Apparently (according to this blogger) there's a nasty email floating around Wall Street, written by a Wall Streeter.
Here's an excerpt [with my comments in brackets]:
We are Wall Street. It's our job to make money [actually the financial sector's job is to intermediate savings and investment, and only to get paid if they do so profitably]. Whether it's a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn't matter [oh, but it does matter, that this point eludes you is part of the problem]. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn't hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone's 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose [or can't pawn the loss onto the rest of society, it seems]. I've never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.
Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat [it isn't so much the weak market that inflames passions, it's the lack of accountability and humility for errors that cost many dearly]. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.
Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you're only going to hurt yourselves [or find another group who will perform their function more profitably and cheaply than the current bunch]. What's going to happen when we can't find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We're going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later [the writer assumes only Wall Streeters work hard. I'd like to see the author work so hard when overtime and bonuses are not part of the deal]. We're used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don't take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don't demand a union [no, Wall Street doesn't need a union, they have the Fed, the best lobbyist in Washington]. We don't retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we'll eat that. [I'd love to see a bunch of Wall Street guys try to steal the food off the plates of manual laborers' families, as I suspect, would the laborers.]
When I was a 22 year old "master of the universe" as Tom Wolfe so artfully described, I sometimes felt this way in the afterglow of a great trading day and a few scotches (but thankfully had sufficient empathy even then to realize expressing that sense would be a big mistake). It's a cringe-worthy memory.
One of the reasons I'm an favor of greater financial regulation is my memories of me. The last thing the world needs is a bunch of 22 year old hot-shots trading other people's money without proper supervision.
p.s. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, but I couldn't have written a better fictional letter to inflame people.