Capital and Punishment

Smith describes Goldman Sachs as intense. But it’s got nothing on these instances of hard-core hazing at white-shoe firms.

By David Wescott


In 1989’s Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis described traders at Salomon Brothers throwing phones at underlings in training. The secret to survival there? “Lift weights or learn karate.”

In John Rolfe and Peter Troob’s 2001 book, Monkey Business, junior employees at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette didn’t have names: “Everybody was ‘pricko,’ f---face,’ or ‘jacka--.’”

According to Leah McGrath Goodman’s 2011 book, The Asylum, rookie traders at NYMEX had to jump into the freezing Hudson River in front of a crowd described as “a lynch mob.”

A 2009 lawsuit alleges that SAC Capital portfolio manager Ping-Jian coerced a trader, Andrew Tong, to cross-dress, take female hormones, and strip to keep his job.

Patriarch Partners CEO Lynn Tilton forced male employees to take Jell-O shots off her stomach and lick whipped cream off her breasts at her birthday party, according to New York.

In 1985, Shearson/American Express branch manager Nicholas Cuneo put a gun on his desk, aimed at a trainee, Businessweek reported. “Nick just does that to intimidate,” a co-worker explained.


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