Yes, that was an actual sentence spoken -- or more specifically "groused" -- by an anonymous Wall Street executive concerned for his "personal safety," though not enough to be dissuaded from attending or talking to a reporter at yesterday's Wall Street Journal 'Future Of Finance' Conference, where the future sounded like it had gone back in time and purchased a hundred billion dollars worth of extra credit protection, which is to say suspiciously like Finance Past.
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It looks like Wall Street, no doubt emboldened by the recent 20% runup in the S&P 500, the fourteen bucks in matching leverage the government is offering them for every dollar they invest in toxic/"legacy" assets and the prospect of better-than-awful numbers at Citigroup and Credit Suisse, got its hubris back along with its proverbial groove. In the six months since it nearly triggered global financial Armageddon, the investment banking community has seemed, if not quite chastened, at least somewhat subdued amidst the nation's ever-heightening awareness that their industry engineered the ever-intensifying economic morass. But not anymore!
This morning the New York Times ran as an op-ed the resignation letter of one Jake DeSantis, a securities trader and executive vice president at AIG's infamous financial products division and recipient of one of those million dollar bonuses ($742,006.40 after taxes.) That's right: he's keeping it. And don't ask him if he feels guilty about it because he will tell you: NO.