The DealBook Facebook: Interesting Chart or Cleverly Disguised Smackdown?

The graphic stuff has really been working for the Times, the NYTimes.com managing editor told Marketwatch this morning, and that could be why DealBook today has a big, pretty, clickable chart of more than 100 up-and-coming bankers, lawyers, private-equity executives, hedge-fund managers, and venture capitalists. They're calling it a Facebook, because the Times is down with the youth like that, and because all of the money-lovin' munchkins on there are under 40. But we think there's another reason for the chart's presence today. It is, after all, kind of an excellent fuck-you to people like Slate's Jack Shafer, who questioned the veracity of the Times' business-section trend story a few weeks ago about the growing number of young finance whizzes who were deciding not to get MBAs.

"Depending on how you count, the story names relatively few people under 40 who are experiencing the altered 'career calculus' promised in the headline," Shafer, who has apparently dedicated his lifework to hating on Times trend stories, sniped in Slate. "I count between four and six, and that's not enough data points to illuminate an Excel spreadsheet, let alone justify a business-section feature." Hm. Well, 30 of the future Masters of the Universe that appear on today's chart — including the senior managing director at Blackstone, the manager of a $3 billion hedge fund, and a managing director at a prominent investment firm — don't have any graduate degrees at all. So put that one in your pipe and smoke it, Shafer.

The Facebook of Wall Street's Future [DealBook/NYT]