Las Vegas, and the Eternal Nature of Potential Grief

Will Leitch
9 min readFeb 6, 2024

My first full-time reporting job, with benefits and everything, was at Registered Rep. magazine. It was 2002, we were owned by a newspaper conglomerate, I took the A train from 207th Street to 14th Street to go in the office every morning, enough time to read the Daily News cover to cover, there was a New York Sports Club right next door that gave discounted memberships to everybody in the building, there was an Irish pub across the street we all drank at all night after we closed an issue. It was a real job. Registered Rep. covered the financial services industry, a trade publication for stockbrokers, and my beat was the regional brokerages: Raymond James, Edward Jones, A.G. Edwards, Charles Schwab. I was expected to cultivate sources at each of those regional brokerages, talking to brokers every day, getting a sense of the trends in the industry, their individual complaints, the way the wind was blowing. I talked to brokers to write about brokers for brokers.

I was not good at this job, for the reason I’m not good at most of the things I’m not good at: I didn’t really care. I cared about doing my job, and I really did do my best, but at the end of the day, I just didn’t really care about regional brokerages in the financial services industry and, no matter how hard I tried, simply could not talk myself into doing so. I needed that job, though, so I was able to stick around, partly because I was a competent enough writer to fake it when I needed to and mostly because I loved my editor. Registered Rep.’s editor was a man named David Geracioti, a whirling dervish of a man who had studied philosophy at the University of Michigan before going to grad school in journalism at NYU. David was intelligent, manic, funny and mercurial: He was the kind of editor whose energy was so bottomless and passion so boundless that you worked hard just to match him — it meant so much to him that you wanted it to mean that much to you, even if it didn’t. David loved my writing but hated my reporting, could not understand why I couldn’t understand basic concepts of the financial services industry; I once spent an entire afternoon with him at a sports bar, watching his Wolverines stomp my Illini, as he mapped out complicated investment strategies on bar napkins. I didn’t understand what he was talking about, but it was hypnotic to watch him: I’d follow him…

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Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com