Monthly Archives: April 2014

$200,000 A Night NYC Nightlife

Models & Bottles

I recently ran into this article on BloomBerg where the reader gets a sneak peek into New York’s “high-end nightlife.” The reader is introduced to a world of Amex Black Card concierge businesses, the clubs and promoters who facilitate it, and the clients who spend their hard earned dollars getting the most exclusive treatment available, if only for the night.

“A tall, angular sell-side banker named Richard orders a Parade, a train of seven sparkler-waving waitresses serving Dom Perignon in a just-for-you ritual. For a charged few minutes, all eyes are on him and his jubilant friends.”

“Nothing special, he’s just a typical Black Card concierge client. Say we do a billion deal. Three percent of that is 30 million dollars. Bottom line, a night out at $100,000 is just not relevant,” says Richard.”

What are your thoughts on this? Are you in fact one of the people spending your money on these services? Or have you witnessed them first hand?

Here’s the article:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-17/a-fun-night-out-for-under-200-000.html

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Investment Banks Lowering Hours – Genuine Change or Media Smoke Screen?

Ease Hours

The workload placed on Junior Analysts at the major Investment Banks (BB’s) has seen alot of attention lately, with banks promising to ease down on the workload and encourage weekends off. I ran into an interesting article today on The New York Times’ “DealBook”, titled Banks Ease Hours for Junior Staff, but Workload Stays Same where current Junior Analysts add their opinions.

“A number of young bankers say that while they can now enjoy a leisurely brunch or a binge of television watching on Saturdays, their overall workload has not changed noticeably. It just gets pushed to a different day.”

“If you have 80 hours of work to do in a week, you’re going to have 80 hours of work to do in a week, regardless of whether you’re working Saturdays or not,” said a junior banker at Deutsche Bank, who, like the others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity because he risked his job by talking to a reporter. “That work is going to be pushed to Sundays or Friday nights.”

What are you’re thoughts on this? Will the hours for Junior Analysts really change anytime soon?

Find the article here!

So You Think You Work Long Hours?

working hours

So You Think You Work Long Hours?

Greetings! I’ve decided to interrupt my article series for international students in order to provide some content that’s potentially interesting for all the readers here at WSO. I will however return to writing articles for international students in a couple of weeks, but for now I’m broadening my target audience!

When applying for a job in a foreign country it’s crucial to know what’s expected of you in terms of working hours – which might differ a great deal from your native country. I think this is especially relevant in the financial services industry, as hours appear to vary quite a bit depending on where you work, at least that’s the conclusion I draw from comparing hours in my home country in Scandinavia, and hours here in the U.S.

Meanwhile, in this post I would like to focus on how work hours vary across three different regions of the world – U.S., Europe, and Asia – and how the hours vary greatly depending on which region you find yourself in. I will not be focusing on the financial services industry specifically, but rather attempt to provide general statistics through credible and up-to-date sources.

Lastly I would like to be clear about one thing; I dont consider working more hours to equal working harder, it simply means working longer.

The Hardest Working Countries in the World

So you think you work long hours? Maybe you’re under the belief that the U.S. and its citizens surely must work long hours compared to most other people in the world. Well if you are, you’d be wrong.

According to recent statistics published on Business Insider the average full-time U.S. employee works approximately 1,700 hours per year as of 2013. This might indeed sound high to some of you readers, as the European average is distinctly lower. However, 1,700 hours per year doesn’t even come close to the highest average annual hours worked in that of some countries around the world.

Enter the Three Asian Tigers – Hong Kong, Singapore, and South-Korea – each clocking in respectively at 2,350, 2,300 and 2,200 average annual hours worked per worker in 2013, utterly destroying the majority of their competition. This might not come as a surprise for some of you, but I was personally quite astonished when I first heard of the amount of hour’s employees pull in these East-Asian nations, especially as a European native. Another way to grasp these figures is by statistics published by Forbes in 2008 which contends that employees in the Three Asian Tigers will actually spend about 6, 5 hours working, every day of their entire lives.

Most nations doesn’t even come close to matching the Asian Tigers numbers, yet there are some who follow in their footsteps. According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s OECD public statistics from 2012 portray the heavy workload carried by people in developing nations. Mexico, Greece, and Chile clocks in respectively at 2,226, 2,034, and 2,029 average annual hours worked per worker, not too far off our leaders.

What about Europe?

Let’s turn out attention to Europe for a moment, and amongst others, France, with its famously short work weeks and additional vacation time. As a native of Scandinavia myself, I’ve been indoctrinated with the idea of the 40-hour work week, which appeared totally normal and as nothing out of the ordinary during my early life – that is, before I discovered the financial service industry and moved to the U.S.

As it turns out, the French used to work even more than Americans in the 1980s, but since then they have taken a sharp dip down, and now average annual hours worked per worker in France lands at a meager 1,470 hours in 2011, quite far behind even U.S. numbers. The phenomenon of relatively low hours is consistent throughout Western-Europe with hours generally ranging from the 1400s to the 1650s, with the Germans sitting on a comfortable 1,397 hours worked annually according to OECD; even lower than the infamous French.
However, the comfortable hours has not reached Eastern-Europe.

As I previously mentioned, Greeks are the hardest working people in Europe, with their average of 2,034 hours annually. Meanwhile, other developing nations such as Poland, Estonia, and Hungary each respectively lands at 1,929, 1,889, and 1,888 average hours worked annually, putting into question what type of labor intensive work make up the grunt of these hours.

Final Words

I was initially quite amazed at the difference in average annual hours worked throughout the world, as I had grown familiar with the steady 40-hour work weeks that my parents pulled growing up. I think everyone who is considering working in a foreign nation owe him or herself, as well as the potential employer, to research what kind of hours are expected of employees in said nation, and even of the specific employer. Ultimately, being aware of potential culture-shocks such as differences in work hours can help ease a transition to a foreign society, and also avoid awkward office conversations.

Were you all aware of these differences in average workhours? If you weren’t, what do you think of them?

A Foreigner’s Perspective on Getting Adjusted to Living in the US – Funny

Image

I think that anyone from any part of the world can find a place here. You will never feel that as a foreigner that you won’t have access to the same opportunities that Americans do. (Visa issues are a nuisance sometimes, but if you play your cards right, that can be easily sorted). This is truly a country where hard work and smarts pay off. As they usually say here: God bless this great country.

A few pointers:

1. Get used to Fahrenheit, pounds, miles etc. (They don’t make any logical sense and are not based on decimal conversions)

2. Tipping: You are expected to tip here. Tip 15-20% depending on the service you receive. Must at restaurants. You should also tip cabbies, hairdressers…but not as much as you would in restaurants.

3. Depending on where you are in the country, don’t be surprised if random people smile at you or ask you how your day is going. Just smile. Americans are very friendly. None of this will happen if you come to NYC though. From the countries I have visited in Asia/Europe, Americans are the friendliest. This is not Europe – in general, people are warm and nice. Don’t be surprised if people strike up a conversation in public transportation and restaurants.

4. If Americans ask you “How are you?” or “How is your day going?” at the office, no one actually expects you to reply. It’s just a way of greeting people here.

5. Food: everything is so artificial and bad unless you go to a higher end market. Even Coke is made with high fructose corn syrup, not real sugar unlike the rest of the world. The chicken that you get in supermarkets is laden with chemicals, you can literally taste the chemicals. American chocolate (i.e Hersheys) to put it very kindly, is bad. Too much sugar in everything – and that is most probably HFCS.

6. No matter what you have heard about America in popular culture, Americans are very well mannered compared with the rest of the world. Don’t cut lines in this country, seriously! American drivers are also very well mannered and people follow the lanes etc. (Again you might find exceptions in places like NYC, but I feel like NYC isn’t a very good representation of this country) People will hold doors for you, and you are expected to do so as well.

7. Americans like their personal space. When you talk to people, maintain some distance. Same goes with personal issues. Don’t ask people about their personal issues and don’t tell people about your personal issues.

8. The food portions are HUGE here. You might find this shocking – I did too – but Americans take their leftovers home when they eat out in a restaurant. (Yuck!!!). A lot of people are fat and obese.

The full post can be found on the link below, and was originally created by Krypton on the WallStreetOasis forums:

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/a-foreigners-perspective-on-getting-adjusted-to-living-in-the-us