Paradise Lost

I stopped in my tracks when I saw the headline to this Economist article: Banksters. Its funny how certain words take you back to a time lost in idle corners of your memories, jogging them and bringing them back into focus.


I was a month into Project Vortex. Given that it was my first foray on a real deal with one of the premier PE firms around and I was a young, naive analyst back then, I was actually looking forward to the endless, sleepless nights (unbeknownst to me, we would eventually lose; but that’s getting ahead of myself).

Anyway, to make it through one of these ordeals, juniors at investment banks usually develop a certain gallows humour. This humour can be acted on in various ways. I was not the only junior working endless nights. Other analysts and associates in other groups on other deals would have to stay up late too. Often times, we would be the only guys left in the pit. We needed something to keep us sane. Misery loves company as they say.

During this particular deal, us juniors went through a phase where we traded rhymes. All these were funny, witty and exceedingly hilarious, but all in a sad sort of way. The goal was to one up each other. While I won’t reproduce all my former colleagues rhymes seeing as they don’t know I’m blogging nor do I have their permission, I believe I had one of the better efforts.

Reproduced below is an original Zuuko rap, conceived during a time when (i) the global financial crisis had yet to hit (we were outbid because the winners ended up loading debt on to this turd), and (ii) the idea that banking was not all it was cracked up to be (or more accurately, exactly what it was cracked up to be) was slowly beginning to penetrate Zuuko’s increasingly hysterical psyche. More accurately, the time of conception of this song was roughly half hour before midnight as I waited for Dick Pound to send comments back to my MD, who would invariably dump it on my desk at hopefully before 12:30am, allowing me to hopefully process them and be out of the office no later than 1:00am.

If memory serves me right, I got home that night around 4:00am.


Sung to the tune of Gangster’s Paradise, I give you Banksta’s Paradise.

As I walk through a turn of this bloody fucking pitch
I take a look at my life and realize there’s a ton left… BITCH.
coz I’ve been typin’ and starin so long, at
my fucking screen that even my mind is gone
but I ain’t never crossed god; I don’t fucking deserve this
me being treated like a grunt, now that’s nothing unheard of
my MD better stop jammin, me up the ass and slamming
me or he and his hommies might be lined in chalk
I really hate to trip but I gotta, loc
as I grow I see myself with the shakes, fool
I’m the kinda G the l’il university homies wanna be like
on my knees in the night, saying prayers past midnight

Been spending most their lives, living in the banksta’s paradise
Been spending most their lives, living in the banksta’s paradise
Keep spending most their lives, living in the banksta’s paradise
Keep spending most their lives, living in the banksta’s paradise

This entry was posted in finance, Project Vortex. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Paradise Lost

  1. zolltan says:

    On a note that’s only related to the title – Paradise Lost is the name of a band that plays my (by far!!) favourite metal song. This song also has a very appropriate (and VERY unnerving) video: Enjoy.

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