After almost 12 years at the firm, I believe it's time for me to move on.
A Popular Parody
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for. I joined up to rip-off clients, exploit the poor and down-trodden, visit lapdancing clubs and to live a life of rotten excess. Unfortunately, our culture has for some time revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients.
For a significant part of the last decade I was able to treat interns like slaves and disrespect junior colleagues. Hell, I was even selected as one of 10 people to appear in a recruiting video which was filmed in a casino in Las Vegas!
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer send lewd and inappropriate emails around the office, make sexist comments to my female co-workers, or give illegal insider tips to my friends (for a percentage of the illicit profits, of course).
During the early part of my career, I had the privilege of getting drunk (and high) with clients on every continent, and visited every place of ill-repute in London, New York and Tokyo. My clients had a total asset base of many trillions of dollars, and I was able to take a lot of pride in making as much money from them as possible for the firm. But this short-term view became increasingly unpopular at my firm, and the mantra now is: 'If clients don’t trust you, they will eventually stop doing business with you'. Call me old-fashioned, but I rather liked things the way they were. Another sign that it was time to leave.
When the history books are written about my firm, I won't even be mentioned. But it was great fun while it lasted. It's just a shame lawmakers, prosecutors, regulators and strong ethical values have ruined it all.
Do you think I'll get a book deal and feature on '60 Minutes' ?
'You'll probably sell more copies than that other chap!'.