December seems a long time ago now. In the intervening months, it's been easy to get caught up in the daily oscillations of hiring and firing and self-preservation without thinking of the long term threat to the City that surfaced when David Cameron tried to assert himself before Christmas. Now, that threat is very clearly back.
As various publications note this morning, the proposed European Banking Union, involving all 27 European Union members, with pooling of all resolution funds and all deposit guarantee funds, plus broader supervision of the shadow banking sector, is pushing the UK into a corner. Both David Cameron and George Osborne are opposed to UK participation. But as Breaking Views points out, "Will the euro zone be prepared to give British banks a passport to operate freely within its banking union if they are not subject to the same regulations and supervision?"
The Financial Times has spoken to an EU diplomat who says the City of London is at a crossroads. “Will it be the centre for finance in Europe, for Europe, which is what it is now? Or does it go off-shore? Some people have the illusion that it could be a greater Guernsey.”
Worse, the FT says a banking union based on an intergovernmental pact between 25 of the EU's members would give pact participants a majority, enabling them to impose technical standards and financial rules on the UK. The City's main defender on the ground appears to be Sharon Bowles,a liberal democrat MP and chair of the European parliament committee overseeing financial regulation. Bowles' son is a 'bond analyst' in the City.
Separately, following last year's excitement over Swiss Russian model and former JPMorgan intern Xenia Tchoumitcheva, a new female Russian financial services professional is apparentlycausing ripples of happiness. She is Olga Tselinina, a graduate of Moscow State Industrial University and fixed income sales person at OAO Promsvyazbank in Moscow.
This is Olga:
As we have observed in the past, attractiveness is often an asset in investment banking sales roles. Equally, however, we have been lambastedfor the objectification of women. In Olga's case, she is arguably inviting appreciation of her appearance, describing herself as "slim and lovable)" on her Facebook page.
Analysts say Barclays needs to step up its efforts to downsize some divisions, including structured credit and its cash equities units in Europe and Asia, which they say remain sub-scale despite significant investment. (Financial Times)
Russian banker shot in London has 24 hour protection from 20 armed police guards. (Independent)
British banks are the least profitable in the world. Chinese banks are the most. (Telegraph)
America’s biggest banks need at least another $50bn of capital to meet Basel III requirements. (FT)
Clive Capital now a hot place to work. (Bloomberg)
Geneva based Mirabaud Securities has entered a partnership with New Street Research and has not ruled out acquiring New Street entirely. (FT)
I hate my job, but it pays a lot of money. What should I do? (Quora)
Management consulting strategies 2012 (US$) (Managementconsulted)
How to make money on the internet (Bitrebels)