I’m not going to say that the economy is doing great. Unemployment rates are still significantly high, house are still being foreclosed on and the stock market is far from stable. We have come a long way though from the financial implosion of 2007-8, and an indication of this is the resurgence of the Wall Street Sleaze.
What is the Wall Street Sleaze?
In the 80’s the term Yuppie, meaning young upwardly-mobile professional, was applied to these types of people. Their main characteristic was very hefty pay-checks and usually a position in the financial sector. Secondary characteristics were tailored-suits, expensive rides, general excess, detachment from the struggles of the simple man and a ruthless almost blood-thirsty ambition. The modern day term for Yuppie that entails the exact same characterizes minus the huge cell-phones and shoulder-pads is Muppie. [loud echoing laughter]. Yes [whipping tears from my eyes] the ruthless Millennial Yuppie is called a Muppie.
What they do
They generally live around the very expensive financial district and work in the cut-throat financial sector. As a necessity to survive within this hostile environment Muppies have to be extremely self-involved survivalists that have to act within an ethical grey area to serve their interests.
Why are they considered ‘Sleaze’?
This is an easy one. Like I mentioned in the introduction, these individuals usually prefer their morality a bit on the ashy grey tone with a side of Machiavellianism. To make that big commission you might need to sell someone questionable stock options, or turn their account over multiple times to multiply their commission, the official term being “Churning”. Yes it has happened so many times that they had to create a term for it. As an example let’s take a fictional Muppie, he turns around a retired teacher’s account multiple times to increase his commission resulting in losses of the initial investment. The money lost gravely changes the retired teacher’s lifestyle signifigantly. Mr. Muppie on the other hand then takes said commission and remorselessly blows the entire thing on $400 dollar scotch and exotic dancers.
Still not convinced? Ex-Yuppie Turney Duff once rooted against a cancer-cure because of a bet placed against the drug’s stock. This was from a man that might have actually sold or bought that same drug’s stock, raising or lowering the price of it. These are the “great” man’s actual words.
On Wall Street we sometimes used the phrase "f-- you money." (I think we stole that term from the hip-hop community.) Its money spent that is financially offensive to others while perpetuating and maintaining an obscene lifestyle. And while I’m not proud of it, I was totally guilty of being that guy...
The resurgence of the Sleaze
With initial salaries floating around 90.000 to 110.000 dollars and 20.000 dollar bonuses (that’s after taxes folks) you better be sure these guys partake in excessive spending. After the initial two year period these analyst can shoot up the ranks and double their yearly income. It’s a dog eat tailored suit wearing dog world so if you can make it beyond that you will be laugh-crying all the way to the bank. Blessed be the Red-Bull that will keep you up at night because won’t be able to sleep from regrets anyway.
Have you met any New Wall Street Sleaze? Do aspire to join their ranks? Then chime in, in the comment section below.