snowstorm in NY city!

Is this worth it?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's only tuesday night, seems like it should be friday. So, how does one decide on a candidate's eligibility in a half an hour phone conversation or even a half an hour meeting. I have interviewed several people recently over the phone for our summer internship program - I liked one of them and did not like another one right away. The third guy was a bubble in my mind, and it was not easy deciding at all. He did not seem off the chart smarts and he was not dumb. And then there are recommendees by someone higher up in the firm - should that play in their favor or against them? Two schools of thought on that one - if the recommender is very high up and does not directly influence the interviewer (esp in a big firm), it might not be as favorable for the candidate as it would be if the candidate was recommended by someone in a position to influence the interviewers on a day-to-day basis. Ofcourse the reputation of the recommender is of huge importance.

and then there are assholes at every firm who need to be involved in everything and go on a power-trip when they do you deal with such?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

so, the Superbowl was a disaster for Chicago fans - sorry guys - I feel the pain...I just turned on HBO to see one of my favorite movies is on - That Thing You Do. Nice movie - I still like the movie though Liv Tyler does not seem "that" beautiful as she did once. I still like the drummer in the movie the best..

The book I am reading these days - "How to have a Beautiful Mind" is pretty interesting - though it's easier to preach than to practise for sure. Any fans of Edward de Bono out there? the only thing is I have read less than 15 pages in so many days - ofcourse not a page a day..
I went out again last night - alone this time, and hence did not venture far. One of the bartenders at the bar was kinda hot :) It's rare with my job that I can go out more than one night in a week. This has been exceptional week with me going out three nights, and who knows about tonight - it's superbowl after all... For now, I am back at work on a sunday afternoon - anyone out there for a coffee????????? :)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I feel like I need a whole new set of friends, and do something creative and fun. Seems like over the past year or two, I have gained a lot and lost a lot more. People crave financial stability, and now that I have made it to where I am, I feel that I have lost something important in the process. anybody out there feel the same?