Sometimes with gravitas, sometimes with glee, the business media are tracking the human carnage among Wall Street traders.
Because of new regulations and less market volatility, financial institutions are cutting thousands of traders loose. Because it's a young person's game, by time the industry is on an upswing, they will be too old to return. Think of it this way: Convicted inside trader Mathew Martoma is 40 years old. His best work, even that done legit, is probably behind him.
On the other hand, there are writers. We can keep going forever. We scout up work throughout all kinds of cycles. And, sure, Rolling Stone likely isn't gong to assign me a story to do. But less glam media outlets are thrilled to have my experience coming up with provocative topics and then knowing how to put them together to attract and keep eyeballs.
Along the way, in the best of financial times, many of us writers did go through the dark night of earning power. We wandered why we hadn't gone from college to some kind of job on Wall Street. Instead we "invested" our youth in MFAs, literature doctorates or low-paying editing positions at Manhattan publishing houses.
That was then. Now we are grateful we have a craft. Actually with the economy bouncing back some of us are truly in demand. Yesterday I had two long phone interviews. One prospect was talking me into why I had to accept the assignment.
However, this is America. There will always be the vestige of regret that we didn't chase the big money. On the urn for my ashes I want engraved, "She remained ambivalent about $ until the end."