Wall Streeters work long hours doing tedious work for demanding bosses — but they love to party.
What to do?
Enter the Street’s underground (or not) obsession with the white powder, cocaine. It’s expensive, it’s glamorous, and it gives you the synthetic energy to party all night long.
Problem is, love has turned into legend because not only does coke have a luxe mystique, but it’s also totally addictive and illegal. That means that when people find out rich and powerful bankers are doing it, you can bet that tabloids will sing.
We’ve collected a bunch of stories of Wall Streeters who’ve gotten caught and what happened to them. It’s not pretty.
Back in 2007 Trevor Collenette, a retired Lloyds banker, was caught with £8 million worth (that's over 450 lbs) of Cocaine aboard a yacht he was 'crewing,' reported the Evening Standard.
The drugs were apparently so well-hidden that they were overlooked during a routine investigation when the vessel left Portugal.
Collenette maintains that he was set up, but there has yet to be any evidence supporting his story.
Source: Evening Standard
Jordan Belfort admitted he had a daily regimen of cocaine and quaaludes in his memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street
And it's not surprising that it didn't end well. He ran notorious Stratton Oakmont brokerage house with a recklessness immortalised in the 2000 film 'The Boiler Room.'
On this cocaine diet Belfort managed to crash a helicopter, crash his Mercedes into five other vehicles and sink a yacht, all while laundering money to Switzerland and performing pump and dump schemes to boost his own income.
In Charlie Gasparino's book, The Sellout, he says former Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne allegedly kept an antacid bottle full of cocaine at his desk
Jimmy Cayne, the former Bear Stearns CEO on whom many blame the firm's collapse, landed fourth on CNBC.com's list of the worst American CEO's, just steps behind Enron's Ken Lay Angelo Mozilo and Lehman Brothers' Dick Fuld.
And there's no wondering why. In his book 'The Sellout,' Charlie Gasparino relayed a tale of how Jimmy Cayne once asked an employee if he knew what was in the Bromo-Seltzer bottle on his desk.
After the employee responded 'Bromo-Seltzer?' Cayne said 'No, it's cocaine.'
Source: The Sellout
The Trinity Street location of TGI Fridays was busted in 2009 for selling marijuana and cocaine to its Wall Street patrons.
According a report from The New York Times, the bartender would pass the drugs folded up in napkins, in exchange for cash. The dealer/bartenders reportedly sold drugs to undercover cops over a dozen times.
As they say: 'In here, it's always Friday'
Source: The New York Times
20-eight year-old banker David Firth was caught dealing cocaine at his desk at the Barclays offices in Basingstoke, Hampshire in 2007.
The Sun reports that Firth was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.
Source: The Sun
In a tell-all interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company, former madam Natalie Rowe revealed some intriguing tales about U.K. treasurer George Osborne.
According to Rowe--who is also a dominatrix-- the two shared many a coke-fuelled night in the 1990s.
Source: Daily Mail
Canadian hedge funder Matthew MacIssac got himself in big trouble for buying cocaine for an undercover cop in the Toronto hot spot Comfort Zone.
He was one of 33 club-goers busted that night, which happened to be St. Patrick's day. Luck of the Irish, or not.
Source: Globe and Mail
Reports said that convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's office had so much cocaine it was called 'the north pole'
An ex-banker recently told Guardian journalist just how rampant coke-abuse was during his years working in London's financial district.
From The Guardian:
You call your dealer who is driving around town in his car. He picks you up, you get in, and he tells you to open that box, take out the drugs and put in the cash. Or you pay by bank transfer. I swear that happens, you sit there taking the guy's banking sort code.'These are not your stereotypical dealers. They are white, dressed in a suit, middle-aged… They have business cards. They understand the demographic they are servicing extremely well...
Source: The Guardian
In April of 1987 16 brokerage house employees were arrested as a part of the now-infamous coke crackdown 'Operation Buy and Cry.'
The Wall Streeters were arrested for trading drugs for 'favours, cash and stock information,' the Sun Sentinel reported.
And this all happened right before the market crash of '87.
Source: Sun Sentinel
But there is a bright side, and some people have made amazing comebacks. Larry Kudlow was fired from Bear Stearns for his coke use, went to rehab, and rebuilt his life..
Larry Kudlow--the CNBC host and former Bear Stearns staff economist--has been open about his past substance abuse.
According to a 1995 tell-all by New York Magazine, Kudlow would spent tens of thousands of dollars a month of drug binges throughout the '80s and '90s.
Kudlow was fired from Bear Stearns in 1994 for missing an important meeting because of a binge, entering rehab shortly thereafter.
After a while, Kudlow got clean, found religion and became the well-respected economic pundit that he is today.
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