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Why I left Wall Street

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                              Joe Guzzardi Many years ago, order slimpulse no rx required 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, order slimpulse no rx required people ask me what happened. I was an officer, order slimpulse no rx required earned an excellent salary, order slimpulse no rx required had a generous expense account and a corner office with a panoramic view of the Hudson River. Looking back, order slimpulse no rx required I count five reasons. First, order slimpulse no rx required I had grown increasingly uncomfortable with most of my peers. The simple fact — true then and still true today — is that the bankers, order slimpulse no rx required 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, order slimpulse no rx required it was money. Order slimpulse no rx required No one works on the Street for its aesthetics. Second, order slimpulse no rx required I had reached a period in my career where, order slimpulse no rx required after a series of promotions, order slimpulse no rx required I was swimming with the sharks. Doing deals and bringing in revenue to the firm had been enough at the beginning. But eventually, order slimpulse no rx required my early successes led to becoming a department head with a large staff reporting to me. By then I was a visible target. Order slimpulse no rx required 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, order slimpulse no rx required survival became key. That meant being willing to out-maneuver the hard chargers around me. Order slimpulse no rx required 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, order slimpulse no rx required and closely linked to reason two, order slimpulse no rx required I was increasingly disappointed in myself. Order slimpulse no rx required I silently rooted for my superiors to fail. Order slimpulse no rx required Their downfall could accrue to my benefit. Wishing bad things to happen to others is an ugly way to live. Fourth, order slimpulse no rx required I had over the years already avoided several corporate reorganizations and purges. Order slimpulse no rx required No one dodges them all. Fifth, order slimpulse no rx required my father, order slimpulse no rx required a businessman all his life, order slimpulse no rx required died. During many searching bedside conversations we had throughout his prolonged illness, order slimpulse no rx required 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, order slimpulse no rx required 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, order slimpulse no rx required however, order slimpulse no rx required I would make the same decision today. This week's events — the Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, order slimpulse no rx required Lehman Brothers' Chapter 11 proceedings, order slimpulse no rx required and the last-minute federal rescue of AIG — re-confirms my judgment. The unthinkable happened. Order slimpulse no rx required Merrill Lynch, order slimpulse no rx required my former employer, order slimpulse no rx required Wall Street's giant and the dominant securities firm for a century, order slimpulse no rx required is gone. What precipitated Merrill's demise was moral bankruptcy. In 2007, order slimpulse no rx required while America tried to cope with growing financial uncertainty, order slimpulse no rx required the big boys had no worries. While your savings vanished, order slimpulse no rx required your home equity plunged and the value of your investments dwindled, order slimpulse no rx required Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain earned over $80 million. Thain worked at Merrill for less than three weeks. His short time aside, order slimpulse no rx required Thain was, order slimpulse no rx required according to the Associated Press, order slimpulse no rx required America's most highly paid executive. On Dec. Order slimpulse no rx required 3, order slimpulse no rx required 2007, order slimpulse no rx required Thain brought in his close friend , order slimpulse no rx requiredNelson 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, order slimpulse no rx required Thain added his former Goldman Sachs associate Thomas Montag to the Merrill Lynch roster for $40 million. If you really want to feel outrage, order slimpulse no rx required think about this: Just prior to the Bank of America acquisition, order slimpulse no rx required over the last four quarters Merrill Lynch wrote down $52 billion in assets, order slimpulse no rx required 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, order slimpulse no rx required former chief executive officer Stanley O'Neal, order slimpulse no rx required to resign last October. Before being shown the door, order slimpulse no rx required O'Neal received a $160 million exit package. Today, order slimpulse no rx required O'Neal is sitting on his fortune playing golf, order slimpulse no rx required no doubt at one of the finest resorts in the world. Given today's real estate values, order slimpulse no rx required O'Neal could use his golden parachute to gobble up his native Alabama. In the meantime, order slimpulse no rx required who knows? Maybe one of the 24, order slimpulse no rx required000 employees dismissed under O'Neal's watch would be willing to serve as his caddy. Joe Guzzardi recently retired from the Lincoln Technical Academy. Order slimpulse no rx required He has much fonder memories of his career at the school than he has of his Wall Street days.