Why I Enjoy Reading Investment Banking Blogs

September 6, 2009 / Daily Life, Psychology / 16 Comments

Note: Excuse the typo-laden entry. It’s 4am and my eyes are about to close.

My latest favorite reads are a line-up of cynical, sadistic, pompous blogs written by investment bankers. I can go through half their archives in one sitting and re-read some of their entries.

Something about their bitterness is very captivating.

Reason #1: Envy

I know it’s probably very sick of me but I have to admit that I really enjoy reading about their misery. I think a small part of enjoyment comes from envy – envious for their ridiculously large paychecks. I don’t particularly desire having that much money – especially at the expense of so many important things in life – but it’s only human to be envious of what you don’t have.

Reason #2: Relief

Another part of my enjoyment comes from relief – relief that I do not have to work 100 hours every week to prove my worth to my boss. (Unfortunately, I do have to work 100-hour weeks once a while though, so I’m not exactly doing well on the work-life balance scale either. But at least I have some sort of a life outside of work.)

Reason #3: Respect

With that said, where I derive the bulk of enjoyment is from respect. It takes incredible amount of perseverance and dedication to put up with the amount of crap they do for the sake of one thing, which in their case is likely money, prestige or some derivative of both. This respect is the same admiration I have for my friend who I wrote about last month.

Why it stops at respect

Unlike all these i-bankers and jazz musicians, I really don’t think I can dedicate myself to one thing for the rest of my life. I was just not born to have particularly deep desires. I don’t need to swim in a pool of money. I don’t need presidential-level power or prestige. I don’t crave to be loved by everyone I meet. I don’t need to amount to legendary greatness, although I do think I am capable of it – if only I desired for it.

But alas, all I want is to have a job that I enjoy doing, afford a comfortable lifestyle and some time left over for some quality “me” time so I can seek more wisdom and knowledge.

Yes, my strongest desire is probably to gain wisdom and a breadth of knowledge. (There’s a not-so-subtle difference between the two, but let’s leave that for another entry). And even then I’m not dedicated enough to go back to school for it. I just want to know why the world works the way it does, why humans think, feel and act the way they do, why I am not as predictable as I would like to be, and what I can do to change that.

There’s enough satisfaction in my journey to seek wisdom and knowledge that I don’t really need to have an end-goal to justify my life.

In return for my relatively unpassionate, nonchalant life, I don’t have to suffer extreme pain or happiness – and this stability matters much more to me than a seven-figure paycheck (at least for now).

In some sick and twisted way, I guess reading about the bane of slaving for money and prestige validates my chosen lifestyle. Knowing that greatness comes slapped with a hefty price tag that involves slavery, deception, denial and insecurity has allowed me to be grateful for my life of mediocrity and moderation.

So here are some i-banking blogs I read religiously, in case you aspire to be as sick as I am or as sick as they are (whichever floats your boat better):

Dear Readers, do you have any genre of blogs you like to read? Are you as sick as I am when it comes to validating your pleasures with the misery of others? If you are working, do you enjoy your job? Why or why not? And what are your working hours like?