As a financial journalist I often come across stories that teach me proper financial management skills, banking practices and…dating? Yup, you read right. I thought the financial sector had reached its sensational story limit with all the Occupy Wall Street buzz. Boy, was I wrong. Thanks to Mr. David Grey there has been a resurgence ofinterest in the world of banking, but probably not for the best reasons.
One dating-gone-wrong horror story involving a banker and his employee opened the flood gates to hundreds of women taking to the internet to chronicle their equally crazy “I dated a banker” stories.
In case you missed the original Daily Mail story here is the low-down:Daniela Rausnitz, a cute 25-year-old employee at JPMorgan Chase who struck up a relationship with 29-year-old, married, investment banker David Aaron Grey after getting a job with the Company post-graduation from Duke, made headlines this week. As if having an affair wasn’t bad enough, Grey soon became erratically obsessed withRausnitz and even followed her out to London. Rausnitz believed the move to London would put an end to the 1-year long relationship and help her further career.
This is where everything went wrong. In short, Grey went ballistic, bombarding her with texts, tracking her calls and even breaking into her flat. Some reports even say that the crazed banker sent 176 text messages and 23 emails in under one day — that’s a lot of writing. There are so many more twists to this story, but what I want to talk about is how this is becoming a pattern.
More Women Come Forward with Similar Stories
On the same day this dating scandal broke, popular social sharing site reddit.com had another woman come forward with a 1,600 word letter she received from an investment manager named “Mike”. Here is an excerpt:
“I suggest that we continue to go out and see what happens. Needless to say, I find you less appealing now (given that you haven’t returned my messages) than I did at our first date. However, I would be willing to go out with you again. I’m open minded and flexible and am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I wish you would give me the benefit of the doubt too. If you don’t want to go out again, in my opinion, you would be making a big mistake, perhaps one of the biggest mistakes in your life. If you don’t want to go out again, then you should have called to tell me so.”
Wow. And this isn’t the last of it, gossip and news website, Gawker, posted 10 similarly intense dating stories chronicling over enthusiastic men and women in the banking industry.
Why Are Banking Big-Wigs So Bad at Dating?
I, too, went out with a person in the financial industry who happened to have an impressive job title. Although there was no second date, the first one was pretty decent and I didn’t get any crazy novels detailing why we should go out again. So why are there so many of these stories? I believe it all stems back with having so much money.
As we (and most other media outlets) have reported, these people get huge yearly bonuses. Even though there was a bit of a dip in bonuses this year, the average managing director will bring home about $900,000 this year (not including base salary). With this kind of money you become untouchable and disillusioned. I grew up around people who had a lot of money, it has been my personal experience that a lot of money comes with a lot of entitlement — not the best character trait for the dating world.
Sensational Story Turns Into A Sociological Lesson
Last year a study out of Princeton University found that as Americans saw an increase in income their happiness increased, until $75,000 (changes according to standard of living), at which point their emotional well-being leveled off. Considering this study and the absurdly high Wall Street paychecks, it makes sense that these bankers look for satisfaction through other routes unsuccessfully.
Think about it, these managing directors are making nearly 12 times the average salary for happiness, without 12 times the happiness-result. Psychologically there is a discontent between how much they are making and how they should feel emotionally. The study proves money isn’t everything. But when you come from a career where money is the focal point of all your actions, it is probably hard understand the social workings of people who aren’t so focused on making a million-dollar salary. It also doesn’t help that our society is predisposition to believe the more money a person has, the better treatment they deserve.
So, when these bankers do not get their expected “better-treatment” aka a second date, they are going to have a big issue with it as proven by all the examples.
I may not know much about managing high-yield investment funds, but I do know a thing or two about the dating world and being a respectful person in general. Having money is great, I am the first to admit that, but at the end of the day having quality relationships is better.