What have Wall Street’s laid-off bankers been doing since they got the boot? Fretting about finding another job and furiously sending out resumes? No way!
They’re playing video games, DJing, going to the beach (or Peru in the case of one ex-Wall Streeter), and enjoying $405-a-week unemployment pay.
NY Observer: In the wake of continuing, even worsening, layoffs in the financial industry (10,000 in New York since last August, Bloomberg recently reported, with behemoths like Citigroup cutting 10 per cent of its investment bank alone); as double-digit drops in net worth have top executives wringing their hands in The Times, much of Wall Street’s young are simply throwing up theirs and saying, “Whoo-hoo!”
Tommy Kim, 27, formerly of UBS, for example, logged 37 days of snowboarding in 2008 after being fired last January. “When I got laid off, it was like, hallelujah,” he said.
After the snow melted, he came back to New York, where “I went paint-balling,” Mr. Kim said. “I went to Six Flags.” Now: “I stay up late, wake up late, go to the beach a lot. I play a lot of video games when I can’t find people to hang out with. I started reading again for pleasure, which is something I haven’t done since before college.” (Currently on the nightstand: Freakonomics)…
Recently, Mr. Kim turned his attention to organising his vast music collection and playing DJ gigs around town, including a Saturday party at the Brooklyn Museum and a few weddings (he was a well-known DJ during his undergrad days at Dartmouth). He’s also taking break-dancing classes. And he built himself a new computer, just for the hell of it. Looked up the instructions online, bought the parts, et voilà!
And his job search? “I’m kind of looking,” Mr. Kim said. “I decided last week maybe I should be more proactive.” It’s hard to get worked up, though, because “President Bush extended unemployment by another 13 weeks!” That’s $405 a week on top of the “generous” UBS severance.
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