Saturday, September 20, 2008

Banker Love

Not a typical post. But what to do? A break from 15 hour days, Bill's off in India (yeah, can you believe it? He apparently needs a vacation. From what I don't know), and I am feeling mean. So regular readers, give this a skip. Not worth your time.

I have always found righteous indignation in the blogosphere to be very entertaining. It might be what someone said on Rediff or TOI. Could be someone on the street or the train. What some old aunt thinks of say, women working. Or it might be about a bombing. Or someone bleeding to death. The point is it doesn't matter what it is - we of the blogosphere sincerely believe that if we write a proper indignant post about it, we have done our bit to save the world and everything must be alright with the world from then on[1]. Needless to say, none of us are immune to this though I'd like to believe that some of us have standards. Like I don't go around looking for a cause to be indignant about. Mostly because I have a real job and a real life that takes up too much of my time but I guess that's a different discussion.

Yeah, yeah, I am coming to it. So there's a new cause now - i-bankers. What, I hear you cry? Bankers need the blogosphere to fight their cause now? Ofcourse not. They know the nature of the game better than anyone else - as of now, they don't need anything other than taxpayer money[2] but hey, that is no reason why we bloggers shouldn't make a cause out of their misery. Look at the poor bankers and look how people are so filled with joy that they are losing their jobs! Bankers are people too, you know. First of all, i-bankers are poor? And second, we are doing what?[3] Then you try to explain that while none of us are jumping up and down with joy because we are after all only human, but hey, bankers aren't exactly the saints you are making them out to be - with a few exceptions, they are, well, I don't want to list them so we shall say A, A, A, B, S which (especially) when combined doesn't exactly cry out for the world's love and sympathy. And that it is understandable that people aren't exactly sorry to see a culture that (seems to) reward arrogance, agression, apathy and other such desirable traits go - no, wait, that means you are evil. And you are gloating over janitors losing their jobs. And you don't realise that the whole economy is going down and you are next. What? What are we talking about here? Well, welcome to the blogosphere.

So anyway. The point is I have decided to give in. We will not talk about undesirable i-banker stereotypes anymore. Instead, we will give the bankers our love. We will talk about their stereotypical good traits. Except that I can't remember any. Do you? Please to help. I need to be reformed.

[1] Please note that this affliction is very different from the one commonly known as a Falstaffian rant. A Falstaffian rant involves said blogger being bored and feeling like roasting someone alive. That I actually understand.

[2] Yes, there is a "Where your taxes go" post in there somewhere but again, that's a different post.

[3] I do realise that there are a couple of posts in the blogosphere in very bad taste (thanks Lekhni for the specific links) but to generalise it and say that the world is sitting around rubbing its hands in glee as it watches an i-banker leave the building with his boxes is something only we bloggers are capable of

PS: For the one banker and the two banker spouses who are reading this (you know who you are), you should also know that this is not about you.

PPS: A request. If consulting goes down (which it will) and I am at the verge of losing my job, please blogosphere, please do not write posts on why I need the world's sympathy. I don't. I know exactly what I am doing, I signed up for it and I could do without your indignation. Thank you.

25 comments:

Space Bar said...

*gasp* no one's flamed you yet?

Veena said...

SB: Please please start no? It will be a fun Saturday. We might even end up cheering you up

Space Bar said...

No no. I'm too sick. Note to everyone coming here to throw sympathy at i-bankers: please pass it on to me instead. And remember never to eat even the most tempting-looking chaat at kiddie birthday parties.

No excuse me.

(word verification) beubufch: this machine is reading my stomach.

bill said...

Is this the time to tell you about the nice people I was speaking with from the City? They are all offering jobs in some funds to cut hedges or something.

Veena said...

SB: Sorry, my new found banker love is reserved for bankers only. If you become a banker, maybe I will reconsider.

You really ill? Need special delivery medicine?

Bill: You did? Ok from now on only love will happen. No mean-ness anymore. I promise. I am totally reformed.

Also, this talking to people in the City about cutting hedges - was this before or after you heard the Prof say that he works 16 hour days in addition to weekends?

Falstaff said...

Personally, I feel little sympathy for I-bankers not because I have anything against I-bankers but because I'm generally opposed to sympathy. People make choices, they know the risks, and they need to live with the consequences of their own actions.

Ironically, that's pretty much how most I-bankers I know think as well.

Veena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Falstaff said...

Also, I object to your characterization of my rants - my rants are always on issues I care strongly about, and have deep, meaningful insight into - like marriage or raising children. They are not about roasting people alive. I may occasionally consider roasting the odd baby or two alive, but babies aren't people anyway.

Veena said...

Falstaff: Yep. See it. Esp with bankers one can't claim they didn't have a real choice.

On what i-bankers think: this is exactly what I find funny about this whole brouhaha. No i-banker wants love or sympathy as far as I can see. Just like I wouldn't want it if I were to lose my job.

Veena said...

Falstaff: I was actually thinking of some of your older rants - you know the ones where you decide you need a victim, find an appropriate post somewhere and tear it apart?

Oh, the good ole' days.

And wait, if you roast the babies then exactly what deep, meaningful insight are you providing on raising children? Considering there won't be children around.

Space Bar said...

bah. this is a love-fest going on here. it makes sick, i tell you. sick

Veena said...

SB: At this rate we can make a "things that make SB sick" list pretty soon. Till now, we have chaat at kiddie parties, and love fests. How about roasting babies - does that make you sick?

blackmamba said...

How about some Tax Payer Love?!

They take "risks", get paid handsomely for years and finally only get laid off.

While we are saving their collective posteriors by loaning out insane amounts of taxpayer dollars to rescue them. And won't even get their stupid stock.

I feel all depressed about how 50% of my hard-earned money is being spent on rescuing the economy _they_ messed up so bad.

The i-bankers better be writing those thank you letters right now to all 300 million of us.

Veena said...

BM: Didn't you like read my post? Janitors at Lehman are getting laid off, the whole darned economy is crashing down and at a time like this, you want taxpayer love? Where is your sense of empathy? So much apathy is not good for us non-ibankers, err..I mean all of us.

Seriously, to be fair, its not just them who is responsible for this mess. But obv they knew better than anyone the risk they were taking.

Szerelem said...

Consulting will go down? When? When?

Cheshire Cat said...

Yeah, whatever happened to the Falstaff rants? He's not growing mellow in his old age, I hope.

I liked this one too, but I think you need more practice at indignation. The important thing about being indignant is that you should go on and on about it, at length disproportionate to the cause of the indignation, and yet people continue to listen to you - chalk it down to horrified fascination. There's no such thing as a terse rant.

Veena said...

Szerelem: Most of us, esp those of us exposed to FS have been seeing the effects for the past two quarters. But in your line of work, you guys have work whatever happens, no?

Cat: I know. If this was Malluland, we could have staged a dharna to get Falsie to write one of his rants.

And well, not sure any amount of practice is going to help me write a Falstaffian rant. That requires more than just practice!

Szerelem said...

well it's not been going great but we don't deal with FS that much - well I don't at any rate so...

Anoop said...

BM -- don't be depressed. It's not like us US taxpayers aren't getting anything for it. As Stewart said recently, congratulations... We now own 80% of the world's largest (?) insurer!

Anonymous said...

You know, if I were an i-banker, I'd actually be secretly disappointed if there were no schadenfreude at my job loss. What's the point of working those 90 hour weeks to get that bonus if no one cares enough to envy you when times are good? If someone feels no scadenfreude when an i-banker falls in a silent forest, does that mean that the i-banker didn't exist?

n!

Anonymous said...

Amend that last line to "If no one feels any schadenfreude...". I hope the profundity of that philosophical question is not impacted by the bad phrasing.

n!

Falstaff said...

n!: You do realize that all these lay-offs mean that I-banks are even less likely to be hiring PhDs as receptionists?

Veena said...

Anoop: Both Stewart and Colbert are having a ball, aren't they? Did you watch Colbert interviewing some CNBC person? It was classic. (Also, did you watch Stewart and Tony Blair? Too good no?)

n!: Ya but what will an i-banker doing in a silent forest?

Falsie: Maybe. But if Bill is right, they are hiring people to cut hedges. Bill and n! can apply.

Anonymous said...

Falsie: Yes and THAT'S who we should be feeling really sorry for - those PhDs who've been dreaming of being hired as receptionists by i-bankers. Excuse me while I weep into my dissertation at this unexpected shutdown of my career ambitions.

n!

Falstaff said...

n!: Nice try, but I suspect Veena may not be the ideal person to turn to for sympathy if you're a PhD with no immediate career prospects living the good life off the earnings of your consultant spouse.