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Why I left Wall Street

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                              Joe Guzzardi Many years ago, buy bust enhancer in canada I walked out of Merrill Lynch corporate headquarters at 1 Liberty Plaza and left Wall Street entirely. I moved as far away as I could and still remain in the lower 48 — Seattle. To this day, buy bust enhancer in canada people ask me what happened. I was an officer, buy bust enhancer in canada earned an excellent salary, buy bust enhancer in canada had a generous expense account and a corner office with a panoramic view of the Hudson River. Looking back, buy bust enhancer in canada I count five reasons. First, buy bust enhancer in canada I had grown increasingly uncomfortable with most of my peers. The simple fact — true then and still true today — is that the bankers, buy bust enhancer in canada lawyers and traders who gravitate to Wall Street work for money. Colleagues who were asked to list the most important thing in their lives would reply that it was their family or their faith. But really, buy bust enhancer in canada it was money. Buy bust enhancer in canada No one works on the Street for its aesthetics. Second, buy bust enhancer in canada I had reached a period in my career where, buy bust enhancer in canada after a series of promotions, buy bust enhancer in canada I was swimming with the sharks. Doing deals and bringing in revenue to the firm had been enough at the beginning. But eventually, buy bust enhancer in canada my early successes led to becoming a department head with a large staff reporting to me. By then I was a visible target. Buy bust enhancer in canada Insecure executives above me were nervous that I might outshine them. And my overly eager underlings wanted my job. Like everyone else who approaches the top rungs of the corporate latter, buy bust enhancer in canada survival became key. That meant being willing to out-maneuver the hard chargers around me. Buy bust enhancer in canada I had two options: scheme to put the skids to my superiors or let myself be undercut by my subordinates. Neither option held any appeal. Third, buy bust enhancer in canada and closely linked to reason two, buy bust enhancer in canada I was increasingly disappointed in myself. Buy bust enhancer in canada I silently rooted for my superiors to fail. Buy bust enhancer in canada Their downfall could accrue to my benefit. Wishing bad things to happen to others is an ugly way to live. Fourth, buy bust enhancer in canada I had over the years already avoided several corporate reorganizations and purges. Buy bust enhancer in canada No one dodges them all. Fifth, buy bust enhancer in canada my father, buy bust enhancer in canada a businessman all his life, buy bust enhancer in canada died. During many searching bedside conversations we had throughout his prolonged illness, buy bust enhancer in canada he encouraged me to step away and live a more fulfilling life. I can't say that I never regretted my decision. The last time I checked, buy bust enhancer in canada the job I once held paid a seven-figure salary — and not just barely seven figures either! Another wonderful feature of the high life that I look back on wistfully was the freedom to order World Series tickets and have the bill sent to accounting. Despite the perks, buy bust enhancer in canada however, buy bust enhancer in canada I would make the same decision today. This week's events — the Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, buy bust enhancer in canada Lehman Brothers' Chapter 11 proceedings, buy bust enhancer in canada and the last-minute federal rescue of AIG — re-confirms my judgment. The unthinkable happened. Buy bust enhancer in canada Merrill Lynch, buy bust enhancer in canada my former employer, buy bust enhancer in canada Wall Street's giant and the dominant securities firm for a century, buy bust enhancer in canada is gone. What precipitated Merrill's demise was moral bankruptcy. In 2007, buy bust enhancer in canada while America tried to cope with growing financial uncertainty, buy bust enhancer in canada the big boys had no worries. While your savings vanished, buy bust enhancer in canada your home equity plunged and the value of your investments dwindled, buy bust enhancer in canada Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain earned over $80 million. Thain worked at Merrill for less than three weeks. His short time aside, buy bust enhancer in canada Thain was, buy bust enhancer in canada according to the Associated Press, buy bust enhancer in canada America's most highly paid executive. On Dec. Buy bust enhancer in canada 3, buy bust enhancer in canada 2007, buy bust enhancer in canada Thain brought in his close friend , buy bust enhancer in canadaNelson Chai and appointed him executive vice president and chief financial officer. Chai's 2007 salary: $2.5 million for less than a month on the job. In August 2008, buy bust enhancer in canada Thain added his former Goldman Sachs associate Thomas Montag to the Merrill Lynch roster for $40 million. If you really want to feel outrage, buy bust enhancer in canada think about this: Just prior to the Bank of America acquisition, buy bust enhancer in canada over the last four quarters Merrill Lynch wrote down $52 billion in assets, buy bust enhancer in canada posted cumulative losses of more than $17 billion and had to raise nearly $30 billion in capital to stay afloat. The Merrill Lynch board forced the man responsible, buy bust enhancer in canada former chief executive officer Stanley O'Neal, buy bust enhancer in canada to resign last October. Before being shown the door, buy bust enhancer in canada O'Neal received a $160 million exit package. Today, buy bust enhancer in canada O'Neal is sitting on his fortune playing golf, buy bust enhancer in canada no doubt at one of the finest resorts in the world. Given today's real estate values, buy bust enhancer in canada O'Neal could use his golden parachute to gobble up his native Alabama. In the meantime, buy bust enhancer in canada who knows? Maybe one of the 24, buy bust enhancer in canada000 employees dismissed under O'Neal's watch would be willing to serve as his caddy. Joe Guzzardi recently retired from the Lincoln Technical Academy. Buy bust enhancer in canada He has much fonder memories of his career at the school than he has of his Wall Street days.