Morning Coffee: Why SocGen is great, or not. How much accountants earn really

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Will Russia be SocGen's bane?

Russia, bane of SocGen

How about SocGen (again)? Yes, it's making a few redundancies at NewEdge in New York. Yes, it doesn't usually pay too well. Yes, it's a French bank. But...when it does make redundancies it pays giant severance packages.  And it's just got a fancy new building in Paris, which Bloomberg says confirms its commitment to corporate and investment banking (CIB).

Based in the La Defense financial district, the new glass-fronted building reportedly contains five trading floors 'each longer than a football field.' While other banks are trying to reduce their reliance on investment banking, Bloomberg points out that [efc_twitter text="SocGen's CIB business generated half of its profits in the first nine months of 2014 - higher than at any time since 2006."] Even better, its markets activities generated a return on equity of 17% over the same period. This was higher than SocGen's 16% target, making it fairly unique among investment banks when it comes to promising and delivering returns to investors from sales and trading activities. There is, however, a cloud on the SocGen horizon. And that cloud is Russia. At the end of June, SocGen had €22.4bn of exposure to Russia according to the European Banking Authority (EBA). The way things are going in Moscow, the French bank may yet regret splashing out on a fancy new CIB headquarters at this juncture.

Separately, [efc_twitter text="how much do accountants earn compared to bankers?"] A new salary survey, published on the Telegraph's site, suggests they can expect an average salary of £85.9k plus a bonus of £13k. Only 46% of them are happy with this.


Jonathan Burrows, the Blackrock managing director who was banned by the FCA for fare dodging, had an unblemished career in the City. (The Times) 

Mr Burrows’s main focus at BlackRock was contributing to rates strategies. He said in a statement that what he had done was “foolish,” that the FCA had “on its plate more profound wrongdoing than mine in the financial services sector” and he was “sorry that my case has taken up its time at this critical juncture for the future of the City and its reputation”. (Financial Times)

Burrows earned 'up to £1m a year'. His fare was £21.50, but he used a ruse to pay only £7.50. This cost him his job and career. (DealBook)

One-third of investment-banking analysts who started working at the biggest U.S. banks in 2012 remained with the same firm this year. At smaller boutique banks, only about half that percentage—17%—stayed on after two years. (WSJ)

The Goldman partner retirements have begun. (Bloomberg) 

Bill Gross says he's not crazy. He was just trying to shakeup the boring world of bond investing. (WSJ) 

Deutsche Bank has no option but to keep on trading fixed income products. - Unlike other banks, it has no fallback position. (WSJ) 

This is what recruiters look at during the six seconds they spend looking at your resume. (Undergrad Success)  

A hedge fund manager provides advice to students. (Forbes) 

How to avoid a humiliating office nickname. (Cafe) 

The ECB is sending weird Christmas cards. (Twitter)

Banking should be purged of under 35 year-olds who think they're unusually clever. (BloombergView)

The 17 year-old 'genius investor' that wasn't. (Observer)

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