The Truth About The Wall Street Guys

Have you seen “The Wolf of Wall Street”? I bet most of you wondered if Leo didn’t go over the top a little bit. Had I watched this movie without having lived in NYC, I would have thought that his portrayal was way exaggerated. But since I live here and I did meet a few guys from Wall Street, I do believe that the whole thing could have happened just the way it was presented.

I just got a confirmation of that a few days ago. I met two nice (imagine that!) Wall Street guys in their 40s, one of them still works on Wall Street, the second one left some time ago. Since they started recalling “the good old days”, I asked them about the movie. They said they both get that question a lot and people usually don’t believe that the movie showed actual events. “You know, we weren’t the ones who crashed their helicopters being wasted, but there were guys who did that”, said one of them. “Imagine this – you’re having the time of your life with your friends and suddenly someone comes in and gives you a million dollars and moves your party to the best penthouse in Manhattan. This is how it used to be on Wall Street”.

Guys were starting to work there fresh out of college; they were young, stupid, wanted sex, money, and power. It couldn’t have ended well. They made money easily, almost overnight. Soon after they started working, they were making tons of money and 6-figure amounts came up very quickly. “We spent money like crazy because it was all coming to us so easily. We noticed right away that money can buy you anything and we just became huge spenders. A few thousand dollars for a bottle of alcohol…? No problem! I used to walk into a club and give a few hundred bucks to a bodyguard just because he was there.  We were the ones who would walk into a club and demand everything that came to our heads. If a girl turned me down, I would ask the bodyguard to remove her from the club”.

When I asked them about drugs, they both admitted that it’s a huge plague in Wall Street – almost everyone used to be high on something in those days. Guys got addicted quickly. “This money just goes to your head, you act like a child who wants to have everything”. I said that I was never attracted to those guys because they seem very arrogant and confident to me; they act exactly as the man said: like they can have everything and everyone. “Yes, this is how they are, but believe me – Wall Street guys are the most insecure guys I’ve ever met. They get their confidence from the money, that’s why they want to get it so desperately”. Well, I never was attracted to guys in finance anyway and I now see that it may not change soon. 

The Wall Street of today is not so “Wolf of Wall Street” anymore. Everything changed with the crash of 2008. The heyday is gone. Guys don’t make so much money anymore. Well, at least not all of them. But the air is still there – the air of desire, of need, of dreaming of buying the whole world for yourself as a gift.