The most pampered generation Wall Street has ever met will find out soon enough what does it really mean to go to work.
That’s the word that comes from the C-suite of the Big Banks—Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. The CEOs of these companies bounced back to the day when the price to pay for a lucrative career on Wall Street was hours and hours being yelled at by your boss.
Now they want to turn back time — even if it means being on the wrong side of the pampered influx of millennials and Gen-Zs they need to hire during a long bull market. They wouldn’t say this in public, of course, but they did secretly welcome the booming economy and the decline in Wall Street deals as a way to reaffirming control over the awakened masses.
The stock market boom and deal-making extended tremendous influence to a class of Wall Street employees who were brainwashed by conscious professors and college administrators into believing that any and all of their feelings were important and existential, including not wanting to work too hard.
Wall Street, despite its Darwinian representation, give in to pressure, transformed itself into something like a college safe space as it required entry-level bodies and associations to process deals and trades, and faced competition for talent from Big Tech. That means more perks for business grunts (think things like free Pelotons on top of a higher salary), flexible hours and demands to work from home long after the worst of the COVID pandemic has subsided.
It also means accepting the customs of a new generation even if it means lower productivity. Wall Street executives used to brag that they slept in offices under their desks when big deals were at stake. Now the newcomers are embracing something known as “calm downwhere doing the bare minimum is the norm.
How’s that for a Wall Street grunt?
Partner bird cry
For my money, this indulgent oddity reaches the height of absurdity when a group of young people Goldman’s left-handed fellows in Manhattan are in ruins because someone had the audacity to order Chick-fil-A while working overtime to make a deal.
No, this is not fighting over the health benefits of the popular chicken sandwich. As it turned out, the staff were angry that the company’s CEO at the time believed in Jesus and was against same-sex marriage. Goldman’s management intervened to ensure those injured survived the trauma. (Goldman didn’t ban Chick-fil-A, thank God.)
But times seem to be changing again. The boomers who run Big Banks — Jamie Dimon at JP Morgan, James Gorman at Morgan Stanley and David Solomon at Goldman — said enoughI was told, and would use the slowdown and the looming deal-making recession to show the youth who’s boss.
With power shifting to management, last week Solomon began forcing all employees back into the office five days a week after Labor Day, Lydia Moynihan of the Post was the first to report. A company-wide memo cited “much less risk of serious illness” while a spokesperson cited the need to maintain the company’s “client-centric business,” which is a company to “make your back end work because you’re less productive on Zoom.”
As I first reported, Morgan Stanley’s head of HR issued a similar memo around the same time that the company was lifting its COVID protocols (i.e. testing and contact tracing) and asking employees to stop working from home due to productivity concerns.
Dimon JP Morgan is not far from making office work mandatory no matter how much the waking mob complains.
Ironically, it was new tech CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg of Meta and Sundar Pichai of Google who were the first to start suppressing youth anxiety. They were forced to demand better productivity measures as the economic slowdown hit their wallets first.
Now that Wall Street is poised for a downturn in deal flow and possibly layoffs later in the year, Solomon, Dimon and Gorman are flexing their management muscles and will likely continue to do so in a way that will upset the pampered masses who will have dwindling bargaining power. to complain and force management to give up.
And who knows? Sleeping under your desk may get cold again.
There’s a lot of drama surrounding Truth Social, former President Trump’s new social media platform designed to compete with Twitter, including questions about its business model, its content, and The Donald going nuclear the same way he used Twitter before banning it.
One more drama likely to play out over the next 24 hours or so involves a planned merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company slated to merge with the platform and create publicly traded stock. There was an important Digital World shareholder vote, with a deadline of September 6, to extend the time for completion of the merger to 12 months.
Patrick Orlando, head of Digital World, said the extension would allow the company to sort things out and hopefully return some value to shareholders. Digital World shares have fallen nearly 75% from their high of $97 in March.