Wall Street firm's "Golden Pitchbook" is totally sexist, full of lies

"Don't pitch the bitch" and other pearls of wisdom from top brokers at John Thomas Financial

Published May 22, 2013 2:48PM (EDT)

An internal document, known as the "Golden Pitchbook" to senior brokers at John Thomas Financial, has been leaked and it is very, very sexist.

The document, given to top young brokers at the financial firm, is a script on how to pitch stocks to prospective clients; it deviates considerably from the company's stock script, which is far more bland and less legally dubious. “It’s secret, privileged information,” a former employee told BuzzFeed. “Some people at the firm don’t even know about it.”

The pitches range from the overtly sexist to the plainly misleading, but each relies on bizarre mind games and high school-style bullying to "close" with a client. Basically, it confirms everything everyone already thought about Wall Street guys being misogynists and compulsive liars. Surprise!

Excerpts from the guide, obtained by Mariah Summers at BuzzFeed:

"Don't pitch the bitch"

According to the source, if a prospective client tells a broker that he (the ideal JTF client is always a man, naturally) wants to speak to his wife before committing to a stock, the broker is instructed to make the prospect feel like a total wimp for it:

“(Prospect) if you want to call me back so you can ask your wife if you can buy the stock, I will call my wife and see if I can sell you the stock, come on! You make business decisions daily without your wife.”

“Let’s face it, if you go home and tell your wife that you want to invest with a broker whom you don’t know very well, chances are you will be hit with a frying pan and spending the night on the couch. However, once she sees my brochure from the firm and a dossier that I send you in the FedEx package with a buy confirmation, what do you think she is going to say? Besides, it is a lot easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission right?”

“Should I send it to your home where your wife will throw it out or to the office where you will put it by your merchant banker book that you never read either?”

Weird sex analogies, but definitely #nohomo

In another scenario, the broker is instructed to use sex metaphors to coerce a prospect:

“Let’s face it, your first step is the hardest. I am not looking for a one night stand. You married your girlfriend right? Let me ask you a question, you met your wife, but you did not jump into bed with her on the first night did you? Of course not!! Maybe you held her hand or maybe even kiss. Well look, I am not looking to jump into bed with you or even get a kiss, I simply want you to hold my hand with 100 shares and [in] 3-6 months you are gonna (sic) want to get into bed with me quite frankly. I am not that guy [laugh]. So do the 100 shares not because it’s good for me, but because it is good for you.”

Act fast! Supplies are limited!

Another technique involves misleading a prospective client about made-up acquisitions that will boost the stock in question's value:

“More importantly, when I have timed it with a near term event I have made a tremendous amount of money the event here is a possible takeover. We are not buying this stock for earnings; we are buying it for a takeover, which I feel is eminent.”

And still another relies on the same kind of deception, this time suggesting that the offer is limited-time-only:

Please understand, the secret of our program is matching timing opportunity. If we thought next month was the time to buy, I would not be calling you today. I would be calling you next month. You need to understand what we are doing here. I can appreciate now may be a bad time, but unfortunately the market is not going to wait for you. Lets be honest, when I call you back you will ask me to call you back again, then it will be tax time. To make exceptional returns, you must but on value and at the right timing. You know what sir? Your worst nightmare is to work with a broker who brings you a winning situation and is willing to play phone and mail tag with you. We both don’t have time for it. The reason my clients retain a broker like myself is for my exact pricing and timing. Without these 2 tools, you are tying my hands behind my back I may as well work at Charles Schwab.”

You can read the full document here, or you can just watch this clip from "Boiler Room" and save yourself some reading:

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Boiler Room Misogyny Sexism Video Wall Street