OP-ED: Why It’s Okay I’m Working for a Company that Played a Non-Zero Role in the 2008 Financial Crisis

Like many other seniors this year, I too have taken part in the job safari, but unlike others I have caught the elusive career lion. Yes, I have become the champion of the hunt, and I will thusly begin my life in New York City with the rest of the Cornellian pack at one of the giants of industry, which may or may not have played a key role in the 2008 economic downturn. 

When my friends asked me what I was doing after college, I always had to explain, “Yes, I am working for a financial powerhouse in the city,” and upon further questioning, “Sure, they might have played some role in the great recession, but it’s not like they planned the whole thing themselves!” Alas, I am tired of having to so vehemently defend myself. It’s my duty to get a high paying job that comes very easily to me, and this path leads to exactly that. 

It’s not like I didn’t have other options. Of course, I could’ve worked at another company, but who’s to say that company wouldn’t have played a part in the great ‘08 debate? Really is there any company that remained unscathed? Even if I wasn’t in finance, that really sounds unreasonable. Are there even companies that care about anything but money? “Humanitarian efforts” seem a bit mythic to me. I’ve never known one person who’s so pro-human like that, especially when you can be so pro-investment bank. 

Apart from that, I am really just carrying on the great Cornell tradition. Not only did my father attend Cornell and work to inflate his own pockets at the price of an economic downturn in the late 2000s, but his grandfather before him did the same thing in the 1930s. Really, it’s about carrying on traditions and passing down family values. My son needs to know that he can contribute to one of the greatest disasters of the century all while filling his own cup. It’s family tradition, and who would I be to break it? 

I look forward to meeting my future co-workers at the company next year, the identity of which I am contractually obligated to protect (but let’s just say it rhymes with Scoldman Gachs). Together, I’m confident that we can change the world in one way or another, just like they did back in the late aughts. Ah, to enrich myself and let someone else deal with the consequences—isn’t that what Cornell is all about?

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