Nearly every ibanker who has set foot on this fine earth believes in the service and worship of a higher power. The very few outliers of this mysterious, numbers-are-much-sexier-in-my-bank-account sector (i.e. ibanking) you may come across who deny this simply haven’t looked deep enough within their soul to realise it. But they will. It is but a question of time and they have no choice in the matter. It may be that it dawns upon them only after their life as an ibanker ends, and they rediscover that luxury called free time. It could even happen right after they’re summarily fired from the job and find themselves sitting alone on a park bench eating a tasteless sandwich. And then, like unexpected lightning, it strikes and everything becomes illuminated.
When it comes to religion the ibanker is both a monotheistic and polytheistic creature at the same time. But let us not dwell too deeply on the inconsistencies which that assertion introduces into the dialectic. As tends to be the case with many arguments, conflicts and general confusion, much boils down to semantics. And though some will argue that that those two states of disparate beliefs – simultaneous acceptance in one and in many – are irreconcilable they are in fact not wholly incompatible in the world of the ibanker. Before I explain why, it’s important to touch on a remarkable trait of the ibanker species: openness to the impossible.
Believe young ibanker…believe
See, the ibanker has battled odds which would turn nearly any doubter of things supernatural into a firm believer, including himself or herself. Reminds me of an amusing little story. It is said that once upon a time an ibanker in India managed to sell the Taj Mahal, which everyone knows doesn’t belong to any one person, to a consortium of European investors for fifty million dollars cash and disappeared with the money as soon as a fake deed was handed over. By the time the fairer skinned businesspeople realised something was wrong it was too late and they had indeed been taken for a – rickshaw – ride of epic proportions. Note, the protagonist was an ex-ibanker at a tiny boutique ibank, so imagine what the big boys at the top firms do. But that is a whole other story. The point is the ibanker is a believer in all things.
And so just as after nature’s greatest possible transaction takes place and subsequently leads one sperm amongst over a hundred million to ultimately win the first and only place in the race of life and make way for a miracle, so will the ibanker achieve the seemingly impossible repeatedly throughout his or her career.
To overcome the sheer competition amongst an army of blood-thirsty adversaries in order win a highly coveted place within the firm’s class of new joiners; to develop that sublime gift of the tongue that enables them to convince clients to pay millions of dollars in fees following two, maybe three, relatively short phone calls which are usually made as the ibanker is working on a presentation, making a dinner reservation online or checking his or her bank account numbers for the fourth time that day; to determine the fate of companies so large and so consequential to the lives of so many that they might as well be considered countries. The ibanker has no choice but to believe. At his or her very core there is a believer in the supernatural and the daily occurrence of workplace miracles.
No regular truth seeker
An ibanker is certainly not one to trek across the Andes, climb a pyramid barefoot and play the flute with his or her legs crossed all alone amidst a starry night while pondering the immaterial world of religion and the hereafter at length. Let’s get real.
None the less, an ibanker is one to embrace new avenues, different perspectives and unexplored possibilities. Chief amongst his or her notable characteristics when it comes to belief in a higher force is the openness to the notion that there are many doors in the house of worship. And each room commands love, devotion and faith.
For the ibanker par excellence ‘money’ may be the god of all gods. Yet gold is also a god, as are equities, bonds, Swiss Francs, Rupees, Renminbi and the US Dollar. It does not stop here. The Global Head of Investment Banking and the Head Proprietary Trading are gods alike.
An ibanker is a believer in truth as one and many.