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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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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
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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.Read more ›
- 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.
- Almost None!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are a young professional and interested in business or just interested in a good read this is a great book. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kelly Lawson
Since Kevin Roose hit the publicity circuit, I was very curious of his book. Who doesn't want to read about a bunch of stereotypical narcissistic young folks with a bunch of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Helllooo Sunshine
Had high expectations of this one, however it is mainly about small things that happen in the daily lives of junior investment bankers. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Thomas P.
I hate journalists that can't stick to the facts and need to push their own bias. Kevin Roose only interviewed liberal traders, he focused mostly on the negatives, and his coverage... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Gregory Smith
This book is well-written but boy, is it bland. It follows the early careers of several top college graduates. Read morePublished 4 months ago by nuffsaid
Funny yet relate-able for just about any financier or millennial or both. A quick and easy read and a good one at that.Published 4 months ago by Joshua T. Eadie
I am a senior in college who just finished interning in one of the big 4 accounting firms in a department that many have exited after one or two years to work in the front office... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Alex Schloss