Miles from Home

China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

another voice

with one comment

Hello.  Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is bianj.  My good friend Miles has given me the honor of participating in the authorship of his blog.  I fancy myself as a good juxtaposition to Miles.  Allow me to explain.  He is milesfromhome experiencing a different culture while I am sitting at a desk within 20 miles of the home where most of my 23 years of life have been spent.  I generally spend 12 to 15 hours per day staring at this screen.  I look at different publicly traded companies and try to decide if the market is assigning their equity the wrong value.  It’s exciting when I announce that I know something that the market is overlooking and my company profits.  It’s frustrating when the opposite happens.  All in all, the hours are miserable, the education is terrific, the adrenaline is exciting, and the money has the potential to be life changing in a way few people believe to be possible.  That’s what working at a hedge fund is all about.  It’s about making rich people richer throught the completely ammoral process of investing in stocks that go up and shorting stocks that go down.  It’s capitalism in all of its glory and all of its filth. 

For instance, the members of the United Steel Workers recently struck at the Goodyear factories.  They wanted no more plant closures; they wanted more health care benefits.  Essentially, they wanted the basic security to know that their families and themselves would be provided for.  They literally risked their lives and those of their families to get what they needed.  They left work, not knowing for how long.  By doing so they ended the steady flow of paychecks.  Think how fed up with “the man” you would have to be to cut yourself off from work and run the risk of not having enough to keep food on the table, heat in the house, or a roof over your head.  For better or worse, these workers’ act of courage, their fight for a slightly more secure life was crushed with barely a hiccup for the company.  The stock barely reacted the day the strike commenced.  The people like myself sat in their climate controlled offices, they got drinks from their office refrigerator, and they ate catered lunches in custom made suits.  While the USW had to use their meager funds to help people in the most dire of situations pay the rent and buy food.  My team, the team of institutional money, was only slightly concerned that their investment would be worth slightly less tomorrow than today.  Within a couple months, the strike was over.  Some of the workers’ demands were capitulated to.  Some workers have slightly more security in their lives.  They had to risk everything to get it.  Those on my side made a boatload of money on the stock.  They had to risk other people’s money to get it.  I do see this as a sad state of affairs.  Brilliant minds are wasted on making the rich richer while those born at the bottom of the ladder fight for survival.  I, however, do not pretend to have a better solution.  I am not a Marxist.   I do not claim to be above the filth.  I am not.  I drive an Audi, I watch a flat screen TV, and I live in a nice top floor apartment.  At the same time, I am different than most of the people I surround myself with.  I do not have a trust fund, I did not go to boarding school, I did not graduate from an ivy league school, I majored in history, and I do not want to be making money for rich people my whole life.  I am looking for the same thing that everyone well off enough to not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.  I am looking for meaning and I am looking for direction.  I hope that I can participate in this forum to facilitate my search.


Written by Miles

January 9, 2007 at 4:35 pm

One Response

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  1. “Climate controlled offices.” We have gone beyond air cooling, beyond air conditioning, to controlling our climate. In the office, we determine the weather. Even if it is storming outside.


    January 17, 2007 at 1:14 pm

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