Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle

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9780446525565: Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle

They're investment bankers: They're rich. They're glamorous. They're movers. They're shakers. Or so they hoped. Two young business school graduates start at DLJ, a hot Wall Street firm, grabbing their chance to become lords of the investment universe. There they find themselves part of a horde of overworked and frustrated lemmings who receive super duper paychecks and superhuman abuse. In this high-stakes pressure-cooker, 20-hour days, late night trips to strip clubs, inflated salaries, and mind-numbing work are standard, and high-powered, outlandish personalities are the unforgettable norm. Readers had better strap themselves in for a wild, hilarious, sometimes shocking ride through a land where money is king, and all they ask is that you check your soul at the door.

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About the Author:

" JOHN ROLFE grew up in the heart of Dixie. After stints at Virginia Tech and the University of Florida, he took a job doing broadcast research in New York City, convinced that "if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere." In 1993, after concluding that Frank Sinatra had sold him a bill of goods, John entered the Wharton School of Business, where he edited The Wharton Vulgarian. Following his sentence with DLJ, he was a principal with a private investment organization. Currently, John is a freelance man of sport and leisure, and is honing his panhandling skills for the next bear market. PETER TROOB grew up on the rough-and-tumble streets of Scarsdale, New York, and while in grade school starred in James and the Giant Peach. Peter attended Duke University, then worked for Kidder Peabody in New York City. In 1993 he entered the graduate program at the Harvard Business School, where he edited the humor section in the Harbus and wrote the "Kosher Korner" column. This made his mother proud. Peter is currently a partner with a private investment organization and is anticipating many happy years there."

Review:

"...funniest read since Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker...Dave Barry couldn't have written a more schizophrenic tale..." -- Industry Standard, 4/17/00

The Net Economy is infatuated with boy wonders. Fawning magazine stories report the musings of obscure research analysts like PaineWebber's Walter Piecyk, 28, who managed to boost Qualcomm's market cap by $25 billion in one day last December. And Vanity Fair chronicles the harrowing road shows of baby-faced CEOs.

But there's a dark side to the story: the legions of hungry, young investment bankers who make it all happen behind the scenes. Wall Street's young turks attach themselves to anything and everything that generates fees. In the late 1980s it was junk bonds and mortgage-backed securities. In the greedy 1990s and onward it's Internet stocks.

Now thanks to two recent defectors from Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, we can peek behind the curtains of these money-making machines. Their book, Monkey Business, is the funniest read since Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker, and it should give pause to anyone who comes in close contact with this rare species.

Two young MBA hopefuls, John Rolfe and Peter Troob, got sucked into Wall Street right out of Wharton and Harvard, respectively, soaked up the local color and left to tell all a short while later. The scenes are straight out of movies like Wall Street or The Boiler Room: The young associates nurse their supersize egos while their bosses try to crush them; they curse profusely and live large on four hours of sleep a night; they subsidize the strip clubs of Manhattan before Mayor Giuliani took the perk away from Wall Street.

But what do they really do for $200,000 a year? "It took our mothers six months to realize that we weren't stockbrokers, working the phones to sell crappy public offerings to unsuspecting investors," they write. "It took us another six months after that to realize that we were, in fact, selling crappy public offerings to investors." The only difference was that these two associates were shoveling the smelly deals to institutional investors, who then passed the bucket on.

Dave Barry couldn't have written a more schizophrenic tale. In a freewheeling narrative that alternates between the two men, Monkey Business lays out in exquisite detail how pitch books are developed (collaborative yet futile chaos dictated by hierarchy); how an investment bank arrives at a company's valuation (mostly guesswork driven by the desire to prove a company's march toward world domination); how to read a prospectus that an army of lawyers, bankers, accountants and managers have fought over in mind-numbing "drafting sessions" (skip everything except the financial statements). Then there's the story of a fruitless "due-diligence" trip for the junk-bond offering of an unnamed multinational wireless company, a wild goose chase over 12,000 miles through seven countries that yields little substance.

A year into their banking careers, both authors decide to chuck it all and get a life, leaving behind what they call a jungle full of commandeering baboons, dung beetles and busy monkeys. These days they work for a hedge fund, go home at 8 p.m. and toy with a Web site (www.streetmonkey.com) that pokes fun at anything Wall Street, from the relaxed dress code at Goldman Sachs to the demise of the Tiger Management hedge fund. The duo isn't working on a pitch book to take themselves public - yet. -- From The Industry Standard

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John Rolfe, Peter Troob
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ISBN 10: 0446525561 ISBN 13: 9780446525565
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John Rolfe; Peter Troob
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Rolfe, John, Troob, Peter
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