Reading about how the American upper classes perpetuate themselves

I’ve been reading this sociological study, Pedigree. It’s about the hiring process at investment banks, management consulting firms, and big corporate law firms. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart, because more than fifty percent of my college graduating class has spent time in one of these institutions.

The place of investment banking and management consulting, in particular, in American society is really bizarre, since I’ve never been clear about what sort of value they add to the world. Management consulting, in particular, is a bit iffy. What do management consultants know about running a company?

Investment banking, too, is something I wonder about. What’s the difference between a good investment banker and a bad one? Why do they make so much money? They’re facilitating the free flow of capital in our society, but their job doesn’t seem particularly complicated, and I’ve always wondered why the free market doesn’t operate to drive down the amazing fees that they command. I suppose there’s a trustworthiness issue. You need an investment bank you can trust: a place that is large and secure–one that’s been around for years. But, on the other hand, all the prominent investment banks seemed to be staffed primarily by crooks, so where’s the trustworthiness?

Anyway, now this has become a rambling disquisition about jobs that I don’t understand.

This book is interesting. It’s just full of little details. Like these firms throw these diversity fairs where colored, female, and queer applicants are encouraged to apply, but then they don’t actually look at the applications. And there are often only 3-4 colleges that they really consider applications from. 51xseK0E0WL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

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  1. Unconfirmed Bachelorette

    I work for BigLaw. They never would have hired me individually. I do not have the pedigree. I ended up there when my small firm merged with BigLaw. After four years, I’ve begun to believe they are no smarter, but they do have huge egos, lots of bullshit skills, and are good at pretending they’re smarter.