In case you missed this November 25th NPR interview with Liar’s Poker scribe Michael Lewis, check it out when you have 7 minutes and 19 seconds to spare; it’s well worth your time.
I bring this up today because I was reminded of the interview on the heels of Morgan Stanley’s monumental move to implement clawback provisions into its bonus system, which could very well be the beginning of the end of the big bonus-system for investment bankers.
In the interview with NPR, Lewis says the big pay days that investment banking historically offered employees “distract[ed] lots of young, passionate people from doing the things they probably should be doing.” He adds that last summer he went back to Princeton, where he graduated from, to see what the young Tiger folk were up to, and there he became "so frustrated with how unimaginative young people had become in choosing their path in life that [he] thought that someone should establish a kind of 'Scared Straight' program for Ivy League students." Lewis’s program was simple: “He'd require them to spend a week with a hedge fund manager in Greenwich, Conn., ‘just to see how miserable’ they'd be after 20 years.”
On the NPR site, you can also check out an excerpt of Lewis's latest book, Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity, an anthology of essays and articles.