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GLMX #160: The Golden Path

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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Two weeks ago, we learned of the tragic story of a young man by the name of Moritz Erhardt. He was a 21-year-old German bank intern working in the London offices of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He was found dead in his home after working for 72 hours without sleep in the company's investment banking division.

In the wake of his death, Reuters published a very interesting article about the kind of culture that drives young interns to go to extremes in order to secure their future in the money-making centers of the world. Belinda Goldsmith, who wrote the article, says: "Attracted to the glass towers of finance in London, New York and Singapore by the prospect of securing a full-time job and hefty wage, future 'masters of the universe' often face 20-hour days in some of the most adrenaline-soaked offices on earth. Weekends at work and meals in the office are par for the course with anecdotal reports of the 'magic roundabout' where interns get a taxi home after dawn and leave it waiting while they have a quick shower and then return to work." One former intern who now has a job at a major U.S. bank said, "People push themselves because they want an offer with the bank and the chance of a great career and great money. This is a golden path."

This "golden path" -- this drive for money -- is dangerous physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is not only bank and investment interns who pursue money this madly. But, people from every career path knock themselves out to be financially and materially successful. Their heart is set on the next big sale, the next big paycheck, and the next big thing they can buy.

+ Plus, listen to Joy Williams singing "Beautiful Redemption"

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