Matt Levine on Investment Bankers

Matt Levine’s most recent “Ask a Banker” column for Planet Money is one of the best things to read right now, and I’m kiiiiind of jealous we couldn’t snap him up to do a column for us. In it, he answers very matter-of-factly how people become investment bankers:

1. Go to a fancy college. 2. Have no idea what you want to do for a living. 3. Interview a lot for investment banking jobs … A variant on step 3 is “have a parent who is a managing director at or major client of an investment bank, then do a little bit of interviewing.” OH WHAT YOU’RE SURPRISED THERE’S NEPOTISM?

He also talks about why investment bankers do bad things and notes that they don’t start out being inherently bad:

I dunno, I think of all those aimless Ivy Leaguers who ended up in investment banking. What attracted them to it? Money, yes, but it seems unlikely that they were all rubbing their hands together and cackling gleefully about stealing people’s houses.

Unlikely, but there’s always that one guy who does cackle gleefully about stealing people’s houses, even if it’s just in his head, and he should probably be in jail.