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Morning Coffee: Why is Goldman Sachs building a new London office? Macro jobs making a comeback?

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Lloyd Blankfein has tried. Michael Sherwood has tried. Now Gary Cohn is trying to sound another warning against Britain leaving the European Union.

Cohn spent his final moments at Davos warning of impending doom for banking jobs in London if ‘Brexit’ comes to pass.  If the City wants to remain a “great financial capital of the world,” it needs to stay in the EU, declared Cohn. And he’s not just concerned for British bankers. Cohn stressed that a strong City is the “best thing for all of us,” pointing out that the financial services sector is a “huge employer, both directly and indirectly...- Think of all the taxis, the restaurants, the accountants, the law firms – the people that we attract.”

In 2010, Lloyd Blankfein also warned that Goldman Sachs could scale back its UK office if Britain leaves the European Union. And in 2013, Michael Sherwood, co-CEO of Goldman Sachs International made a short film cautioning against that same eventuality. Despite these warnings, Goldman Sachs is in the process of constructing a new 850,000 square foot London headquarters in Farringdon. The building,is due for completion in 2017-2018 – just as a British exit may come to pass. So, are Goldman’s executives simply sabre rattling? Are they secretly confident that Britain will stay in the EU? – Or do they think they could always sell the new Farringdon premises at a profit a British exit comes to pass?

Separately, will 2015 be the year in which rates and FX ('macro) jobs make a comeback?  Share on twitterMark Carney warned last week that diverging monetary policies in the UK, the US and Europe could lead to “further currency turbulence.” This could be a good thing for experienced macro traders who can handle volatility. Bloomberg reports that Credit Suisse, for one, has just set up a new macro cross-asset trading platform in New York staffed by an ex-Deutsche Bank prop trader and two others.

Meanwhile:

Deutsche Bank is quietly admitting that the universal banking strategy may be misguided and German retail banking is a bad idea. If Deutsche sells Postbank, it will be structured similarly to Goldman Sachs. Share on twitter (Reuters) 

Lazard’s vice president says the universal banking model has become unviable. (Bloomberg) 

Credit Suisse is allegedly planning to cut an additional CHF500m of costs in light of the strong Swiss Franc. More job cuts could be coming. (Reuters) 

Banks are widely expected to cut more jobs this year. (Bloomberg) 

Standard Chartered has retained headhunters Egon Zehnder to find a replacement for Peter Sands. (Financial Times) 

Morgan Stanley promoted more IBD professionals to MD in London than it did in New York. (Financial News) 

UBS will now being paying CHF500m per year of its bonuses on Cocos. (Bloomberg) 

More than 50% of people working in finance are privately educated. (Sunday Times) 

Freelancers are happier than the population at large. On average they only work 38 hours a week and earn £43k. (Sunday Times)

A messy desk will sap your strength. (HBR) 

 

 

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