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Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits Hardcover – February 18, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446583251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446583251
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014: If Martin Scorsese's film The Wolf of Wall Street is about the finance industry's greediest adults, Kevin Roose's Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-crash Recruits is a look at those wolves as cubs. The book is a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of the kids starting at Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Credit Suisse (it's less sympathetic toward their bosses, who come across like shameless versions of the parents in Peanuts comics). These young bankers and analysts discover that while the pay is good, the hours are bad and the never-ending sense of existential dread is ugly. But perhaps the great irony of the crash of 2008 is that even as it eroded the industry's reputation in the minds of college students, the job market it decimated left those graduates very few employment options. Despite their hesitations, many scared twentysomethings entered the finance sector, as one of the few institutions that was still hiring. Roose suspects that banks attract "confused, insecure college seniors, who are smart and capable in a general, all-purpose way, but aren't phenomenally talented at any one thing." Most of the eight workers Roose follows end up burning out or quitting; the ones who succeed and stay in finance--you feel the worst for them. --Kevin Nguyen

From Booklist

Roose, a financial journalist and author, offers a compelling glimpse of Wall Street in the post-2008 recession era as he shadows eight first- and second-year entry-level analysts at leading investment firms. All college graduates in their early twenties, they give him unauthorized access to their own experiences and lives in return for absolute anonymity. We learn about their big bonuses and lifestyles along with 100-hour work weeks. Roose is quoted, Their offices are covered in moldy takeout containers . . . . They dress in whatever is left in the clean laundry bag . . . and haven’t seen sunlight in two months. The author discovers the toll the 2008 recession has taken on Wall Street, shrinking it significantly with lost jobs, and he also cites emerging competition for recruits from the growing technology industry. Overall values in this generation may be changing, too, as a student and potential Wall Street recruit said, Everyone wants to make money. But when I’m working in the place, I want to know that I’m doing some good. A thought-provoking, excellent book. --Mary Whaley

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Customer Reviews

My main objection to the book is that it doesn't feel serious.
Ole Jastrau
Overall, a good book and a very easy read, but we've heard some of these stories before and, while still compelling, can feel a bit dated.
Matthew J. Duane
I have a friend who is looking to get into finance and I'm definitely going to recommend he read this book.
Michael B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 75 people found the following review helpful By SN2013 on February 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book offers incredible insight into the lure of Wall Street for young professionals and explains the reasons for why despite all the bad publicity that Wall Street has gotten in the past couple of years, smart young people are still flocking to financial jobs.

Pros:

- Quick read. Written by a journalist, the language is very accessible and enjoyable.

- No stereotypical traps or cliches. More often than not, Wall Street books are riddled with cliche's and contain information that has already been widely reported and offers nothing insightful to a reader.

- The subjects of the book are diverse! This is the book's biggest plus point. The author focuses on 8 different young professionals who he interviewed over the past 3 years. And for a change, they actually represent a good cross-section of society- different races, women, socio-economic backgrounds etc..

- The banks and divisions focused on are also diverse. The book examines different banks and their different sub-divisions, which is good for those who may want to learn about the workings of the financial industry.

- It can be difficult to write a non-fiction book without strong opinions about your subject. Few authors manage to avoid that trap, and Kevin Roose luckily happens to be one of them. He humanizes his subjects without passing too much judgement either way. I found myself invested in the people he was describing and caring about their narrative without any unnecessary intrusions from the author's own thoughts.

Cons:

- None! This book is like a sociological study on finance today and young finance professionals that for once does not paint 22 year olds as greedy sociopaths, but instead more accurately portrays them as 20-something bright, passionate, somewhat confused and lost, college students who are trying to navigate the system to the best of their abilities.
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Ole Jastrau on February 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book because I've long had a macabre fascination with the junior analysts and the banking "lifestyle" (which seems to mean the lifestyle of people just starting out after college who live in apartment shares and piss away all their money trying to make girls at clubs think they're rich). I work in financial services, but I came to finance later in my career. I've never worked in a bank, so I don't know what it's like, but my colleagues who have didn't have an experience resembling this.

The book is amusing in parts and a quick, easy read. My main objection to the book is that it doesn't feel serious. It comes off mainly as an excuse for Roose to do "research" by spending a few years partying and going out for dinner with his college buddies. Then at the end of it all, he can write a cautionary book of amateur sociology.

Roose's most interesting observation is not new: smart and talented but risk-averse college students go into banking after they graduate because it's an easy way to continue the achievement oriented lives they're used to, and because it saves them any hard thinking about what the heck to do for a career. The descriptions of the lives of first- and second-year analysts are entertaining, and the subjects are likable. At some point Roose even decides his college buddies are too likable, so he goes out of his way to attend the Fashion Meets Finance party so he can report back that in fact, yes, all the people he hasn't met are awful. And that's the key problem with the book: it seems like he's working hard mostly to reinforce all the prejudices he started with.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Ten years ago, "investment banker" was TV sitcom shorthand for extremely date-able. Today, apprentice investment bankers pretend to be lawyers or consultants, rather like American overseas tourists slapping Canadian flags on their suitcases during the Iraq war.

It's time for an update of the Liar's Poker confessional that Michael Lewis made popular and others followed. Until now, no one's written about what it's like to be an investment banker after the Great Recession. Kevin Roose, barely out of college himself, stepped up and interviewed a batch of new investment firm trainees and tells their stories.

Roose profiles a cross-section of students and recent graduates -- some had their sights on finance careers and others, some had other plans, or no plans. He follows them into the artificially hectic and stressful atmosphere of the first two years at a big investment firm. Long hours and impossible assignments keep them stressed even as they can see the deliberate futility of their tasks. It's tradition to make life hell for the newbies. It weeds out the sissies and toughens the rest up. At least that's the theory.

The new kids keep their eyes on the goal, which is a secure career in a prestigious (well, formerly prestigious) field, but mostly the big paycheck. Their mentors and advisers keep reminding them that it's all about the money. "We're not here to save the world. We exist to make money." "You know, helping the world is great and all, but you need to be motivated by money." "You know, if money is not your main concern here, you should leave."

It's a gripping narrative, and Roose isn't completely journalistically balanced, but he realizes where he's likely to be biased and tries to be as objective as possible.
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