Prolific writer and former Wall Streeter Michael Lewis is known for his amazing books, movies and profiles, but when he writes for Bloomberg, he tends to venture into satire.It’s awesome.
In his latest column, Wall Street’s Forgotten Victims Have Some Advice, he discusses the plight of Wall Street’s children. Their fathers are making less money and they may not be able to afford sailing camp or travelling sports teams. This, says Lewis, is tragic.
He starts off this meditation by saying he was contacted by a 12 year-old Greenwich resident (from Bloomberg):
I didn’t go looking for the kid. He found me. Of course, it stood to reason, with what’s been happening on Wall Street, that the children of Greenwich, Connecticut, must be taking a serious financial hit…Maybe the game is over; maybe it isn’t. But one thing is certain: If you are 12 years old, and your dad works on Wall Street, it’s a lot less likely Beyonce will be singing at your 13th birthday party.
What follows is the advice this industrious child gave Lewis to pass on to the rest of those suffering just like him.
Here are our favourite moments from the column:
- For starters, you need to make a point of actually meeting your dad — or your mum, but most likely it is your dad who is the problem. He’s the one who controls the money flows but up till now he’s been a total ghost. Out the door at 5:30 in the morning, home at 11 at night. And no matter how tired he is on weekends, your mother always makes him take her out to parties, so when you do catch a glimpse of him he’s hung over and distant. You will need to take the initiative here. Set your alarm early, or, even better, stay up late.
- Accept that you are the real victim in all this…Everything from summer sailing camp in the Bahamas to the smoking-hot Scandinavian nanny is probably now on a list of possible cutbacks. As totally unfair as these cuts are (you aren’t the one who lost all the money), you shouldn’t fight them. You don’t want to come across as “spoiled.”
- Always ask big. Your dad may be smart about money but he has no idea about size. When he makes money, he doesn’t make thousands, he makes millions. When he loses it, he doesn’t lose millions, he loses billions. His scale is totally off; keep it that way.
- Study the way your dad’s mind works… trust me — he is really smart, especially about money. It’s just that he isn’t like other dads. He thinks emotions are stupid, for example, because emotions cost him money when he’s trading. He spends his day trying not to feel anything, so he sort of gets used to it.