Crashing Wall Street's Frat Party
Senior Editor, CNBC.com
Kappa Beta Phi is an exclusive and secretive Wall Street fraternity who members include two former chiefs of Bear Stearns, the former chief of Lehman Brothers, the current chief of AIG, Wilbur Ross and countless other Wall Street luminaries.
Last Thursday they threw a black-tie dinner at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan to induct new members. Its meant to be an affair cloaked in secrecy. But Kevin Roose, an intrepid New York Times reporter, just walked in.
What he witnessed will shock you.
Just kidding. It is a rather tame affair, with members performing skits that include humorous versions of musical numbers with lyrics changed to be about Wall Street.
The bulk of the entertainment came in the form of musical spoofs.
Inductees sang Wall Street-themed versions of “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” (replacing “cowboys” with “traders”) and Abba’s “Dancing Queen” (which was retitled “Bailout King”).
... As is customary during Kappa events, some audience members threw objects at performers on stage, including petit fours and napkins dipped in wine.
Of course, these days even this kind of thing risks angering the kind of people who are perpetually getting outraged about things related to finance. Some members do not show up any more, according to Roose.
The best line of the night probably goes to Wilbur Ross, who apparently explained the membership as: "We have members from every firm that has failed, as well as members from those that will fail in the future."
Shhhh, Wilbur! Don't let Occupy Wall Street hear you say that!
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