As in any culture, though, the young, the new, and the uninitiated need role models and leadership to learn the complex ways of the culture.
Such is the charity event, publicized in the New York Times to make all look worthy while showing concern for The Little People.
Re-enter Young Wall Street.
Thursday night, a few hours after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a two-year high, 350 finance professionals and their guests packed into Simyone Lounge, an ultra- exclusive club in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, for the annual Young Wall Street charity gala.
The hot-ticket benefit, which had a 250-person waiting list, was the first major fund-raiser since 2008 for Young Wall Street, a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by Eric Ritter, a former managing director at Bear Stearns, and Peter Hébert, a former equity researcher at Lehman Brothers.
This is where the folkways are passed down to those hired during the ‘austerity years’ when charitable giving wasn’t a priority; survival and bailouts were. This is where a community learns its values, or re-learns them if necessary.
The evening’s beneficiary was All Stars Project, an organization that runs after-school programs for inner-city youth. Last year, amid market unrest and negative public sentiment, Mr. Ritter and Mr. Hébert called off their annual benefit, sensing that a lavish Wall Street party – even in the service of charity – would be inappropriate.
Wise elders: keep the parties private. Now, though, let the good times roll. After all, it’s for the kids, right?
According to Mr. Ritter, the pre-event fund-raising total for the All Stars Project topped $110,000, with more donations expected in the day and weeks to come.
Not to get all quant-y on Young Wall Street, but let’s do the math, shall we?
$110,000 divided by 350 attendees means that the average donation was a little under $315. Per person. Dig deep, baby MOTUs — dig until it hurts.