Young Money | Kevin Roose

Summary of: Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits
By: Kevin Roose

Introduction

Embark on a revealing journey through the world of Wall Street’s post-crash recruits with Kevin Roose’s ‘Young Money.’ This book summary aims to provide a comprehensive yet digestible understanding of life inside some of the most prestigious and enigmatic financial institutions. Uncover the recruitment process, corporate culture, and personal sacrifices made by these young analysts as they balance their ambition with their morals and passions. Prepare to delve into the challenging truths of life on Wall Street, from the aggressive hiring tactics to the demanding hours and the high price of success.

Wall Street’s Early Bird Catches the Best Graduates

Wall Street companies actively seek out and pursue young talent on university campuses before they even graduate. They spare no expense in enticing exceptional candidates with fancy presentations, interview workshops, expensive dinners, and follow-up calls. Ivy League graduates with job offers prior to graduation are mostly going into the financial sector. The hiring process is aggressive and competitive, with companies using Jay Z-style promotional videos in their presentations to lure the best graduates. The interest shown in exceptional students is akin to “polite stalking.”

Wall Street Temptations

Wall Street is not just for those with a background in finance. Ivy League schools are the main attraction for Wall Street firms when hiring, but there are exceptions. The “two and out” plan attracts many students who want to pay off their student loans quickly. However, this results in a class of “accidental financiers” who may not have a passion for finance and end up with heartbreaking stories. Despite its appeal, students need to be mindful of the consequences before giving in to the temptations of Wall Street.

Life as a Wall Street Analyst

Wall Street analysts work grueling hours, sometimes clocking 100 hours a week, including weekends and holidays. They are expected to be constantly available, always working and collecting information for the next project. Even the slightest mistake can lead to criticism from superiors, who treat first-year analysts unfairly. Analysts are compensated through annual bonuses but often lack support and encouragement.

Wall Street’s Sacrifices

Wall Street analysts face detrimental consequences to their personal lives and health due to long hours, stress levels, and limited movement. Such effects are disclosed through Derrick Haven’s job or relationship ultimatum and Arjun Khan’s autoimmune disease caused by poor lifestyle habits. Cocooned in office buildings, some firms have in-house amenities for conveniences leading to disconnection from the outside world. As a result, the sacrifice of work-life balance and physical wellbeing becomes a norm for Wall Street analysts.

Young Analysts Bridging the Wall Street Disconnect

Occupy Wall Street gains momentum from young analysts who empathize with protesters’ anti-Wall Street ideals.

During the protests after the 2007 market crash, Occupy Wall Street emerged as a movement against the insatiable and ruthless pursuit of power and money that Wall Street symbolized. However, the seasoned Wall Street professionals did not think that the young protesters’ demands were credible. The case was different for the younger analysts who had friends or family members that supported the movement. They could relate far better to the protesters than the older professionals.

Many young analysts, like Goldman Sachs’ Jeremy Miller-Reed, started to feel guilty about their jobs when faced with the protests. They empathized with the ideologies of the young protesters and felt they were on the wrong side of the protests. Though Wall Street work was like any other industry, many Wall Streeters rarely got to speak their minds on deals and assignments – often, mundane work like Excel sheets or pitch books.

The J.P Morgan analyst felt frustrated by the public’s inability to differentiate between those at the top and juniors like himself. He compared the public’s assumption to accusing all players on a team of a crime when only one of them is guilty. In general, young analysts played a significant role in supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement’s anti-Wall Street ideas.

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