Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another Bear Stearns Employee Interview

SG, another male Bear Stearns employee speaks to me. This time the interview is on-site!

Me: How long have you been working here?
SG: 1.5 years.
Me: What do you do for Bear Stearns?
SG: I'm a prop trader.
Me: Are people really working right now?
SG: Yes. The motivation is less to work really hard, but after the compensation announcement last night I'm feeling better.
Me: What are you doing?
SG: I'm a prop trader so I can continue to work on my skills and try to do different things [with the market], regardless of where I work.
Me: Who isn't working then?
SG: The sales guys. Their asset is the phone book so they don't need to be looking at the market like me. They won't do their work until they know where they'll land.
Me: Is it true that once your stock is vested, you don't have access to sell it?
SG: That's what I heard and it's not the case where I used to work. I think it's not the case anywhere.
Me: It's messed up.
SG: Well it does vest in the normal schedule you just can't sell it.
Me: Same difference to me. If you can't sell it then you don't have it. Look what happened to the BS stock. Probably lots of people who had vested shares that couldn't sell that are totally screwed right now.
Me: What brought Bear Stearns down?
SG: It's a classic run on the bank.
Me: But why Bear?
SG: Well only broker-dealers can be targeted since the commercial banks [like JPM] have access to the discount window. Easier to pick on Bear than the other broker dealers. Goldman is sitting on a mound of cash, Lehman had a credit line and collateral. All Bear had was $17bn of collateral. And now we know Bear had $30bn in sub-prime assets.
Me: Change in subject. Do you agree with JS, another Bear employee that it's better to use a hooker than to have an affair?
SG: Absolutely. Less messier.
Me: Spitzer used the same girl on a number of occasions. What do you think of that?
SG: You can't use the same girl, I'd use a different one every time.
Me: JS says the relationship is clear so you can use the same girl if you want.
SG: The relationship is clear to the girl but not to you.
Me: I agree, you can't have the same poon tang over and over. Maybe something is drawing you to the same girl.
SG: What's poon tang?!
At this point, another employee next to me starts chortling and turns pink, the color of his shirt.
Me: What do you think about our new governor, Paterson, he's blind and had an affair.
SG: I was talking to my wife about this...she was in disbelief about how a blind guy can get involved in an affair. It's power. But [because of his blindness], who knows the quality of the affair. Also he's legally blind, which means he can still see.
Me: Would you pay $4300 an hour for a hooker? That's the rumored price of Spitzer's.
SG: No, not for a no-name, not worth it. Definitely for Julia Roberts. Then you can call up all your friends and brag that you bagged Julia Roberts.
Me: You can also be unscrupulous and videotape your encounter and try to hawk it.
The other male BS employee next to me chimes in, "Yeah I'd only pay that much if I could use it as blackmail."


frank said...

It's funny the talk about Julia Roberts. When I had our rabbi over for coffee he said that was his favorite actress (and femme)!
Your interviewing technique is fabulous and I predict that you will be catapulted into the category of world-class bloggers.

Anonymous said...

I am offended by the use of the term "poon tang". A woman's skunkbox is a beautiful thing that doesn't deserve disrespect.

I much prefer "minge" and suggest you try it.