Is Our Banking System Working its Interns to Death?

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The news that a young summer intern named Moritz Erhardt died just a few days ago, probably from complete exhaustion, made front-page news and caused a lot of consternation amongst our population. It also brought to light a practice which is in many ways deplorable, but is also completely voluntary. The desire for young banking interns to make a favourable impression during their limited summer internships drives them to push themselves beyond reasonable human limits. It is in the part fostered by culture within the banking system itself that not only permits, but often encourages, such practices. It is probably time to give some thought as to whether this should be allowed in a country that prides itself on civility. 

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Recruitment finance can keep any agency viable during challenging times

Is Greed Good?

It was in the seminal Oliver Stone film from over a decade ago, aptly entitled “Wall Street” that the leading figure, Gordon Gekko, brilliantly interpreted by Michael Douglas, asked the fundamental question: is greed good? He answered in the affirmative, partly in an effort to justify his somewhat dodgy financial dealings. But it is no secret that our modern financial system, which includes both our own national banks and the large international firms that dominate large swaths of global monetary movements, is a large part based on such greed. We live after all in a largely consumerist society, where money counts and where human values often take a back seat. Perhaps it is time to reassess our priorities as a society. 

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Taking Advantage of Ambition and Naïveté: 

Young banking interns want to impress their potential future bosses. In the wake of young Mr. Erhardt’s death, many former interns have come forward to recount their own stories. They talk about insanely long hours, the almost complete deprivation of any semblance of a personal life and the ways in which their mentors or bosses took advantage of their desire to impress. They discuss having to work way beyond what would be considered reasonable hours and arbitrarily set deadlines. After their experiences as interns, many continued on their career path, entering the financial sector. Others however, decided to take a step back and give some serious consideration as to what their life was all about and what their priorities should be. As a result, they decided to enter other fields of employment, where things were more balanced and their life retained a far greater semblance of normality. 

Succeeding at All Costs:

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with ambition and desire to get ahead in life. But those that are in a position to exploit such ambition (and this is not necessarily limited to the financial sector) should be held accountable for what might be in some ways be considered indentured slavery. This is especially true in banks that governments feel are just too big to fail. In these situations, the senior executives make exorbitant amounts of money, often on the backs of those lower down in the hierarchy of the organization. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem right. 

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Making Employment Sensible: 

With the current unemployment situation in the UK, many executives might feel that they have far more freedom of action, as far as exploiting the needs of their workers or potential applicants. The current situation certainly isn’t benefiting recruitment agencies, who are finding the relative lack of open positions to fill severely constricting their long-term viability. Fortunately, they can avail themselves of recruitment finance options, which allow them to meet their monthly obligations with a simple solution that allows them to stay in business. 

We can only hope that in the wake of the recent tragic events, some common sense can be applied to those really trying to find their place in the sun.

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