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Morning Coffee: How to become a financial Samurai. Citi CFO says it’s better to be a banker than a trader

Samurai

How can you make a fluffy, hippie concept appealing to alpha males in the financial sector? Simply imply that they are following in the footsteps of ancient warriors. Mindfulness has taken off in a big way in investment banking and fund management, but hedge fund (and Goldman Sachs) employees are now embracing transcendental meditation to help them remain an oasis of calm amid volatile markets.

Bloomberg has spoken to David Ford, a hedge fund manager whose firm climbed 24% last year, about the benefits of meditation on his investment performance. Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio and Paul Tudor Jones have long been fans of meditation, of course, but experts are keen to point out that this is in no way a hippie, wimpy or girly pursuit.

“Meditation used to have this reputation as a hippie thing for people who speak in a particularly soft tone of voice,” said Jay Michaelson, author of “Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment. “Samurai practiced meditation to become more effective killers.” So did kamikaze pilots, he points out.

Goldman Sachs employees are feeling the pressure to get in on the act. Classes at the firm have waiting lists several hundreds of people long, a bank spokesperson (amazingly) said.

Separately, Citi CFO John Gerspach has warned that the bank’s trading revenue is set to slide by 25% year-on-year in the second quarter (echoing comments from JPMorgan). Citi has already cut another 200-300 jobs in its sales and trading business, but working in advisory appears a decidedly safer place currently. Investment banking revenues would be “somewhat higher” than last year, he said. 

Meanwhile: 

RBS slashes 400 mortgage trading jobs in attempt to avoid having to create U.S. subsidiary (Telegraph)

Third time lucky? Pimco has rehired Paul McCulley (again), this time as chief economist (New York Times)

Hedge fund manager waits 12 years to give his side of the story on insider trading accusations (Dealbook)

Fabrice Tourre wants to get on with his life, and will not appeal fraud verdict (Wall Street Journal)

More senior investment bankers leave Barclays in Hong Kong (Reuters)

Boutiques are hiring juniors from Morgan Stanley (Financial News)

Beijing has struggled to attract finance professionals because of its ‘Airpocalypse’. London is worse (Bloomberg)

Goldman Sachs says Brazil will win the World Cup. England have a 55% chance of reaching the second round. (Alphaville)

Related articles:

How to earn £300k a year in trading. Senior banker warns: ‘Don’t sleep because you will die soon.’

RBC Capital Markets’ profits just rose by 37%. UBS paying for big names in M&A

Disgruntled ex-employee vents at shareholder meeting. Migration rules kill Singaporean finance jobs

Comments (1)

Comments
  1. ‘Goldman Sachs employees are feeling the pressure to get in on the act’- talk about herd mentality!

    (Btw meditation is something you can do everyday, alone, in a room with a timer, its something loads of non-finance folk have been doing since forever…not as flashy as signing up to a new public class at Goldman Sachs I suppose…)

    ‘Classes at the firm have waiting lists several hundreds of people long’ – indeed.

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