Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Addicted to Money (NY Times article by Sam Polk)

I'll admit it -- from time to time I've read about the million$ that young kids are making on Wall Street and I've felt jealousy. I could have done that, I say to myself... and I'd be stinking rich by now.

Somehow it never occurred to me as a career path. After reading this article by Sam Polk I'm happy I didn't try to go down that road.


I hope that link works for you (with the Times' paywall) because it's a really great read. Here's one of the money quotes:
From that moment on, I started to see Wall Street with new eyes. I noticed the vitriol that traders directed at the government for limiting bonuses after the crash. I heard the fury in their voices at the mention of higher taxes. These traders despised anything or anyone that threatened their bonuses. Ever see what a drug addict is like when he’s used up his junk? He’ll do anything — walk 20 miles in the snow, rob a grandma — to get a fix. Wall Street was like that. 

It somehow never occurred to me before that money could be that addicting -- but of course it makes so many things that rich and powerful people do make more sense, once you really absorb the idea.

In any case, thanks to Sam for giving me an eye-opening look at what it's like in that world... no doubt in my mind that Wall Street would have been a toxic environment for me. No regrets anymore about avoiding that career.