BOOKS – Goodbye Gordon Gekko by Anthony Scaramucci
by Thomas Eckhardt
‘Oooh those greedy bankers. How awful they are. They took our money, made theirs and complained when stricter regulation loomed.’ Seem familiar? Bankers, i needn’t say, are our social punchbag, but a new book by Anthony Scaramucci attempts to lend some transparency to the banking industry, highlights banker’s psychological failings and offers broadly philosophical life coaching to keep them on the right track.
Scaramucci has worked on Wall Street for 20 years, spending a considerable time at the bohemoth of bohemoths, Goldman Sachs. He talks about the 80s, the Wall Street tough guys and the real life Gordon Gekkos. The book serves as half memoir, half self-help manual, and where the venn diagram meets, a little bit of promotion for his own company Skybridge.
The tone of the book is strange, Scaramucci seems as though he must be the wettest man on Wall Street. He lectures on kindness, family and friendship in a way that even Richard Curtis would balk at, and during the course of one passage seems to rather melodramatically reel off a list of dead or at the very least dying friends. It doesn’t quite fit in with manliness of hard hitting business. He also keeps mentioning how he was a technical adviser on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps but never goes into any detail. It is the reading equivalent of a grandfather saying ‘I fought in the war you know…’ before passing out into his soup.
Goodbye Gordon Gekko is an attempt at being the banking graduate’s bible, and Scaramucci is obviously obsessed with the wisdom he can pass on (he references his own pomposity almost charmingly in the book), claiming perhaps correctly that we should all have mentors. The book teaches the rookie banker how to manage expectations, their egos, their pursuit of happiness and the people they should surround themselves with. It is an ethical code of conduct for the profession rather than its practices.
However, it does have a few juicy anecdotes of greedy folk falling from grace, and nice guys finishing first, so all in all if you want to read about an Italian New Yorker rising to the top and being a good guy, whilst others crumble the global economy, all the time being patronised as to how to be a good person then go ahead. Potentially useful reading for wannabe Wall Street guys, pretty pointless otherwise.