Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Bazillionaire's Guide to Stress Relief - By Michael Lewis

The latest entertaining sarcasm from Michael Lewis...

Link to article: A Bazillionaire's Guide to Stress Relief 
I’d like to start by making a confession: It’s never been easy being me. 
Managing billions of dollars of other people’s money, and countless millions of my own, has been highly stressful. There was a time when I thought my anxiety, not to mention the investigations of my affairs by various U.S. government authorities, might break me -- and so, on the advice of my attorneys, I took some time off. But that period of my life, thankfully, is now over. Just last week, for the first time in months, I fired up my Bloomberg terminal! 
There I discovered that I’m not the only extremely distinguished Wall Street trader whose life is more difficult than ordinary people understand. Looking over the stories that people who can afford Bloomberg terminals have been e-mailing to one another over the past few months, I see the anxiety of financiers hitting new highs: Old bankers have been killing themselves; young bankers, burned out by their 90-hour-a-week jobs, have been quitting in droves to work for startups; hedge-fund managers are now telling the public that the stock market feels so dangerous that they are selling their holdings and going into cash. 
The most widely circulated horror story was about people giving up golf. Apparently, Wall Street guys have been fleeing their game because their anxiety has them feeling they need to text all the time, and they can’t free up their hands long enough to swing the club. It’s like we’ve all become teenage girls. 
So maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised that the story that got all of Wall Street’s attention was about a hot new stress reduction strategy: transcendental meditation. Several of my esteemed hedge-fund colleagues apparently actually do this. David Ford told Bloomberg Pursuits that his mantra helped him make a killing in the emerging markets crash -- and he isn’t alone. 
“Ford is part of a growing number of Wall Street traders, including A-list hedge-fund managers Ray Dalio, Paul Tudor Jones and Michael Novogratz, who are fine-tuning their brains -- and upping their games -- with meditation,” said the story, which went on to say that the TM classes at Goldman have a waiting list of hundreds.