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7 things I miss about Wall Street

Last week I played in a poker tournament set up by one of my Wall Street friends. It was a $200 buy-in but my friend took care of the venue, open bar and food. The goal of the event was to have a good time in a social setting with existing and new clients to generate more business for his firm.

Even though I am no longer a client, due to my D-list celebrity status I still get an invite. In case you were wondering, it should come as no surprise that I won the tournament. It's nice to know I still have it.

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The event had a lot of things I missed about working on Wall Street: Free booze, good conversation, and a fight that had to be broken up because of bad blood! Too bad — it would have been more entertaining than Justin Bieber vs. Orlando Bloom. I recently wrote about 7 things I DON'T miss about Wall Street — like being on my BlackBerry 24-7! Besides waking up to the pungent smell of capital gains in the morning, here are 7 things I DO miss about working on Wall Street.

1. Client events. Entertaining is a big part of Wall Street culture. I certainly miss the "free" Kobe steak at Nobu when Jay-Z and Beyonce are fighting at the next table, as you take your 18th shot of the best sake in the world that you have never heard of.

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If you were creative, you could eat for "free" three to four times a week. In addition, Super Bowl tickets and your bachelor party in Vegas complete with dwarf tossing, and the down payment on your son's bar mitzvah at Yankee Stadium could be expensed by creative accounting if you were a big enough client.

Most firms set a spending limit per person but you could get around this by doing things like simply adding attendees to the bill. I was often an add-on guest. There was one night where I had dinner at both Per Se and Catch in New York, Gibson's in Chicago, and Tao in Vegas all in the same night. When questioned about this, my response was "I was hungry?"

2. Competition. The Street is filled with some of the brightest and hardest working people in the world. That's why when you make a lot of money on a trade, win a poker tournament against Wall Street guys, or are the first to sleep with the new receptionist, there is no better feeling in the world because you beat the best.

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Thanks to a steady diet of Adderral, Starbucks and 5-hour Energy drinks, Wall Streeters work around the clock to beat their index by basis points. There is no better feeling that lining up against the best, getting everyone's best shot and outperforming them just like Rory McIlroy did at the PGA Championship.

3. Bloomberg terminals. At $1,500 per terminal a month, no private citizen is pissing away over $18K a year. Instead these days, I opt for the NY Post at $20 a month which is a great value — even though it gets stolen every other day.

However, when you are in the game, nothing heightens the excitement more than when your Bloomberg terminal turns red because of breaking news and the market goes berzerk. Whether the story is the Fed decision, Hamas breaking the cease-fire (again!) or Kim and Kanye breaking up — being able to be the first to trade on that information is addicting.

Having access to every single piece of information in the entire world in real time from the latest unemployment numbers, breaking war reports on the ground in combat zones and daily gambling lines for cockfights in Tijuana just heightens the adrenaline flowing through a trader's veins.

4. Analysts. I really miss having an eager first-year analyst who worships you, like a 12-year-old girl worships Harry Styles from One Direction. While they are not yet up to challenging business tasks, your average Wall Street analyst is like having a butler, valet, and Federal Reserve printing press all rolled up into one wrinkled Brooks Brothers-wearing package. They would literally say and do anything to impress you — much like your girlfriend does for that first week of your relationship.

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Analysts can fulfill a myriad of critical tasks ranging from lunch runs to Dinosaur BBQ, calculating P&L or running home to grab your suit because you forgot you have a client meeting with T Boone Pickens. Best of all, you get this level of service for a year which costs less, than what you pay for a house in Montauk for the month of August.

5. The JPMorgan Challenge. There is no better way to show which person in finance is really the best athlete than this competition held once a year in Central Park. Sure, you haven't done 10 push-ups in a row since being hazed by your Ivy League eating club. However, now you are forced to do the the equivalent of an Ironman Triathalon in front of the entire industry without training, just to prove to your client that you can handle his Cummins Engine options orders.

You may think think that you look like Bruce Jenner out there, but unfortunately it's not Bruce Jenner circa 1976. Instead it's Bruce Jenner now with his B-cup man boobs and endless botox; you're wishing you had that sex change so you could run with the ladies. Still it's a wonderful evening, great cause and nothing beats a defibrillator.

6. The gossip. Wall Street people are some of the nosiest people in the world. Everyone wants to know everyone's business. Anytime a well-known person leaves a firm, it's like an episode of "Gossip Girl." There are so many rumors — and people can't wait to spread them.

Here are a sampling of rumors that have been told regarding someone's departure: "I heard he lost $2 billion dollars." " I heard he got caught having sex with his boss's wife." "I heard he is leaving because Morgan Stanley is going bankrupt." " I heard he is cooperating with the FBI." "I heard he has AIDS."

More often, it is as simple as he is going from one Wall Street firm to another. When that is the case, there are rumors of him getting paid a LeBron James-type contract to leave. While that is rarely the case, it is much more fun to spread those rumors than the boring truth.

7. Sleeping on the job. Wall Streeters, contrary to what some people believe, work very hard. Sometimes a little nap is necessary — I don't care what you do for a living. It's a great feeling to get paid while taking a nap. Who does sleeping on the job really hurting? Unless you are a surgeon, pilot or mattress salesman — no one.

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An old boss of mine used to put his head down on the desk and sleep for 15 minutes after lunch. He was making a lot of money for the firm so nobody really cared. I was a little more creative. On days I was really hungover, I'd go out for a "smoke" or "pick up my lunch" — and then take naps in the back of this movie theater that only showed French films.

Keep in mind, the only words I know in French are baguette, cognac and menage à trois. Here is a conversation I had once with an usher:

French guy: "Monsieur. You must really love 'La Vie En Rose.' You have seen it three times this week."

Me: "Yes. It's my baguette."

French Guy: "Baguette? What did you think of Marion Cotillard's performance? You think she deserves an Oscar?"

Me: "Yes. She deserves mucho mucho cognac. I can't wait for the sequel. They should call it Menage à Trois."

When we moved to our new office. I used to go take naps in the wellness center. The wellness center was a lounge used for pregnant women ... and me. I only worked in that office for a few months but I certainly miss the eight-foot long couches, free FitPregnancy magazines and suggesting inappropriate baby names.

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Commentary by Raj Malhotra (Raj Mahal is his stage name), a former Wall Street trader-turned-stand-up-comedian. He has worked at Wall Street firms covering three continents, including at Bank of America, BNP Paribas and Nomura. He draws from his unique ethnic background and Wall Street career to entertain audiences nightly, highlighting the struggles of the 1 percent. He can be seen at Gotham Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, NY Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, and the Tribeca Comedy Lounge. Follow him on Twitter @RajMahalTweets.

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