Currently: burning the midnight oil in my bedroom, with five articles open on the New York Times.
Blame it on the timing, or the economic downturn. Whatever the reason, the sale of Merrill Lynch for $50 billion to Bank of America and the collapse of Lehman Brothers caused Wall Street to experience the worst losses this Monday since 9/11. With all the drama surrounding the sell of the brokerage firm and the bankruptcy of the 4th largest investment bank in the US, I have to wonder, what does this any of this have to do with me?
I have to first admit that much of what I read on the topic are corporate mumbo-jumbo to my ears. “Subprime mortgages”? “Repo market”? Oh my! I have lots to learn, guess I’m right the right faculty, or am I?
The future isn’t looking bright for commerce students, to put it bluntly. And the party just started (tea and crumpets with AIG anyone?). These hotshot Wall Street firms are where many of us anticipate Sauder grads aspire to work in ten, twenty years’ time. They are supposed to be the fast tracks to success, and along with it, wealth, power, 80 hour work weeks, and high blood pressure.
Seeing photos of suits leaving the office is ironic, and somewhat amusing. A few days ago they were ruthlessly playing the field with millions of dollars at stake for the clients, now they’re just like the rest of us – carrying belongings home in cardboard boxes. That white picket fenced house in Suburbia. The cottage in the Hamptons. What’s to become of them?
What’s to become of us?
I could be just getting absorbed into the O!M!G! HYPE!! … but look at the effect of the Dot-com bubble on the entire generation before ours. Even if we don’t go into careers in financial services, the lawyers, real estate agents, publishers, and accountants of our generation is nevertheless affected in this chain reaction.
We can’t ignore the present.