The Corner

Derb’s Hangover Excuse

Yesterday evening went to a reunion of Wallyworld — an attempt to bring together all the people who ever worked for Wally Fekula in the First Boston / CSFB Credit Review group, 1984-1999.  We did pretty well — the room at Moran’s was packed.  People I hadn’t seen for 15 years or more.  I got such a lump in my throat, I had to wash it down with lavish applications of Long Island iced tea.   I am now paying the price.  Worth it, though.

The thing that struck me was how GOOD everyone looked.  Based on that roomful, the urban middle classes — at any rate, those who work for the financial services industry — are in terrific shape.  Everybody’s having / has had babies, too, which I think mighty encouraging.

Almost the first words I heard Wally say, back in 1986 when I was still new to Wall Street trading houses and not versed in their ways, I heard after emerging from a wood-paneled elevator at Park Avenue Plaza, walking through deep-pile carpet along corridors also wood-paneled, and lined with elegant imitation Queen Anne tables and objets d’art, into the hushed precincts of the Credit Department… the hush then broken by the VERY LARGE voice of Wally bellowing down the phone:  “WHADDYA MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW THE *&#!@+$%#% PRICE?  YOU’RE THE  #@&#%**!?#  TRADER, AREN’T YOU?”

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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