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TEXT OF INTERVIEW
JEREMY HOBSON: We’re going to check back in now with someone we’ve been following since the early days of the Great Recession. Christopher Miraldi, who lost his job as a banker on Wall Street in 2008.
HOBSON: What did they tell you?
CHRISTOPHER MIRALDI: Basically that, you know the bank, there were losses. And my that job was being eliminated. I asked twice if it was performance related and they said no.
HOBSON: After 20 years working in finance, Miraldi decided to give other thing a try. He spent some time teaching English overseas, and he even did some work for the census bureau. All the while sending out resumes to financial companies and not hearing much back, until now.
HOBSON: Hey, how are you?
MIRALDI: Good. How are you doing?
HOBSON: Good. Good to see you.
MIRALDI: Come on in.
HOBSON: I stopped by his New York apartment last week and he told me that after two-and-a-half years of unemployment, he’s just taken a job at a bank in Singapore.
MIRALDI: Singapore’s a smaller market and right now the opportunities in New York are just not there. It’s hard to get back in. But when I had interviewed with them, it was all done by phone. And it was very, I have to say, it reminded me of the way things used to be in banking. Just very much focused on the market. And what I liked about them is they told me the difficulties of the job. And I thought that was really honest because, you know, I said I could trust these people. They’re at least, they’re reasonable.
HOBSON: Almost every time I’ve spoken with you, you’ve said basically that Wall Street has not learned the lessons of the financial crisis in 2008. Two years later, have they learned their lessons?
MIRALDI: No. Absolutely not. No. Nothing has changed, other than the fact that the market is not there. If they could continue to sell assets that were, I’ll quote Lloyd Blankfein, where there’s “appetite for these assets,” the appetite has stopped, that’s why they don’t produce them. But they were the ones that marketed these assets.
HOBSON: You’ve been in finance for how many years now, altogether?
MIRALDI: I started in 1987, right as the first — well, in my lifetime — it’s the first crash in ’87.
HOBSON: So more than 20 years.
HOBSON: What advice would you have for somebody who’s getting into finance this year? The recent college grads that are getting out of school and going right to the big firms on Wall Street?
MIRALDI: You know, follow your heart. If you’re really good in other… Well, it’s probably too late for them because they’re already got a degree in finance. But if you’re only doing it for the money — that’s not all there is.
HOBSON: All right. Well, Chris Miraldi, thanks so much and good luck in Singapore.
MIRALDI: Thank you.