FRAT PACK

Someone should do a study on what percentage of men in the industries colloquially lumped under "Wall Street" – banking, finance, etc. – are former fratboys. I deal with a lot of fratboys, obviously, and I must say in fairness that they are a highly polarized group. They are a not-quite-even mix of dedicated, conscientious students of above-average intelligence and some of the laziest, meanest, most entitled borderline sociopaths (inability to feel remorse or accept responsibility for one's actions being particularly rampant) you'd ever hope to avoid meeting. The former invariably go to law school or the public sector, as many of them have connected friends who can land them desirable Capitol Hill type employment. The latter, realizing that law school is, you know, hard and stuff, get MBAs or have Dad land them some vague position in "business." It is essentially impossible for me to listen to some lazy kid in a backward baseball cap whining about his grade without silently wondering which mutual fund he is going to end up managing straight into the ground in ten years.

Admittedly I am flying by the pant seat here, lacking empirical evidence to support the anecdotal. But I'll be damned if I can read the transcripts of AIG employees alternately spitting venom at the public and whining like children at the mere prospect of not getting a second round of bonuses on the taxpayer's dime without noting, "These guys sound exactly like fratboys." The poor logic, the self-righteous appeals to fairness, the victimhood, the sense of entitlement, and the naked disgust for people they consider inferior (i.e. everyone) are all there in spades.

"To be honest with you, I really hope it blows up. I think the U.S. taxpayer deserves to lose a trillion dollars over this thing for the way they have behaved."

That is just one quote and may or may not be representative of all the people involved. Regardless, it has to be a bit shocking coming from an employee of a company that would not exist today without taxpayer intervention. Whether or not the people working for the company today were involved in the Credit Default Swap trading that brought the company to the brink of ruin, the fact remains that AIG would already be moldering on the dustbin of history next to Lehman Brothers, Enron, and the Edsel.

Apparently the majority of the aggrieved employees received their second round of bonuses anyway. Irrespective of that, I have a suggestion for any of them who feel mistreated by AIG, the taxpayer, or Washington: look for another job. Surely one of the big banks, investing houses, or insurance companies will be looking for sharp new employees with that magic AIG touch. In fact I just saw this ad posted on Monster.com:

BIG EGOS WANTED. Seeking analysts and traders for growing Financial Products division. Experience with insolvent companies a plus. Inflated sense of self-worth desirable but not required. Must be prepared to take on challenges and work to bankrupt the division with minimal supervision. Provide list of three references who can speak to your staggering ineptitude and child-like ignorance of financial markets. No blacks.

The reality is that "AIG Financial Products division" looks about as good on a resume as "Producer – The Chevy Chase Show", "Giuliani 2008 Campaign Manager" or "One time my roommate blacked out and I raped him." It takes a special kind of person to maintain a sense of entitlement after being generously bailed out and thus saved from unemployment. Fortunately our universities are chock full of the next generation of young minds who fit the bill.

22 thoughts on “FRAT PACK”

  • Yeah, I don't have empirical data either, but I have life experience, and I've watched in a certain kind of bemused disgust as some of the idiots I grew up around have become massively wealthy in a space of ten years based on nothing more than Daddy's connections and Kappa Beta Daterape connections.

  • There have been a run of recent commercials for … some stock trading website, whose name escapes me at the moment, in which some unnamed trader talking to his customers on the phone as they stop using him and go trade on their own using whatever website it's an ad for. One of them has the trader in the back of his limo while talking – I wish I could remember the name of the website so that I could see if I could find them online. Ah, well.

    In any case, the guy they hired for these commercials sends off a very fratty kind of vibe, to me. So I don't think you're the only one who feels this way.

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    The interesting thing about Frat boys, their parents, and AIG employees is that they are so wholly unnecessary. They serve a purpose only insofar as the system they prop up and work within provides them with that purpose.

  • Don't want to sound like a whiner or anything, but as a college student and fraternity man I'd like to ask that maybe you stop with the descriptor "fratboy"? While I won't deny that some of the crudest and most entitled people I've ever met are in fraternities, there really are a fair number of us conscientious and dedicated students. I just wish you wouldn't acknowledge us and then go on to lump us in with those who give us a bad name. Just a suggestion.

  • Aslan Maskhadov says:

    Ok I'm totally pro-gay rights and everything but what's with all the homoerotic rituals in frats anyway?

  • Oh goody! Kittens!

    Since irony obviously sales over peoples heads, I'll try allegory.

    Next attempt – obscure poetic metaphor!

    Oh and a hamster picture please. That would be too cute for words.

  • Pan Sapiens says:

    Useless Cocksucking Fuckbag: "My money makes more than I do!"
    Me: "Then what does it need YOU For?"

  • Pan Sapiens says:

    By the way, my above conversation was an actual one I had with the son of the founder of a multi-billion dollar corporation that I briefly helped out by working for them for a short time.

    Daddy brought him in, and he in turn brought all of his parasite fratboy buddies into the company. You know what they say "Nepotism is to business as Vaseline is to buttfucking". The guy took over and burned the place to the ground and sunk it into a swamp a year later. But don't worry, he sold his stock off in the nick of time.

    I'm not saying all corporations or superorganisms are fucked up Soviet Unions, but they usually end up there.

  • some of the laziest, meanest, most entitled borderline sociopaths (inability to feel remorse or accept responsibility for one's actions being particularly rampant) you'd ever hope to avoid meeting.
    realizing that law school is, you know, hard and stuff, get MBAs or have Dad land them some vague position in "business."

    You just described aWol to a "T".

  • I have years of unfortunate, personal, and painful experience with everything written here. Your points are completely on target.

    The interesting thing that isn't discussed much, is not the "Frat" part of your title, but the "Pack" part. A FratBoy is by definition part of a group of like minded boys. A frat boy in isolation is rarer than a unicorn. There's the whole issue of whether these immature boys would act as they're acting were it not for an entire group mentality enforcing and rewarding this behavior. Some would, many would not. There's an enormous sense of fear and insecurity that drives this mentality. I've heard MBAers say that the most valuable thing gained by getting an MBA is the connections you make.

    If you're familiar with the notion that humans evolved three successive brains (reptilian, mammalian, neo-cortex), then the survival / screw anybody at any cost (a driving theme behind conservativism, BTW) comes straight out of our primitive reptilian brains. Fear makes us resort to our primitive brains, and turn toward solutions that utterly don't consider anyone except number one.

    The groupthink behind fratboys reflects their inability or unwillingness to think for themselves, and stand up for what their conscience tells them (if it can be heard at all) is right, versus what the group demands. Evolving past the group's demands is a higher level of evolution, and means the end of the pack, which cannot be tolerated. This is why you so often see elminationist rhetoric (and actions) coming from the right. Anyone thinking for themselves and challenging the assumptions of the group is literally life threatening.

  • Wow, anon, you really do your kind a massive disservice when you fail at basic reading comprehension:

    I deal with a lot of fratboys, obviously, and I must say in fairness that they are a highly polarized group. They are a not-quite-even mix of dedicated, conscientious students of above-average intelligence and some of the laziest, meanest, most entitled borderline sociopaths (inability to feel remorse or accept responsibility for one's actions being particularly rampant) you'd ever hope to avoid meeting.

    Since this is about that second group of fratboys, which you claim not to be a part of, what the hell more do you want?

  • Ursula: I resent being acknowledged and then ignored. Yeah, there's a "not-quite-even mix," but when Ed goes on to say "[AIG employess] sound exactly like fratboys," that qualification is forgotten. It's pretty disingenuous to say that in fact there are college students in fraternities who have consciences and ethics and then forget about us by the next paragraph.

  • Frank Zappa wrote a song about how much people on cocaine unfortunately affected his life. This post also shows how horrifying it is to think how much control another repugnant entity, "fratboys" like Jeff Skilling, can have over the economy and your life. After considering some of the fratboy fucks I had the displeasure of coming in contact with in college, I think I would probably prefer having a non-fratboy on cocaine affect my life. Now, a fratboy on cocaine: this is truly a horrifying image (and probably somewhat normal).

  • I doubt that enough men/women join frats to account for the vast number of idiots we all encounter in daily life. I'm amazed by the sheer number of overly entitled and under performing individuals that I meet on a daily basis in all walks of life. They don't all come from frats.

    People are lazy, entitled and incapable because we don't demand individual accountability; we just complain and point fingers. I see it in our local schools (parents too lazy and afraid to call out a staffer), local businesses (people who don't demand the proper remedy) and neighborhood (complain about that dog, but don't knock on the door).

    Regarding frats; people are pack animals and kids often join a group, not just frats, as a way to make their large university experience more personal and less isolated.

    For the record, I know some of the drunk, fighting, entitled frat types you encounter…they did that in HS before they ever joined a frat. For every one of them, there are 100 guys who, sigh under their breath " what a douche". And most of their parents haven't acquired enough wealth, connections or influence to pass anything of value on to their kids (although many believe they have and unfortunately leave their kids with the same impression).

Comments are closed.