Last year was a wonderful year for the kids playing Wall Streets biggest game. Some $3.5 trillion of deals were closed, the most since 2007. Cheap money and corporate desire to show aggressiveness were two of the big factors.
Everyone made a lot of dough, not just the titans who bought, sold or refinanced their deals. The feeder fish, up and down the food chain, got fat, too. For without the latter, none of these deals could’ve closed.
So, in early January, the National Association of Wall Street Enablers, known to the Street as the Leeches, held their annual awards presentation.
The setting was the posh Cipriani’s Wall Street event space. The festivities began promptly at 5:30 pm while its members were still sober.
Christopher Whiteshoes of Strook, Strook & Putz, Esq., last year’s Michael Milken award winner, called the program to order and popped the first of 200 bottes of Dom Perignon champagne. This was no screwtop crowd.
“I want to welcome all of you enablers. Without you, none of last year’s 40,000 deals would have closed on time.”
The room erupted into cheers.
“Without your printing plants, your car services, your catering kitchens and, heaven help us, your special young ladies, the wheels of Wall Street would have ground to a halt.”
Again, the room exploded in appreciation.
“No one ever thanks the CPAs and auditors for their due diligence, but we do tonight. So, a big call out, guys!”
The room responded warmly, chanting: “CPA, CPA, CPA…”
“So often, the unsung heroes are the PR pros who fan the flames of ‘the deal,’ whether needed or not. So let’s hear it for the snake charmers.”
Half the room hissed, then cheered.
“Now, I can never figure out how the bankers – money center and investment – can pull so much money out of thin air, time after time, after time. So how about a big one for the boys who grease all our pockets.”
The cheering lasted for over a minute.
“Now, you’re thinking, I’ve forgotten the lawyers. But who could forget them? Especially at $1,000 an hour. And since they travel in herds, they’re always easy to find. Plus, they play both sides of the table. So, let’s show some love for the guys in the $3,000 suits.”
Which the crowd did.
“Now, my favorite grouping, like at the Westminster Kennel Club, is what I call ‘Personal Services.’ We’re talking catering, car services, security/protection, weed/pharmaceuticals dealers, and call girls. So, let’s hear it.”
The room exploded as 50 bottles of Dom Perignon popped simultaneously. The hooting and hollaring was three minutes of true love.
“OK, folks, quiet down, it’s time for the big one, this year’s Michael Milken/Big Leech Award. The judges were unanimous and I’m very proud to announce that it’s investment banker, Eddie Mohammed of Goldman Slacks. Eddie managed to snake his way into 125 of their 446 deals.
“Proven by his 125 acrylic commemorative deal trophies!
“Therefore, Eddie is a true Wall Street Leech.”
With that, the crowd went mad. They hoisted Eddie into the air, and poured two bottles of Dom Perignon down his throat. They tore off his clothes in a frenzy and left him for dead as they rushed to catch their trains home.
Bill Regardie was the founder of Regardie’s Magazine