“For the Love of Money” (Pelo amor do dinheiro) é a nossa sugestão de leitura de hoje (em inglês). A peça é um pequeno mas impressionante retrato biográfico de Sam Polk, 30 anos, ex-toxicodependente, antigo trader de hedge-funds, milionário e fundador da Groceryships uma IPSS norte-americana.
Sam iniciou a sua carreira na Wall Street aos 22 anos e abandonou-a no auge da sua ascensão meteórica antes dos 30. Neste artigo dá-nos a sua justificação e a retrato do mundo financeiro de que fez parte. Um pequeno excerto:
“(…) But in the end, it was actually my absurdly wealthy bosses who helped me see the limitations of unlimited wealth. I was in a meeting with one of them, and a few other traders, and they were talking about the new hedge-fund regulations. Most everyone on Wall Street thought they were a bad idea. “But isn’t it better for the system as a whole?” I asked. The room went quiet, and my boss shot me a withering look. I remember his saying, “I don’t have the brain capacity to think about the system as a whole. All I’m concerned with is how this affects our company.”
I felt as if I’d been punched in the gut. He was afraid of losing money, despite all that he had.
From that moment on, I started to see Wall Street with new eyes. I noticed the vitriol that traders directed at the government for limiting bonuses after the crash. I heard the fury in their voices at the mention of higher taxes. These traders despised anything or anyone that threatened their bonuses. Ever see what a drug addict is like when he’s used up his junk? He’ll do anything — walk 20 miles in the snow, rob a grandma — to get a fix. Wall Street was like that. In the months before bonuses were handed out, the trading floor started to feel like a neighborhood in “The Wire” when the heroin runs out. (…)”