With No Social Media, Times Are Tough on Wall Street

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Pity Wall Street's young bucks: Raised in the age of Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter, employees of the big banks are finding access to most social media blocked on company computers. "It's draconian," one JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) analyst told The New York Times. "It's a job where you spend a lot of time waiting to get assignments back from superiors, and you have to find ways to kill time."

Another way for them to kill time, I suppose, would be for them to do the jobs they get paid so much to do.

Blame it on the regulators
One Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) analyst told the newspaper that lack of access to YouTube is the biggest issue in his personal struggle against the monstrous injustice of restricted social media. The banks say they have no choice: Strict regulation requires them to block access to such sites.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority requires that financial institutions keep a record of all business communications for three years. Doing so for company email and instant-messaging systems is a herculean enough task, keeping track of an endless stream of Twitter and Facebook postings would be next to impossible.

"You have to be able to monitor what people are saying in real time," Richard Siewert Jr., a spokesman for Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) told The Times.

Everybody hurts
We all need to take breaks from our jobs, even Wall Street bankers, who, contrary to popular belief, are in fact real human beings. But it's difficult to feel too sorry for them. It was Wall Street, after all, that blew up the U.S. economy four years ago, ushering in America's most crushing economic climate since the 1930s, putting millions of people out of work, and destroying untold amounts of investor wealth. If I were working there now, I'd be grateful I had a job.

Sorry, I'd like to write more, but I need to go check something out on YouTube. Thanks for reading and for thinking. Speaking of Wall Street, interested in learning more about what the country's most talked-about bank is up to? The Motley Fool has a new report out on Bank of America, thoroughly detailing its prospects, and laying out three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here for full access.

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  • Report this Comment On November 23, 2012, at 5:56 PM, rsenn wrote:

    Oh for God's sake. They access Twitter or Facebook or YouTube on their mobile phones or other devices via the cellular network.

  • Report this Comment On November 24, 2012, at 9:46 AM, XMFGrgurich wrote:

    They do, it's true, but they were complaining that that just wasn't good enough.

    As a freelance writer, I have almost too much access to the online world, and it can be distracting. I would almost welcome some online restrictions for myself.

    Cheers. Thanks for checking in.

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