Can you make it on Wall Street without turning into a rapacious dementor?

Next up on my reading list: Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits. Kevin Roose, whose  last book recounted his life undercover at  Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University (LOVE THAT BOOK), now reports on the lives of newly-minted Ivy League graduates/wannabe 1-percenters. Via NPR:

“In Young Money, Kevin Roose poses many important questions about the lives of newly minted Wall Streeters, but perhaps none more important than this: “What if Wall Street doesn’t just attract pre-existing douchebags, but actively draws normal people into an inescapable vortex of douchebaggery?” For Roose, it’s not just a glib rhetorical exercise. Over the course of three years, the New York Times contributor recruits and interviews eight anonymous first-year bankers for details of their experiences in the notoriously opaque, reputedly douchebaggy world of high finance.”

For more information, also check out this great interview with the author.

“It was the hothouse environment that they hated…I loved when they started calling the Goldman headquarters Azkaban, because I think that illuminates how a lot of people on Wall Street feel about their workplaces. You’re not free. You’re not your own person. You belong to a giant entity. And for them it was the lack of autonomy, the fact that one small mistake could get you reamed out. It’s a really tough environment to work in. And even if the hours were better, I don’t think it would have mattered. There’s something about that work that seems to make people really disenchanted.”

-On what factors led one recruit to “hang a countdown clock in his bedroom to the day that he would get his last bonus and quit his job.”


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