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EDITOR’S TAKE: Time to find a public sector spouse

I have the good fortune to spend part of each week in deepest Dorset, working from a ‘home office’ (AKA corner of a room containing a computer). Following a lengthy personal observation of former bankers who have escaped the City to hang out in the English countryside, I’ve come to the following conclusion: they’ve often hedged their careers with wives who work for the government.

Take my son’s tutor: an ex-primary school headmistress married to a former Merrill Lynch banker who now owns one of the local Dorset bars. Or there’s the female friend who works as a consultant psychiatrist in a Somerset hospital and is betrothed to a former equity derivatives structurer-turned house husband. Or the relative who was once a headhunter and is migrating with his teacher-wife to the outer reaches of Devon.

At times like this it helps to live with someone whose income depends upon a different set of economic circumstances to your own. Dual-banker households and dual bonuses are all very well when times are good, but they’re bad news in a banking downturn.

Just how bad they can be was illustrated by a recent article in The Times, concerning an MD who was forced to forego a 500k deposit on a 3.25m family home. His spouse, who worked for the same bank, had lost her job. And he himself wasn’t expecting to receive much in the way of bonus.

Admittedly, the MD in question may not have been able to afford a 3.25m pile were he shackled to a primary school teacher, but hospital consultants can earn up to 174k working for the NHS alone.

In the current climate, risk-averse single bankers looking for lurve are therefore advised to hedge their own career situation with a member of the medical community.

However, less risk-averse singletons may want to go long on a banking comeback and devote themselves solely to their employer – if and when the market comes back they will then have a choice of partner from any profession. Also to be found in the West Dorset countryside is one of the most successful bond saleswomen of the mid-80s – now married to a horse trainer.

Comments (7)

  1. Oh Sarah, prepare to feel the wrath of those who, still, think that nobody can eat on 174k a year.
    Still, thanks for that humorous tone, this is much welcome indeed.

    Rodolphe Mortreuil, MKMC Reply
  2. But public sector wages wouldn’t amount to a 1/4 of a decent year end bonus. All you need to do is save a couple of those bonuses. Working in the public sector can be hard and for low wages. Only do it for the right reasons, ie public service

  3. 174k??? Please….prepare to feel the wrath of the thousands of doctors trawling websites like these because they can’t even earn a quarter of that. Get real! (I don’t work in consultancy btw. The website forces me to pick a sector in orer to submit).

  4. Hmmm… you seem to be saying that a public sector partner represents ‘the risk free asset’ in the portfolio of life. I’ll bear that in mind. Doctor, I’m a bit surprised – I had an appt with a consultant last week and I reckon he was on more than 174k. He also goes home at night knowing he has contributed to the welfare of others – something you’ll never get in investment banking.

  5. But look what slow down in WEST mean to Indian girls who are staying out of India? They prefer getting married to boys who are wlorking in India.

    Earlier it was girls in India who wanted to get married ot guys working overseas!!!

  6. Nice one, Mr Magoo… humorous indeed. Unfortunately, there are some elements of volatility and therefore, risk associated with all spouses. The derivatives (options in this case) are referred to as prenuptial agreements ……. Once the public sector spouse decides to exercise the option, the value of your assets will always decrease, as you’re the higher earner. I don’t know which is worse, credit derivatives or prenuptial agreements, one thing is for sure, the assets of an investment banker are exposed to way too many risks.

    A ‘risk-free’ 174k a year job, (as an oil and gas engineer, or a doctor) with a high earning investment banker spouse.

  7. 174 k pa..blimey…reckon i’ll be heading down to the doctor recruiter people ..thaqts considerably more than i got last year for analysing” toxic rubbish” to sell onto the stupid ones….and as a doc they probably wont can me after 2 years on a minimum(nearly) pay off and leaving me with 1,762 uselss bits of paper that used to be worth something

    docpeteit has a ring to it Reply

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