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'Meow': London Bankers' Cruel Hazing Ritual

Steve Satushek | Iconica | Getty Images

Hazing new hires is a favorite pastime at investment banks everywhere.

The latest stunt at one firm in London is a game called Meow , according to the Evening Standard.

The new recruit is given a phone number, and instructed to call it and say simply, "Meow."

The number rings the girlfriend of a managing director at a rival bank. Her cat recently died. So, basically, the recruits are being asked to torture her.

What makes the test fascinating is that there are three possible responses, only one of which is deemed meritorious.

Some recruits just do it, no questions asked. They are regarded as too servile. Others ask why they are being asked to say Meow and balk when they discover the backstory. The only way to "pass" the test is to discover the torturous purpose — and then be ruthless enough to carry out the task anyhow.

- by CNBC.com senior editor John Carney

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