Economics/Class Relations

Burnout at BlackRock

May 23, 2023
Hello, Insiders. Shona Ghosh, UK deputy executive editor, here. Many children born to immigrant parents will know how much they can value education, a high-status job, and the trappings that come with it. It’s a way to show that the family has ascended the social ladder in an unfamiliar country.


Khe Hy, born to Cambodian and French parents, was no different. By 29, he was earning $1 million a year at BlackRock. But wealth brought alopecia and burnout — and a look in the mirror during a friend’s wedding brought the realization he had to quit. Why one of BlackRock’s youngest managing directors chose another path.


In today’s edition:

— Shona Ghosh

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Debt ceiling, Greene, & Ukraine

  • Biden and McCarthy had a “productive” meeting on Monday, but they still can’t agree on a debt-ceiling solution. A default is as soon as 10 days away. More here.
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene defended her boyfriend after an old video of him in drag resurfaced — even though she has a strong anti-drag stance. Read more.
  • Ukraine is losing roughly 10,000 drones every month, a new report estimates. Researchers said Russia’s electronic-warfare system was among its biggest strengths. The full story.

Burnout at BlackRock

Robyn Phelps/Insider


What would it take for you to quit a seven-figure job? 

74-hour workweeks, perhaps? By 31, Khe Hy was a managing director at BlackRock — the youngest in the firm’s history. But by the end of his first decade on Wall Street, he was buckling under the pressure and sky-high expectations.

For Khe, his game plan had always been simple: if he earned enough money, he would gain status, and if he gained status, he would no longer feel like an outsider. Success, he assumed, would bring happiness.

However, he soon came to learn that the values by which he was living were not his own. At 33, his hair started falling out due to stress-related alopecia. Then, Khe became a father and his life snapped into perspective.

He decided to leave BlackRock and the security of his seven-figure salary. “I realized the riskier thing is my kid watching their dad be checked out and doing something just for money,” Khe told the writer Simone Stolzoff.

Now, he surfs every day, never misses a family dinner, and always puts his daughters to bed.


DeSantis, Carlson, & more

Joe Raedle/Getty Images and AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images


  • If DeSantis drags down Disney, he could bring central Florida with it. Disney said Thursday that it was scrapping plans to develop a $1 billion corporate campus in Florida. But if Disney focused its investments elsewhere, a leading expert said other Orlando attractions could suffer. Read more.
  • “I’m a butler on a luxury cruise where tickets cost up to $150K.” Nenad Popovic works on a 200-passenger luxury cruise ship that travels to far-flung places including the Arctic and Antarctica — and it even has its own submarine. He told Insider what his job is like.
  • A dating coach reviewed a 40-year-old’s Hinge profile. Jennifer submitted her Hinge profile for review by an expert as part of Insider’s Dating App Clinic — and you can do it, too. The coach said Jennifer should cut a costume photo and dedicate more time to swiping. More here.
  • If the US defaults on its debt, many federal programs could be at risk. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that Social Security and Medicare payments, veterans benefits, and SNAP could be among the first to go. See the others here.
  • Putin’s abandoned $3.2 million fishing villa in Finland. One of his closest friends funded the lavish house for him, per a report. It sits unused but has an underground parking garage, eight bathrooms, and other fancy features. Check it out here.
  • Tucker Carlson was fired from Fox News before he could give a conspiracy-theory-fueled monologue, a biographer said. The biographer said the monologue dealt with a theory that a pro-Trump protester was actually an FBI informant who sparked the riot at the US Capitol. Read more.
  • A scientist said he discovered a hidden Bible chapter. For more than 1,500 years, it was hidden under multiple layers of edits. But ultraviolet photography revealed the concealed text. Get the full story.

NYC reality check

Wilfred House


Reality versus expectation: Living in New York City. While the city offers a lot to enjoy, the less appealing sides often aren’t shown. Insider’s reporters documented flooding, piles of trash, and other disappointing aspects of city life. Check out the photos here.

23 fascinating jobs

We traveled the globe to learn about the world’s most fascinating jobs, including the people who make food commercials, the sculptors who build clay models for car companies like Ford, and artists who craft wigs for Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and other films and TV shows. Watch here.

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This edition was curated by Shona Ghosh, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Bob Bryan, Jack Sommers, Diamond Naga Siu, and J.R. Stacey. Get in touch:

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