Confessions of a wealth addict.

"I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink."

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Confessions of a wealth addict.

#1  Postby Mike_L » Jan 20, 2014 2:39 pm

For the Love of Money
By SAM POLK

IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.

Eight years earlier, I’d walked onto the trading floor at Credit Suisse First Boston to begin my summer internship. I already knew I wanted to be rich, but when I started out I had a different idea about what wealth meant. I’d come to Wall Street after reading in the book “Liar’s Poker” how Michael Lewis earned a $225,000 bonus after just two years of work on a trading floor. That seemed like a fortune. Every January and February, I think about that time, because these are the months when bonuses are decided and distributed, when fortunes are made.
...

...
But in the end, it was actually my absurdly wealthy bosses who helped me see the limitations of unlimited wealth. I was in a meeting with one of them, and a few other traders, and they were talking about the new hedge-fund regulations. Most everyone on Wall Street thought they were a bad idea.
“But isn’t it better for the system as a whole?” I asked.
The room went quiet, and my boss shot me a withering look. I remember his saying, “I don’t have the brain capacity to think about the system as a whole. All I’m concerned with is how this affects our company.”
...

Full essay at:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/for-the-love-of-money.html?referrer=
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#2  Postby jamest » Jan 20, 2014 3:03 pm

Yep, fucking madness. I watched The Wolf of Wall Street last night. Highly recommended viewing if you want to know how fucked up things can get.
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#3  Postby laklak » Jan 20, 2014 9:52 pm

I've always believed it's a sort of addiction. Once you have a certain amount, say 10 million or 20 million or even 100 million, you're set for your life, your children's lives and your children's children's lives. Yet they keep at it, amassing more and more and more. Somebody like Richard Branson at least appears to enjoy it, he does all sorts of really cool shit with his money. Who wouldn't want their own spacecraft? If it were me I'd have been on my private island somewhere around the 20 mil mark, listening to Bob Marley and smoking a spliff while the jerk pork cooks.
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#4  Postby Matthew Shute » Jan 20, 2014 10:08 pm

"Change will preserve us. It is the lifeblood of the Isles. It will move mountains! It will mount movements!" - Sheogorath
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#5  Postby igorfrankensteen » Jan 20, 2014 10:25 pm

Certainly in the example given, what it boiled down to was less an "addiction" scenario, than it was a "psychological confirmation of value." What THAT author was hooked on, wasn't money, it was what money represented: confirmation that he was officially a big cheese.

That's not so much addictive, as it is that such psychological confirmation, by its very definition, MUST be repeated regularly. What is always communicated by the end-of-year bonus, isn't that they ARE that valuable, it's that last year, they WERE that valuable. So the psychological value of the bonus in undermined, even as it is delivered.
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#6  Postby Kenaz » Jan 24, 2014 2:53 am

jamest wrote:Yep, fucking madness. I watched The Wolf of Wall Street last night. Highly recommended viewing if you want to know how fucked up things can get.


I watched this a month or so back; I found it rather hard to finish. At first I scoffed at the film, but then I realized it was because it didn't show us how bad this was through some hollywood ending of self-destruction. No. This is something that can, and does happen, many times without lasting consequences. It showed it bluntly, perhaps a bit extreme in its example, but it made its point.
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#7  Postby quisquose » Jan 24, 2014 12:39 pm

I see my boss's accumulation of his millions in the bank in much the same way as I see people accumulating points on their computer games.

Ultimately it doesn't make him happy at all. I know he looks at me with a hint of envy.

I've no mortgage, no debts and sufficient savings not to worry. In that respect wealth can result in security, and hence help towards happiness, but only to a point. Real happiness comes from many other sources.
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#8  Postby Beatsong » Jan 24, 2014 9:14 pm

jamest wrote:Yep, fucking madness. I watched The Wolf of Wall Street last night. Highly recommended viewing if you want to know how fucked up things can get.


You do know that was only a work of fiction, right?
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Re: Confessions of a wealth addict.

#9  Postby Animavore » Jan 24, 2014 9:18 pm

Beatsong wrote:
jamest wrote:Yep, fucking madness. I watched The Wolf of Wall Street last night. Highly recommended viewing if you want to know how fucked up things can get.


You do know that was only a work of fiction, right?


No it wasn't. I mean they might of taken a couple of liberties, but the film is based off the memoirs of Jordan Belfort.
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