December 3, 2022

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Book Review: ‘Bully Market: My Story of Money and Misogyny at Goldman Sachs’ by Jamie Fiore Higgins

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BULLY MARKET: My Story of Money and Misogyny at Goldman Sachs, by Jamie Fiore Higgins


“Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow” is the title of a popular, rainbow-covered self-help book published in 1988. “Bully Market,” the new memoir by Jamie Fiore Higgins, a former Goldman Sachs managing director, is clad in unambiguous blood red, suggesting rather that if you do what you hate, the money will chase you down a dark alleyway and throttle you. Maybe eventually it will release you to self-awareness, but not without first inducing temporary blindness.

The daughter of Italian immigrants to New Jersey, Higgins had life-threatening spinal scoliosis as a child, an experience that, as for Judy Blume’s Deenie, helped shape her personality. One mean girl in sixth grade called her “a disgusting freak” for the back braces she wore, along with an imaginary “cloak of defectiveness.” Expensive surgeries left Jamie feeling guilty and beholden to her parents, who discouraged her from pursuing low-paying social work. They wanted a return on their investment.

A naysaying physical therapist, meanwhile, made her determined to surpass low expectations. She ran varsity track and cross-country in high school, majored in math at Bryn Mawr and was recruited by a diamond-draped female partner at Goldman, one of the world’s foremost financial firms, with the motto “Minds. Wide. Open.”More like “Eyes Wide Shut,” it turned out— crosscut with outtakes from “Wall Street,” “Working Girl” and a soupçon of “Mr. Mom.”

Her beefs notwithstanding, Higgins worked at Goldman from 1998 to 2016. But the place is depicted as if suspended in ’80s amber. (Either way, we are definitely in pre-#MeToo corporate America.) “Here I was cramming for my pitch, and they were having sex,” she writes in astonishment of discovering two colleagues in flagrante one night on the floor of the computer lab. A male subordinate, taken off an account after having an affair with a…

Alexandra Jacobs

2022-10-02 05:00:15

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