Business

10 Ways Wall Street Is Just Like "Sesame Street"

There are Muppets everywhere.

10. We have extremely active imaginations.

Larry Downing / Reuters

Wall Streeters are always thinking up best- and worst-case scenarios for what might happen and we often strain to see things that aren’t there, like inflation or recession risks.

9. It’s all about numbers.

Courtesy Everett Collection

The people who are the best at math are usually the people who are making the most money on The Street. We call them Quants, on Sesame Street they’d be called a Count.

8. But letters are important, too.

Every stock goes by a ticker symbol — a letter or some combination of letters. Most of the time we don’t even discuss a company by name, just its ticker symbol.

7. Shapes are a big deal.

The Wall Street Journal

Traders and investors are constantly looking for patterns and shapes that match. They invest millions of dollars because, “This thing looks like that thing!”

6. Everyone pays attention when there’s a News Flash.

Most of the time, it’s business as usual on the stock exchange — but when a News Flash occurs, traders’ eyes are glued to the screen, hoping whatever it is doesn’t affect their positions before they can react.

5. We have our own grouches.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Gus Ruelas/Reuters

 

Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch and famed economic grouch Nouriel Roubini.

They’re called “Perma-Bears” and they’re always looking for bad news. They thrive off the unhappiness of others, even if they never win in the end.

4. Regular people interact with us sometimes.

PBS / Via gifbay.com

Regular folks need to interact with Wall Street from time to time — say, for instance, when Gordon and Susan need to set up a retirement account or when Mr. Hooper needs a revolving line of credit to expand his store.

3. Ego will get you everywhere.

AP Photo/Victoria Will, file

Mike Cassese / Reuters

 

Elmo and Bill Ackman, founder of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital.

Long before Elmo took over the whole show, referring to himself exclusively in the third person, Wall Streeters understood the importance of self-promotion and image. One sure way to make it in the money game is to be a larger-than-life character.

2. Partners are important.

©PBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

All of the biggest, most successful firms on Wall Street originally began as partnerships. Cooperation and teamwork lead to bigger bonuses for everyone. And if not, we can always cut a few “teammates” loose.

1. There are Muppets everywhere.

Courtesy Everett Collection

Last year it got out that employees at Goldman Sachs were referring to their counterparties in transactions as “Muppets.” Boy, would they make a killing in this neighborhood!

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