We live in a nostalgic age, and I wonder sometimes if there is purely nostalgia-driven demand for old-school brokerage stereotypes. Are there investors who have rejected efficient low-cost robo-advisers but decided that really they just want their money managed by a coke-fueled cold-caller in suspenders, just as they have rejected mass-produced macrobrews in favor of cocktails produced by artisan bartenders in, also, suspenders? Are there aspiring traders with data-science Ph.D.s who have turned down job offers at Two Sigma for scruffier cold-calling jobs, because drinking booze out of paper cups during the workday just feels more authentic? Is there a marketing opportunity for unabashed boiler rooms? “Wolf Securities: How Wall Street Used to Be.” I bet that would sell.
Matt Levine on how it was (how it ever will be).