Today Kevin Roose of New York magazine unveiled his party notes from a bizarre initiation/hazing ceremony held by the Wall Street fraternity Kappa Beta Phi in January 2012, which Roose managed to sneak into and write about in his new (and very good) book, Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits.
The secretive ceremony, held every year at the St. Regis Hotel near Central Park, involves cross-dressing, skits, songs (“I believe that the Lord God created Wall Street / I believe he got his only son a job at Goldman Sachs”), and hilarious jokes aimed at politicians, like former Congressman Barney Frank, who want to regulate the financial sector. Roose writes:
Paul Queally, a private-equity executive with Welsh, Carson, Anderson, & Stowe, told off-color jokes to Ted Virtue, another private-equity bigwig with MidOcean Partners. The jokes ranged from unfunny and sexist (Q: “What's the biggest difference between Hillary Clinton and a catfish?” A: “One has whiskers and stinks, and the other is a fish”) to unfunny and homophobic (Q: “What’s the biggest difference between Barney Frank and a Fenway Frank?” A: “Barney Frank comes in different-size buns”).
According to FEC donor records, Queally and Virtue have donated, respectively, over $300,000 and $55,000 to Republican causes, including a combined $100,000 to Romney Victory Inc., Team Romney’s main fundraising vehicle during the 2012 presidential campaign. (Romney, who amassed his fortune in private equity, heavily courted Wall Street while running for President.) To be fair, this wasn’t a Republican-only event; Roose notes that one of Kappa’s recruits (or “neophytes”) was billionaire Marc Lasry, a strong supporter of Democratic causes.
You can listen—if you dare!—to Queally and Virtue’s routine below:
(Neither Queally nor Virtue responded to requests for comment.)
Roose will be stopping by Gawker to chat about Young Money on Thursday at 2 PM.
[Photo credit: WCAS, Getty Images]