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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
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
Top customer reviews
The author claims to be intrigued by these young people, but often colors his work with revulsion towards the big banks, his subjects' employers, for their role in the financial crisis. The author remains generally objective in evaluating his subjects and their stories are well-framed with applicable details from the news. Ultimately, Roose's tale is enjoyable but cannot be considered as objective as he intends.
Also, Roose comfirms a kind of psychopathic greed mentality on wall street--no surprise there either. If you think you want to read this book, I suggest borrowing it.