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Pious Cant
6 June, 2010  
Land of the rising bum

Pious Cant, trapped at Big Law in Tokyo, examines frottage brought on by the excitement of high-end economic activity … Making obscene amounts of money increases the libidinous quotient … The BBC is to blame

@AdviceToWriters: “The writer is one who, embarking upon a task, does not know what to do.”

imageTwitter is brimming with gift-wrapped, economic inspiration.

The other day I was watching on the BBC a clunky pastiche about the global financial crisis.

The theme of the docudrama wasn’t much more developed beyond banker = bad, while rest of the poor, unsuspecting citizenry = good (if not very good, indeed).

My kind of binary system.

In one scene a smarmy, cocksure banker is engaged in a frenzied sale of synthetics that are jacked to the hilt with nefarious subprime mortgage debt.

So exhilarating is the nasty business of making obscene amounts of money for nothing that shortly after the trade is consummated, the banker takes himself off to the gents for a furious, superficial temporal vein-popping wank.

Not the orthodox kind of post-closing deliverable – but it was the BBC.

Did lawyers behave like this during the workshopping and all-night drafting of these malignant structured products?

Is it only corporate finance lawyers that are at-work-wankers or, against expectations, is the anti-trust practice also a hotbed of such warm-fisted friction?

These are questions that have not yet been asked of the legions of lawyers around the world who are implicated as accomplices in the global financial crisis.

Tweet me your responses @piouscant or leave your considered comments below.

I could never get that worked-up about the other side accepting all of my comments to a transition services agreement for the chemicals in my brain to bubble and froth to the point that I felt the urge to release in the lav.

Besides, here in Japan, there’s not the requisite degree of privacy. Nearly always there is some little old lady in the bathrooms toiling away next to you at the urinals.

Take, for instance, the trudging pace of life at Big Law caught in the following contorted side-banter as heard on a recent trans-Pacific conference call.

To set the scene, while on hold participants were listening to music playing over the speakerphone system. (I may or may not have been wearing French cuffs at the time.)

Client to Square Esq: “I notice that you’re not a big fan of this music. You don’t like classical music?

Square Esq to client: No, no, not at all. My father is a classical music nut! [Of course he is you obsequious twat, I scoffed to myself while trying to stay upright in my chair after working for the past 30 hours straight.] It’s just that it’s a little strange to have 20 people on hold with music playing.

Client to Square Esq: Well, there could be worse situations.

Square Esq to client: Yeah, like worse music.”

Time passes … We continue to listen to music … Then, just before we get down to the business of the conference call …

Client to Square Esq: “Oh, I misspoke, it’s actually jazz.”

Nope, not the kind of stuff that makes me want to rush to the bathroom, knock over the poor old cleaning lady and reach for the hand soap.

Then again, an acquaintance of mine in the hedge fund industry is a self-confessed, big time on-the-job releaser.

There must be something about all those numbers and colourful squiggles racing across the bank of screens that’s erotically mesmerising.

All that unmerited profiteering must feel so exhilaratingly vulgar that it momentarily makes the primordial seem elevated.

This really is a ham-fisted blog for the blokes this time around – isn’t it?

Women just wouldn’t behave like this, right?

Tweet me your responses @piouscant or leave your considered comments below.

There was another, moving scene in the docudrama where the same evil banker shags his equally evil blonde female banker colleague on the trading desk.

Even if not pumped by that day’s 10-hour round of online due diligence (with the prick-tease print and PDF search function disabled), I could see myself shagging in the office, given the right circumstances.

This is only blog number three (or sanbanme no monogatari in Japanese) and already we’re onto the office shag. Blame the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The dynamics of my office don’t encourage extra mural activities.

Even so, there’s definitely been signs of night time and just before start-of-business activity by others in my otherwise bland Big Law office that leads me to think that the office shag (or jimushou de no fakku) is alive and well in the land of the rising bum.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this variety of non-sedentary pursuit – provided the client isn’t kept in the loop, that each day’s timesheet doesn’t record such non-billables, and the heave-hoing doesn’t take place on my desk.

But it has brought on a mutinous moment of doubt when receiving instructions from a certain partner – a certain shagaholic (or yarichin), whom I had never previously had occasion to question.

When telling me about a bunch of revisions that he wanted made to a document, instead of automatically processing his short order – I paused.

“What the fakku would he know anyway?” I thought. “He’s probably so distracted banging in, out and around the office that he hasn’t even looked at my comments to the stock purchase agreement.”

What did I do at that moment of doubt?

I did what any self-respecting, junior associate would do if placed in my position – I pressed play again and accepted all his comments without question.

My next installment continues with the general theme of pornography and jurisprudence as I tackle the taboo subject of the role of the fluffer and Big Law.

@AdviceToWriters: “The writer is one who, embarking upon a task, does not know what to do.”


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