Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bad news all around

Kyle Stock reports:
And candidates [interviewing with hedge funds and private equity firms] say the classic "brain-teaser" questions are more brutally intricate than ever. How big is the pizza market in the United States? How many man-hole covers are there in New York City? How many tennis balls would fit in the new Giants stadium?

And then there are the ethically loaded questions that don't lend themselves to a correct, or even an apparent, answer. Should drugs be legalized? Should a person be able to sell their vote?

"At this point I've been asked just about everything," said a former hedge-fund analyst and recent Columbia Business School graduate who asked not to be named. He said Ziff Brothers probed whether he got along with his father, why he didn't get into Harvard Business School and why he didn't have a job already.

"You take your test and then weeks later they're like, 'Yeah, you don't fit,'" the candidate said. "It's unclear whether it's because I'm crazy or just too stupid."

And the space is still contracting. I know lots of folks in the financial industry whose businesses have just about withered away. And this will affect other sectors in New York City. The politicians who want to go after us in the name of "reform" or "deficit reduction" will find that they will have even lower revenues to support their vote-getting schemes.

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