Two friends of mine work at Lehman Brothers. They graduated from top schools with degrees in economics, and off into the world of finance they went. They're both good guys--one was very clear to me that he just wanted to stay a few years, put away as much money as he could, then go out on his own to start a graphic design firm before he turns 30. I hope he ended up putting that money away after all. The other was always great at math--he's affable, kind, and not that ambitious, and I think to him, a stable job he'd be good at that would pay him enough to live with his sweet girlfriend in Manhattan and take her to all the nice restaurants in town sounded like an awesome deal. I know so many people who went into finance right after college--they're consultants, and analysts, and personal wealth managers--they handled other people's money by the bucketful. They started when the profits of the subprime mortgage bonds were already flowing into the top financial firms, and the hedge funds, like an unstoppable river, like a force that always has been and always will be. Finance feels like a stable, sensible choice--until something like this happens. I imagine right now my two friends at Lehman are very anxious for their jobs and their futures. I'm sympathetic to their anxiety, even though they've had it really good the past couple of years and probably have solid and lucrative careers ahead of them regardless of this downturn. Still, I hope they come out of this okay.