Trust Funds, Hedge Funds, and Slampieces

Trust Fund BabiesYesterday, I was in a pretty good mood. But this stopped suddenly for an odd reason: the Jezebel article Banker Bro Now Hiring Frat Dudes with Hot ‘Slampieces’. If you aren’t familiar with it, the article is very much “dog bites man.” It contains a letter from one fraternity guy to all of his “brothers.” He has been unable to find a job, “Fuckin’ Obama’s fault for strangling this economy.” So he got his father to allow him to access his trust fund early, which is worth “mid 7-figures.” And now he’s going to start a hedge fund!

Three times in the email he refers to “slampieces.” From what I can tell, these are women who are beneath you but who you fuck on the sly. He also mentions hiring secretaries for the men to ogle “and possibly slam.” So he’s a real charmer and doubtless so is his whole fraternity. Of course, his main pitch is that he and his brothers will become “filthy rich.” And doubtless he’s right. Ezra Klein certainly thinks so, Why Hedge Funds Run by Idiots Can Do Well. For Awhile. Money begets money, but even if he screws up and loses all of the money, I’m sure his father will bail him out. As it is, he is explicitly depending upon his father’s connections to make the fund successful.

When I first saw the letter, I thought it was a prank. The writer of the article, Anna Breslaw attests to its authenticity, saying that she’s checked out the undisclosed writer and his powerful father. So if there is a prank, it would be on Breslaw, not by her. But my time on earth has indicated that in the vast majority of these cases, things that look like satire are not. This guy, who must be in his early 20s, shows the maturity of a 13 year old boy. Or rather: the immature of a 13 year old boy.

The rich are falling down on the job. It was once the purpose of college to refine the young rich. But the fraternity system seems to allow young men to go off to school and become even more insular and silly than they went in. These are, after all, not people who have lived on the streets. They have never wanted for anything. Yet all that life is about is being filthy rich so that they can attract lots of “slampieces.” It is nice to think that this kid’s father would find out about the letter and rescind the offer. After all, it doesn’t sound like sonny is mature enough to get his 7-figure trust fund. But I suspect that daddy is much like his son with his own slampieces.

Beyond all that, the letter is a great example of how the rich think. Privilege drips from every word. In the sense, the letter is not sexist; I suspect this young man sees all people as objects for his personal amusement. But given his trust fund, he could do anything. Let’s assume this guy has $5 million. If he invested that and made 2% above the inflation rate, that would net him $100,000 per year. That’s a decent income for doing nothing. And it would allow him to leverage his privilege into doing something of some value for society. But instead, he wants to start a hedge fund—which does nothing for anyone except those in the fund itself. Check out this graph from Business Week (via Ezra Klein) that shows that hedge funds do worse than the market as a whole:

Hedge Funds Do Worse Than the Market

So this guy wants to make money by providing yet more useless investment opportunities to the filthy rich. And yet it is “Fuckin’ Obama’s fault for strangling this economy.”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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