I Need to Be Strong

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I Need to Be Strong
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I begin medical school

 I begin medical school at Mount Sinai in the fall, which is why this little narrative—all about Wall Street and why it is not evil—must be as brief as it is. I feel qualified to write it because I spent the past year working as an analyst at a very interesting wealth management firm in New York City called Gilder Gagnon Howe.

I also feel—very strongly, despite the other tasks looming before me—that this is a project worth undertaking, completing, and sending out into the world, because the way we vilify Wall Street in this country is totally unnecessary, and hurts us as a society in all sorts of ways. At the very least, we should learn to refrain from asking people who work on Wall Street whether they sleep well at night, despite the immorality of their profession.

            For my argument itself, my strategy will be divided in two; I’ll be taking something of a pincer approach. On the one hand, I’ll describe the responsibilities, and daily lives, of my co-workers in such detail that it will be blazingly clear that there’s really no room left over for evil. I’ll attempt to show that—in its purest form, at least—working on Wall Street is so demanding that there is barely time to take your spouse out to dinner in Williamsburg, much less mastermind a scheme to drain the unsuspecting public of their hard-earned dollars.

            On the other hand, I’ll make my own awkward and amateurish attempt at justifying the actual usefulness, to this great country and all of its people, of the work that Wall Street does. I’m no economist, no academic, no expert of any kind—but if I do have one talent, it’s explaining complicated things in an accessible, if sometimes slightly reductive, way. I believe that I’ve identified at least a few reasons why Wall Street is actually very useful to us Americans, and I think I can explain what those are. Whether I’m overlooking other essential functions, or misrepresenting the relative importance of the functions I do discuss, is a question for the academics to dispute.
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