The MBA D-Bag

Many schools apply an EBAY like course bidding structure when it comes to picking courses.   Basically, you get a number of points that you can use to bid on the classes you want to take.  Classes with famous professors or at really nice times go for hundreds of points.  Space is limited, so students invest time in laying out a bidding strategy.

People apply game theory.  They look at past bidding histories for a class, figure out what people are interested in taking, figure out what they are likely to bid, and then try to game the system.

With that said, people are pretty relaxed about talking about it.  I had not met a single person that had a problem discussing which courses he/she planned to bid on and many even revealed how many points they were going to throw.

Until I met THE MBA D-BAG.  He was wearing a tie. He had gelled spiky hair. He had his game face on. 

It turns out we both wanted to take the same class, so I asked how much he bid for it….his game face got all scrunched up, he looked at his watch “What time does bidding officially end? Two minutes ago, then it’s okay, I guess I don’t mind telling you how many points I bid.”


D-BAG, Go Home!!

D-BAG, Go Home!!

Really? Are you serious? Is bidding a state secret or something? The reaction blew my mind because really, personalities like that DO NOT belong at my school.

This guy sucks. What a d-bag.

I bet you ANYTHING he is trying to get into banking….I hope he gets an even bigger D-Bag for his first round of interviews. Hopefully D-Bag Sr will smack some sense into this kid.


$8 Grapes
October 28, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: Market Trends | Tags:

I just (unwittingly) purchased an $8 dollar bag of grapes. Seedless, organic, grapes from Whole Foods…. I was happy buying them until I looked at the bill and saw that they cost me $8.  That’s a burger at a low-end restaurant.  That’s an entire lunch at the cafeteria.  That’s a few gallons of gas!!!!

I don’t care how organic the grapes are, $8 MOFO dollars is too much.  I’m off Wholefoods grapes.  This is literally the last time I buy them.  This sort of pricing may bring Wholefood down.

MBA Recruiting

I was talking to one of my buddies at Bulge Bracket (yes, it’s toolish of me to say that but I’m still trying to keep this blog anonymous). He’s a director and he was checking in on me.  “How’s recruiting?” he asked. Fine, the banks are starting to roll onto campus.  “That’s too bad. I wish the HR peole would just tell you guys that you are all very qualified, but we’re not hiring right now.” 

We’re not hiring right now.

That’s the truth. NO ONE is hiring right now. Why would they? The economy is getting increasingly weaker.

There are less jobs:  How many people have gotten laid off? How many divisions no longer exist? How many banks no longer exist? The absolute number of banking jobs out there has diminished.

There are less natural job openings: Associates that would have left XYZ Bank for a higher paying job at a smaller fund wouldn’t dare leave today given the market uncertainty. People are holding on to their existing jobs for dear life.  In other words, my guess is that not enough associates are leaving htier current jobs to fuel demand for MBA grads.

Other Industries: Of course, I am not applying for a banking job. This means that I’ve gotten to observe other industries and they aren’t doing so great either.  The top consulting firms are interviewing and then dinging everyone like crazy.  There’s more competition for consulting jobs this year since so many bankers are now looking for a new, high-paying option.  Smaller, one-off positions are also hard to come by because earnings are down accross the board—everyone is feeling the pain, everyone is scaling their hiring back.

Will there be jobs this year? Yes. Will everyone get a job? Most likely. Will it be hte job they wanted or thought they would have after their MBA? VERY unlikely.

What bothers me is the charade. Why do these companies insist on schmoozing, wining, dining you if they have no intention of hiring 1/5 of the number of people they hired last year?  Because they don’t want to lose their relationship with my school. That’s why. They’re doing it for self-preservation.

It’s annoying.

Observations from my MBA
October 23, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: MBA | Tags:
  1. More than half of the men are seriously dating, engaged, or married to someone.
  2. Well over half of the women are single
  3. In reality, the single girl:guy ratio is 3:1. 
  4. Drinking is a huge part of the mba, particularly beer.
  5. Hard-liquor drinkers learn quickly that they get dramatically more sloshed on liquor than beer. They adjust their drinking behavior.
  6. People say that the MBA is one wicked party. It is not. Nothing can be a huge wicked party when it is populated by extreme type-A personalities.  People study. People want to do well.
  7. More about type-A personalities…..these people ran the world before coming to school, at least that’s what their resumes indicate. They overcommit and sing up for 4 leadership positions, 2 pro-bono consulting projects, 4 case study competitions within four weeks of starting school.
  8. Over particaptors are despised. We’re talking about the people who always raise their hands in class, always interrupt to ask questions, always throw tangents at the professor.
  9. Does it make sense that members of acadmeia, many young and lacking real world experience, teach corporate strategy courses?
  10. The “first day of camp” rule totally applies.  Most of the poeple that I hung out with 24/7 during the first days of class are now the last people I think of calling when I’m making plans.

Gotta run to take a stats midterm. WISH ME LUCK my friends.

Election Racism

I just had dinner with a very diverse group of MBA students. Some were international. Some were red-blooded Americans (i.e. Army veteran, literally).  Some were hispanic. Some went to Ivy Schools and others to public. A diverse crew.

The most eye opening comment said during dinner is as follows:  It’s probable that Obama will lose by a surpsing margin because the polls don’t accurately reflect voter intentions.  That is, individuals may lie about who they intend to vote for because they fear the pollster will think they preference for McCain is based on race.

This might be true.

What do you think?

What percentage of McCain supporters are like this?

I wonder what % of McCain voters think the way the people portrayed in this video think. It’s despicable.

Deep Breathing Excercises

It seems like investors listened to the advice on my last post and worked on their deep breathing exercises over the weekend.

People withdrew from the madness, spent some time with their families and realized that it didn’t really feel like the end of the world.  They munched on some toast Sunday morning and looked over the news, thinking how nice it was that European and American leaders were working closely to resolve the crisis. They paused to think, with the toast just inches from their mouth:

 “It’s beautiful outside, it’s way too perfect for every company on the S&P to go bankrupt over the weekend. I think people over-exaggerated this crisis….hmm….if I’m write and I buy stock on Monday, I’ll make a lot of money.”

The dog comes into the kitchen and brings the investors out from their daydream.  Yes, they will invest.

How cute. The largest drop in the DOW since 1933 was erased today by the largest gain in the DOW since 1933.

I honeslty think the worst is over.

I chalk most of the losses up to hysterica (irrational sentiments). I chalk the cause of the losses up to hope and greed, two of humanity’s most distinguishing factors.  A little more on this: Hope.  Investors, bankers, mortgage-backed securities traders, home builders, and home owners…they all had too much hope.

They looked at the fundementals (population, income, demographic trends) and chose to interpret the numbers in a way that inflated the housing industry. Homeowners and banks alike were all too happy to believe that prices in Small Town were really that high.  Homewoners were all too happy to get a mortgage that made this great house, in a great neighborhood, in a great school district seem affordable. Banks were all to happy to lend these families their moneys.  Secondary mortgage players were all too happy to buy and securitize these mortgages, because the new investment instruments they invented magically removed all of the risk.

Everyone felt they had something to gain, and chose to ignore what they could possibly lose.


It’s very human. We all rise and fall, spectacularly in either direction. The markets are man-made, so they must abide by the same rule.

I come from an occult reality to an open reality, so that you can know me.

I come from an occult reality to an open reality, so that you can know me.

The markets just had a breakdown, but tomorrow will be better, and the next day, and the next until the next crisis occurs….so human.