Ex Wall Street trader drives cab to get back on the market. (watch the video)
NYC, night time. We are in the cab of former Wall Street trader Scott Curtis. Curtis always rides his cab at night because he makes more money then. Curtis talks about his life on Wall Street and explains why he chooses to ride a cab: he wants to promote himself. In his cab he hangs a sign where he talks about himself, how he lost his job on Wall Street. He hopes some big shot from Wall Street will get in in his car and offers him a job. It is already 8 months since he started doing this and so far nobody has offered him a job.
According to New York State Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli, 32,000 people will have lost their jobs on Wall Street by the end of 2012. That makes 32,000 since the bank crisis began in 2008. Many people who have gotten fired, still don’t have a job. Scott Curtis is one of them. Curtis was a successful trader on Wall Street, made millions and millions of dollars and all of a sudden he lost everything he had: his money, his job, his house and his wife and kids. Curtis is now driving a cab in NYC, promoting himself, because that’s the way he hopes he will be back on Wall Street again: meeting the right people in his cab.
Scott Curtis worked almost 30 years on Wall Street, he had it all: a nice job, an apartment in NYC, a house in Miami and a luxury life. In 1999 when the company he worked for was taken over by Merrill Lynch, Curtis decided to go and work on his own. The sky was the limit, in the week of his birthday in 1999 he made 540,000 dollars. Years later, in 2008, the banks went under and like so many, Curtis’ company went under too. He had to move back to Miami, sold his house to pay his debts. His wife broke up with him. And now he is back in NYC, driving a cab, hoping for a better life.
Driving a cab for me is… I find it to be very tiring. And being where I was earlier in my life to now, it is mental anguish. Compared to what I could be doing, compared to what I do now. Or what I could have been doing if I didn’t get my financial world turned upside down in the stock market.
I was a market maker for a firm on Wall Street, we made markets in the NASDAQ market. I made lots and lots of money, several million dollars. Upon till 2008, banks went under, I was ‘all inn’ and now I am driving a cab.
The biggest week I ever had was the week of my birthday in 1999. The week of my birthday in 1999 I made 540,000 dollars in one week. That was my biggest week ever. Now I have 1000 dollars a week, so… you live by the sword, you die by the sword. I died by the sword.
Ah… Wall Street guys.
I think the lesson I have learned most is that greed is not good and we all became very greedy. When money becomes so easy to make that you have got to sit back and look what is going on and review what is happening, because we came to a point that we were just printing money. I really should have sat back and said: ’what is going on here, because that just couldn’t continue’.
I knew it was going to a difficult situation to go back on Wall Street, so I thought the best way to do it was to go out there and market myself, hang a sign in my cab.
Hopefully, the right guy will get in my cab and I’ll get a job. But it is very discouraging that after 8 months … I really believed I would have a job. But as my grandfather used to say: ‘this too shall pass’…
And I hope very soon, because this sucks…
BEHIND THE SCENES
When I heard about the story if Scott Curtis I immediately contacted Scott to ask him if he would work with me on this project. Without a doubt he said yes. Of course Scott wants to get his story out, but on the other hand, there was this immediate respect for each other. I spent several nights in his cab. Scott talked to me also about his children. Ho he is missing them. They are with their mother in Miami and every two weeks Scott is flying over there to see them. A lot of money he earns, he spends on his tickets. Scott hopes he get his life in track very soon. At this moment he is staying with his brother, he sleeps on the ground in the living room. Must not be easy for a man who once made million and million of dollars. A night, we went for sushi, because Scott told me that is his favorite food, he used to eat it almost very day. Not is too expensive. I took him out for diner, that is the least I could do. Thanks for having me in your cab, Scott. All the best!
On Scott Curtis
State comptroller predicts more job losses
Wall Street Crisis 2008 timeline
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