Prepare to heave at this New York Times screed on how tough life is for bankers these days.
“Nobody in the investment banking world is expecting pity, or even a sympathetic ear, these days,” the article begins, before quoting banker after banker who not only feels “unfairly singled out“, but wants destitute home owners to accept the lion’s share of the blame:
Financiers tell their not-for-attribution account of the mortgage crisis like this: Americans undersaved and overspent for decades, relying on rising property values to bankroll their lifestyles.
But nobody on Wall Street forced United States homeowners to take out loans on houses they couldn’t afford, or refinance mortgages to spend money on cars they shouldn’t have bought.
Of course, others are at fault too. Ratings agencies failed to warn innocent financiers of the risks they were taking, while regulators… well, they should be ashamed of their many failings. Bankers did just one thing wrong. They trusted us too much – and we let them down.
Now they are spat on as they cross the sidewalk from their limousines and are too embarrassed to admit what they do at champagne receptions. “I’d almost rather say I’m a pornographer,” says one poor soul. “At least that’s a business that people understand.”
Then there’s the last devasting blow – having their bonuses cut:
“Fact is that this is a terrible way to make a living — except for the money,” Ken Miller, a former vice chairman at Credit Suisse First Boston and now a private investor, said. “The lifestyle is terrible — the hours, the sucking up. These guys must feel like they’re the victims of a capricious god.”
Yes indeed, Ken, it seems they do.