Exclusive - Kevin Roose Extended Interview Pt. 2

  • Aired:  02/27/14
  •  | Views: 14,989

Kevin Roose discusses the culture of money and social isolation that exists as young Wall Street bankers work their way up. (6:38)

>> Jon: HELLO, WE'RE BACK.

SORRY ABOUT THAT.

YOUNG MONEY ON THE BOOKSHELVES, TALKING TO KEVIN

ROOSE.

I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUTTHESE EIGHT PEOPLE BECAUSE

IT'S YOU KNOW, THERE'S ACERTAIN FEEL OF LIKE THAT

FIRST YEAR OF LAW SCHOOLTHAT SOME OF THE BEHAVIOR

THAT'S HAPPENING TO THEM ISHAZING.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: THAT THEY ARE HAZEDBY AN INDUSTRY THAT, YOU

KNOW, AND GENERALLY I THINKORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE A

SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT HAZE.

>> I THINK SO I THINKTHERE'S AN ELEMENT OF WE

SUFFERED THROUGH THIS ASJUNIOR ANALYSTS AND NOW

YOU'RE GOING TO SUFFERTHROUGH IT BUT IF YOU LOOK

AT THE BANKS WHAT THEY AREACTUALLY DOING NOW, THEY'RE

GIVING THE ANALYSTS MOREFREEDOM, THEY ARE SAYING YOU

CAN TAKE SATURDAYS OFFBECAUSE A LOT OF THEM ARE

QUITTING.

AND A LOT OF THEM ARE GOINGTO WORK AT PLACES LIKE

GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK WHERETHEY CAN ALSO MAKE MONEY BUT

SORT OF FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHATTHEY ARE DOING.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

REALLY, THAT'S HOW BAD ITIS?

(LAUGHTER)>> Jon: YOU CAN LITERALLY GO

TO FACEBOOK SO YOU CANCLEANSE YOUR KARMA.

>> IT'S TRUE.

>> Jon: I'M TIRED OF THEMONEY THING I JUST WANT

PEOPLE'S INFORMATION.

DO YOU THINK THAT THEIRSENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG CAN

BE, IF THE INDUSTRY ACCEPTEDTHEM COULD THEY TURN INTO,

THE EIGHT PEOPLE THAT YOUFOLLOWED, THE PEOPLE AT THAT

DINNER, SORT OF WITHOUT ANYSORT OF SELF-REFLECTION

MAKING FUN OF ALL THOSE THATHAD SUFFERED IN THE

FINANCIAL CRISIS, COULDTHESE FOLKS, IS THERE A

POINT IN THAT INDUCTIONPROCESS WHERE THEY TURN?

WHERE THAT SWITCH TURNS?

>> FOR THESE EIGHT I WOULDSAY THEY'RE PROBABLY NOT

GOING TO END UP AT THATDINNER BECAUSE AGAIN THE

SELF-SELECTION MECHANISM,THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO WANT

TO SPEND THEIR LIVES INFINANCIAL SERVICES AND MAKE

IT ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOPAND ATTEND THESE DINNERS ARE

PROBABLY NOT GOING TO LET MEPUT THEM IN A BOOK.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> BUT FOR THE PEOPLE, THEREARE PEOPLE WHO STILL DO WANT

THAT.

I THINK FOR THEM IT'S GOINGTO BE A PROCESS OF SORT OF

MAINTAINING THEIR COMMITMENTTO JUST BEING AS GOOD AS

FINANCE AS THEY CAN.

I THINK THIS THING WILLSTILL EXIST SADLY.

>> Jon: BUT JUST NOT IN THESAME --

>> A LOT MORE SECURITY.

>> Jon: THIS MATING DINNER,THIS SINGLES DANCE THAT THEY

DO WITH WOMEN FROM THEFASHION INDUSTRY, AND MEN

FROM THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY,AND SORT OF A BIZARRE

GENETIC EXPERIMENT WHERETHEY THINK LIKE YOU'RE

SHALLOW AND YOU'RE SHALLOW,WHAT IF YOU BREED.

LIKE IT'S THAT-- IT SEEMSLIKE THAT'S WHAT THEY WERE

TRYING TO ATTRACT.

>> RIGHT IT WAS LIKE SOCIALDARWINISM FOR OBNOXIOUSNESS

IT WAS LIKE-- IT IS CALLEDFASHION MEETS FINANCE.

A DATING MIXER THAT HAPPENSEVERY YEAR.

AND THE TAG LINES AREAMAZING.

THEY SAY THINGS LIKE LADIES,YOU CAN BE SURE THAT THE GUY

NEXT TO YOU IN THE BARDOESN'T WORK IN ADVERTISING.

>> Jon: WOW.

AND THAT'S WHAT THEY WRITEDOWN.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: WHAT DO THEY SAYSTHAT'S NOT ON PAPER, I'M

SURE.

>> THAT WAS-- THE FIRST TIMEI EVER HEARD SOMEONE USE THE

ACRONYM PJ TO REFER TOPRIVATE JET.

THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME IHEARD THAT.

>> Jon: SO THEY WOULD SAY LIKEHEY, MAN, DO YOU WANT TO PJ?

AND THEN-- (LAUGHTER)

AND THEN THEY WOULD.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Jon: BECAUSE IT IS, SOTHERE IS THIS SUBSET OF THAT

WORLD, I GUESS MY QUESTIONIS, CAN THERE BE A PEER

PRESSURE EXERTED BY OTHERASPECTS THAT CAN DIMINISH

THAT-- THAT LACK OFACCOUNTABILITY AND MAYBE

EMPATHY OR RESPECT OR ISTHERE -- A SOCIOPATHIC

STREAK THAT UNTIL WE CAN PUTAN ELECTRODE DIRECTLY INTO A

PERSON'S BRAIN, NOT THAT I'MADVOCATING THAT.

(LAUGHTER)>> I THINK SOME OF IT IS

SOCIAL ISOLATION SO, IF YOU'RE22 AND WORKING ON WALL

STREET, YOUR FRIENDS SOME OFTHEM STILL WORK IN

ADVERTISING OR WORK ASTEACHERS OR BARTENDERS.

BUT AS YOU RISE THROUGH THERANKS ALL YOUR FRIENDS

BECOME OTHER FINANCIERS ANDOTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING

MILLIONS OR BILLIONS OFDOLLARS A YEAR SO IT SORT

OF TIGHTENS YOUR SOCIAL SETTO THE POINT THAT THERE IS

NO CHECK ON YOU FROM THEOUTSIDE.

>> Jon: I REMEMBER, I BARTENDEDDOWN, THERE WAS A PLACE ON THE

SEAPORT CALLED PEDROO'HARAS.

YOU CAN IMAGINE THE FOODTHEY SERVED.

(LAUGHTER)>> Jon: AND IT WAS IN THE

HEYDAY OF THE REAGANEXPANSION OF WALL STREET.

AND IT WAS, I MEAN I THINKTHAT'S WHERE MAYBE SOME OF

MY ANIMUS STEMS FROM, ISTHAT PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF

BEING SURROUNDED BY THISINCREDIBLE EXCESS THAT

TREATED NONMEMBERS OF THEIRSOCIETY AS CHATTEL.

I KNOW THAT SOUNDS HORRIBLE,BUT THAT'S BEING KIND.

LIKE I HAVE SEEN THINGS ANDSEEN THINGS SAID THAT WOULD

SHOCK THE CONSCIENCE.

>> WELL, I THINK IT'S VERYDIFFERENT NOW.

FOR ONE OF THE BANKERS THATI FOLLOWED, AFTER THE OCCUPY

MOVEMENTS HE ACTUALLYSTARTED LYING WHEN HE WENT

OUT TO BARS.

HE WORKED AT GOLDMAN SACHSAND STARTED TELLING PEOPLE

HE WAS A CONSULTANTBECAUSE-- .

>> Jon: BECAUSE HE WANTED TOGET LAID.

>> RIGHT, EXACTLY, EXACTLY.

>> Jon: HE DIDN'T WANTPEOPLE TO GO I'M NOT HAVING

SEX WITH YOU.

>> RIGHT.

SO IT WENT FROM BEING ASOCIAL ASSET TO A SOCIAL

LIABILITY.

>> Jon: RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT.

IT'S FASCINATING STUFF.

DID YOU BECOME FRIENDLY WITHTHEM?

>> I DID.

YOU KNOW.

I THINK I GREW TO BECOMETHEIR SORT OF LIKE AMATEUR

PSYCHO THERAPIST.

LIKE WE WOULD GO TO A BARAND THEY WOULD SORT OF POUR

OUT THEIR WOES AND I WOULDWRITE THEM DOWN.

SOMEONE, A REVIEWER SAID ISHOULD HAVE

CHARGED A COPAY.

>> Jon: I WAS GOING TO SAY.

DID IT HELP YOU FEEL LIKEYOU GAINED A SENSE OF NUANCE

IN YOUR FEELINGS FOR THEMAND COULD WE ALL BENEFIT

FROM MAYBE SPENDING A LITTLETIME THERE.

BECAUSE OF THE, I MEAN ATLEAST IN MY HEAD I HAVE A

VERY, I THINK, CARICATUREDAND TWO-DIMENSIONAL VIEW NOW

OF THE PLACE THAT ISPROBABLY DOES NOT SERVE ME

WELL.

>> I DON'T THINK WRITINGTHIS BOOK CHANGED MY

OPINIONS OF SORT OF WALLSTREET AS A WHOLE.

BUT WALL STREET IS MADE UPOF PEOPLE.

AND THE PEOPLE ARE ASIMPORTANT TO KNOW AND

UNDERSTAND AS THE SORT OFINSTITUTIONAL APPARATUS.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> SO I THINK WHILE I WANTEDTO SORT OF HUMANIZE THE

PEOPLE ON THE INDIVIDUALLEVEL, THESE EIGHT PEOPLE,

YOU KNOW, I THINK THERE ISALSO WORK TO BE DONE WITH

REGULATION AND SYSTEMICCHANGE ON THE INDUSTRY AS A

WHOLE.

WE CAN'T FORGET THAT.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> BUT YOU HAVE TO REMEMBERTHAT THESE ARE LIKE ACTUAL

PEOPLE.

>> Jon: YEAH.

>> I KNOW, RIGHT.

>> Jon: (bleep) YOU'RE RIGHT.

YOUNG MONEY IS ON THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

IT'S A HELL OF A LOOK INTOTHAT WORLD.

KEVIN ROOSE, THANK YOU FORBEING HERE.

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