We reported on Tuesday that most of Bear Stearns’ employees were just lounging around at the office all day, basically getting paid to go to the gym and relax at the spa. That is, until JP Morgan completes its takeover of the deflated investment bank next month. But what else are those crazy kids up to?

Corey Lorinsky from ClusterStock interviewed a young Bear Stearns employee who described his short lifespan at the failed company in a little more detail:


Summer Training:

From the day I got there, I knew things weren’t right. When we were doing Thompson training, the lady teaching the class was using Bear Stearns as an example stock. Every time she came back to the main research page, after she showed us some software feature, Bear’s stock was down another $5.

On The Job:

When I got there, the job didn’t seem like the horror stories I had heard. Most of the first-years weren’t very busy. We would routinely congregate around each other’s desks and have hour-long discussions about how crappy the market was doing.

The Crash:

The daily anti-Fed-bailout protests in our lobby were the worst. Didn’t these people know they were at the wrong place? Didn’t they know the people at JP Morgan still have jobs?

On Jimmy Cayne (former Bear Stearns CEO) smoking pot:

The senior level bankers pretended not to let it bother them. They printed out the pictures and pasted them all over the walls. But in reality, you could tell they were really nervous about Bear’s future. They probably should have been smoking pot, too.


I’m still going into the office and being worked hard. My boss pretends that if I do quality work, I’ll get an offer from JP. I wouldn’t bet on it. A lot of other people just come into the office when they have to print something. Like their resumes.

There was another interesting story from the New York Times last month about a whole bunch of young college graduates whining that they were screwed out of their jobs at Bear Stearns after the company’s collapse.

I understand it’s a real pain to be stuck without a job but when you look into these kids’ backgrounds you see they come from very wealthy families with expensive degrees from top colleges. They are the cream of the crop and this bump in the road is merely just a small setback in their otherwise very well-endowed lives. A lot of them even have other offers to ‘fall-back on’, as if a $70k entry-level-job with a big Wall Street bank can really be considered a ‘safety option’.

And plus, since there is no way an entry level analyst could be held accountable for the Bear debacle, it will make for a great story on future job interviews –
“I see you were at Bear Stearns in March of 08?! Wowzers, tell me all about that one! Oh wait, better yet… you’re just hired. You can tell me all about it on your first day, Mr. New Vice President.”

Know anyone involved in all these Bear shenanigans? Shout it out in the comments.

ClusterStock: My Life At Bear Stearns: Not Just Sitting Around Waiting To Get Fired!, May 14, 2008