October 2008, New York City: A dead man, sprawled in a pool of blood, is found in the penthouse suite of an opulent midtown Manhattan hotel. Who is he? Was he murdered or was it suicide, and would it make yet another headline about the financial meltdown rocking Wall Street?
Chip Smith, veteran investment banker at Smyth Johnston, was looking forward to a comfortable retirement until he found himself an unwilling player in a changing Wall Street scene. A new culture of money, power, and control dominated by a few in the banking business contributed to the financial crash. When the grisly hotel death investigation lands on Smyth Johnston’s trading floor, insights into this new culture — behavior, business practices, shadow banking, lifestyle — all come into play.
Decay Time is a story about people, not products, and illuminates the world of the Wall Street trading floor before, during, and following the 2008 financial crisis. This morality tale invites the question as to whether behavior of the new Wall Street culture was really that different than what exists in other high-profile professions, or even in everyday life.