Mike Beversluis

Saturday, December 26, 2009

In Which Things Didn't Quite Work Out

McSweeney's: A Former Investment Banker Analyst Falls Back On Plan B.

1. Explain why you want to attend law school.

I want to attend law school because I want to make a difference in the world. My desire to attend law school has nothing to do with the fact that I was recently fired from my job as an analyst at an investment bank, where I worked in the mergers and acquisitions group. Since January, I've worked on approximately one merger, zero acquisitions, have played Spider Solitaire 434 times and updated my Facebook status, on average, five times a day. My 401K is down 45 percent. All three of my roommates — Teddy, Whit, and Dan (The Man) McGregor — have lost their jobs and are moving back home with their parents. (I feel most sorry for Whit, who's from Cleveland.) I have $350 in savings, which may seem strange because I've been making, with bonus, at least $100,000 a year since graduating from college four years ago (in "Boston." OK ... Harvard.). But New York is expensive. Drinks cost $15. My Hamptons summer share (which was a valuable networking tool) put me back $15,000 last year. This is a long way of saying that law is a tool to promote equality, and to help create a just society. These have always been my goals in life.

Tangentially related, The $700 billion man.  And no, it's not Lee Majors.  Or that chick from the short-lived reboot.  Here's the lead:

     It all began as it ended, abruptly. Kashkari was a 35-year-old business school graduate from a suburb of Akron, Ohio, who had gone to Washington in 2006 to learn how government worked. Then came the recession, and through a freakish set of circumstances, mixing pluck, cataclysm and luck, he was appointed by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as the federal bailout chief.
     Suddenly, he was in charge of $700 billion.
     Congress savaged him. Wall Street Journal editorials doubted him. His home-town buddies urged him to use the money to buy the Cleveland Browns and fire the coaches. His wife spoke to him so rarely, she described them as "dead to each other." He lost sleep, gained weight and saw a close adviser, Don Hammond, suffer a heart attack at his Treasury desk. On May 1, after serving seven months under Presidents Bush and Obama, he resigned.
     Within a week, Kashkari and his wife put their belongings into "indefinite storage." They moved to a cabin near the Truckee River in Northern California. "Off the map," he told his friends. He threw away his business cards, and made a list of the things he wanted to do:
   1. build shed
   2. chop wood
   3. lose 20 pounds
   4. help with Hank's book
He called his four-step program "Washington detox."



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