In The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane journalist Randall Lane documents the excesses and outrageous behavior that took hold of Wall Street in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
As the editor of Trader Monthly, a glossy magazine, targeted at Wall Street's elite trader class, Lane was often surrounded by insane amounts of wealth. "They were off the money time continuum," Lane says describing the money flowing between traders. "There was absolute detachment from the way human beings have always processed the idea of earning money."
And, that was good for business. "We were perceived as the nexus between all the money and this big pool of wall street and traders. All the luxury companies and all the consumer companies wanted to get all the Wall Street money."
To attract advertising dollars and traders alike, Lane's company was hosting up to 50 events per year, including to him they sponsored $1,000-a- seat boxing matches in New York, where traders from Wall Street's top firms were pitted against one another at black tie affairs.
"Life was a party," says Lane. That is, of course, until the market crash of 2008. "It was night and day for our company," he tells Aaron Task int he accompanying clip. "It was almost like an atom bomb went off." Within months Trader Monthly folded and Lane had lost all his money.
On Wall Street, traders went from being capitalist superstars lauded by all to social pariahs in the months following the financial collapse of 2008. "It wasn't just that it went from deification to neutral, it went from deification to vilification."
Even as the market picked back up since 2009, the repercussions of the financial crisis have not dissipated. The mood toward the Wall Street elite remains hostile. Especially now with the development of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has not only swept New York's financial district, but has spread across the entire country. (See: Occupy Wall Street Gains Traction: "The Message is Definitely Getting Out)