The air is thick with arguments for shrinking the size of the financial sector. Bernie Sanders provides a solid few. So does “The Big Short.” There’s a chorus of articles and op-eds available for perusal. Essentially, detractors of the financial sector say that the size of Wall Street doesn’t correlate with a justifiably positive impact on Main Street. We’ve all heard this. And we’ve all seen some or many of our friends here head off into the shiny world of investment banks and hedge funds. But Yale is a small school, and even if the financial sector draws a large percentage of its students, the numbers still don’t really paint a clear picture of the size of the industry or make a convincing argument for why the industry itself, and not just the percentage of Yale students who enter it, is too large.
Fortunately, I have found compelling arguments elsewhere. The evidence I’ve encountered is more persuasive than any campaign speech or Jacobin article, and I’ve happened upon it while innocently looking for love. Specifically, looking for love on The League, the dating app with a waitlist that promises to help you “date intelligently,” but in my case seems to primarily involve rejecting financial analysts at a higher rate than Goldman HR.
For many, February is a sad time to be single because half the month seems to be a buildup to Valentine’s Day, and then it’s the white-hot heart of cuffing season. But instead of indulging in chocolate or Tinder, I’ve decided to take my frustration out on the financial sector. Since the beginning of the month, I’ve been tracking my analyst rejection rate on The League. Keep in mind that you are only introduced to five “potential soul mates” per day.
These are the analysts whom I’ve scorned thus far: four investment banking analysts and a restructuring investment banking analyst, an embedded analyst, a hedge fund analyst, a senior analyst, a senior investment analyst, an MBA analyst intern, a data marketing analyst, an optimization & innovation analyst, a technical writer and operations analyst, a research analyst, a fixed income analyst and two plain old run-of-the-mill analysts. I won’t even get into the associates.
Since its launch, The League has been accused of being many things: elitist, classist, racist, superficial. These descriptors are all accurate to varying degrees. One good thing about a dating app for people who take themselves too seriously is that they also take dating-app dating seriously, so matches usually message or respond to messages and attempt real conversations.
Sometimes, I get the sense that these men are really just using finance to support other interests and passions. (I must admit that I myself have pondered this route once in a while when scrolling through editorial assistant salaries on Glassdoor.) Take, for example, “athlete banker comic surfer dude.” So well-rounded. I can respect that a little bit. The athlete comes before the banker and at the end of the day — hey! He’s just a dude. There’s a world in which I could go for that. My finger hovers over the “like” option. The League is classy — we don’t swipe, we tap gently, as if with a brass knocker. But then I regain my resolve.
Whenever I begin to waver, a new gem comes along: “Cash rules everything around me except when other asset classes provide higher risk-adjusted yields.” Which even as satire comes off as a bit aggressive. I don’t have the econ background to be making this stuff up, I promise. Sometimes I wonder if I should stop pretending this app could be useful for my love life and go straight for the stock tips.
But then I would just be another person seeking asset classes with the highest risk-adjusted yield. On the plus side, that might be easier to find than true love.
Caroline Sydney is a senior in Silliman College. Her column runs on alternate Tuesdays. Contact her at email@example.com .