Working Title: “Undercover Big Banking Boss”
Episode #1: Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO
First we interview Lloyd for a first-year analyst position and watch him perspire then sweat. We pepper him with all the typical questions such as How many pieces of pizza are eaten every three minutes on the island of Manhattan? What’s the angle between the minute and second hand when a clock reads 3:23 p.m.? Name three of your biggest failures and how it felt to be a failure and who you told about your failures and what you did after you failed to make yourself not feel like such a failure? Finally, we ask the impossible: Why investment banking?
Second, we send Lloyd undercover on the job as an analyst in Goldman’s office in Auckland, New Zealand, where we’re sure no one recognizes him (or cares to read about him everyday in the American newspapers). Here, Lloyd learns just how hard Goldman works its dogs, a.k.a. its analysts. In addition to having to pull all-nighter after all-nighter, running 37 different scenarios every 45 minutes in several Excel models for a proposed corporate finance deal involving a solar panel manufacturer on the South Island, a terrified Lloyd will be seen bungee jumping, sky-diving, rock climbing and telemarking with his mates. And that’s all before they hit the office for work each day.
Third, Lloyd will be flown to London where he’ll work as a VP and have to live on £500,000 a year salary. We’ll watch as Lloyd is forced to eat curries twice a week and search for cheap pints during the four and a half hours of free time he has each week.
Finally, in “the payoff” scene (a.k.a. “the money shot”), we’ll see Lloyd write an email that he’ll send off to a group he’s entitled “the whole shebang,” meaning the entire worldwide staff of Goldman Sachs. The message will explain how much Lloyd learned as one of the “little guys”; that he’s created 16 task forces to figure out how Goldman can make more money while sidestepping “that pesky Uncle (Sam) of ours”; that he now understands all of the “menial daily trials and tribulations” of his underlings; and that, as a result, he “will only be taking home a $9 million bonus.” Lloyd will hit send and then we’ll get a close-up of him shedding a golden tear.
Despite what I think of the show, “Undercover Boss” has apparently tested well with audiences and already has resulted in the development of a host of other similar series. Below is the treatment for the premiere of one such series that came across my desk this morning. Although I’m not at liberty to divulge which station and production companies are attached to the show, I think it’s safe to say that, like its predecessor, America will eat this show up, too.