Did you hear the news? About the stars? You know, those people we look up to and can’t wait to read about. Yes… The “stars”.
Okay, maybe not those stars. I mean the stars of Wall Street. The beautiful people on the cover of the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. Or at least somewhere on the pages in the middle. Not really a typical centrefold but still… You see, the stars are leaving the big banks and financial houses. It looks like they are leaving in the droves. Moving on to smaller investment firms still trying to make a name for itself. The “Stars” of Wall Street. Now moving on to “bigger and better things”.
Stars? Why? Because they made loads before they… hum… messed up. Just like most celebrities in the world we live in today – these stars are fake stars. Famous for just being famous. Rich for just being rich. Privileged for just being privileged.
How did they make their money? Risk… Nothing wrong with risk but it gets out of control if there is no one to check their behaviour or nothing to prevent them from crashing and burning. And taking everything in their path down with them.
Again, just like the celebrities of today. Clickity-click-click. You’re famous. Flash us some naughty bits. Or a risky deal. We love that. You’re such a star! You made the front page of People. Great… For what? For being an idiot with behavioural problems? For being the new “It Girl” or “Hawt Guy” (Sorry Paris)? Plastic lives. We look at these fake celebrities and call them plastic. Well… These Wall Street celebs knows a lot about plastic… Drive the risk high enough and go into debt and more debt. Gamble and skim a bit off the top for yourself as no one is checking while you go wild. And we’re left with some hot plastic in our hands. And not a loan in sight to cover the burns.
But they are just like the plastic celebs. They were/are a one pony trick. Risk? Actually no…
It wasn’t risk that drove them wild. Anyone with half a decent ambition will face risk and take a few risks. The problem was that they took risk without any fear of failure. Or a few rules to keep them in check. Or a threat that might come back to haunt them. “Here, have some money and then some more. You’ll never fail. At least not fail big enough…” Nothing to cover us if they failed. A bit like paying a celeb a huge sum of money to be in some B-rated movie and hope you will score big. But we know for every Titanic there is Waterworld ready to sink.
And anyway… Like “real celeb stars” they don’t want to take the responsibility of failure but happy to take it if the movie makes a mint. I don’t get it. The market runs wild and everyone is smoking cigars and drinking Cristal. And they throw money at the “stars”. But was it the market or was it the “star”? Because these same people were behind the wheel when it all came crashing down… But they didn’t want to take the breathalyzer test when they got caught driving under the influence of power… Can you dig that?
But the small firms are a bit like those cool indy films. The “stars” go to them to get some “legit”. But it is still a crap movie with a fancy name and a plot no one understands. So we felt stupid and hide our insecurities by calling it brilliant. Same with the Wall Street “stars”. They still do the same old same old crap and still have no clue what they are doing. But a fancy name for the investment firm and a sweet smell of selling of snake oil investments makes them “brilliant”. Because we are the idiots who don’t understand what they do and hide our stupidity by calling them “stars”. Puh-leeze… We have a cat who eats too much each day and throws up afterwards. I don’t understand that cat. But I do know that the cat is still pretty stupid for doing it every single day. The same thing over and over. But it’s in its nature I guess. It doesn’t know better…
So these stars are running from Wall Street. Please don’t mind me if I don’t look that worried. Or that I don’t care too much about them leaving. Maybe they can close the door on their way out. I’ll walk across the road and buy myself a Starbucks, wearing my Levi jeans and Timberland boots. Shop at Wal-Mart and drive my Ford. I’ll put my money on things that I can touch. Stuff I can feel. Stuff I can take back if it doesn’t work. Yes, I’ll take my chances on the real thing.
The King is dead. Long live the King!
Look up at the stars tonight. I love shooting stars…