It’s 2018 and you’re thinking of quitting your job in finance. Other lives beckon: becoming a professional squash player, playing politics, writing a novel… However, two recent cases of banking escapism gone wrong may incline you to think again.
The first concerns Gary Cohn, the former COO of Goldman Sachs. Not so long ago, Cohn was tipped to replace Lloyd Blankfein as Goldman’s CEO. That was before he left GS opportunistically to pursue a political career as chief economic advisor to Donald Trump. Now that he’s not in banking, Gary is no longer a Master of the Universe, but a mere marionette in thrall to a greater power. The Hill reports that Trump has taken to publicly humiliating Cohn. “Now, if he [Gary] leaves, I’m going to say: ‘I’m very happy that he left.’ OK? All right?” Trump reportedly said at a recent press conference, while everyone laughed. “Come here, Gary,” Trump added. A diminished Cohn dutifully came upon command.
The second concerns Trevor Murray, the former UBS strategist who left his job (unintentionally) aged 41. As we previously reported, Murray has been having a very hard time since losing his job as a UBS CMBS strategist five years ago: he’s now working at a grocery store and earning $9 an hour. Murray’s story does, however, have a happy ending. The Financial Times reports that Murray won his case claiming that UBS dismissed him for blowing the whistle over pressure to write upbeat reports and that he is now due $900k in back pay and damages (plus interest).
Separately, Credit Suisse’s decision to vacate one of its London offices in Canary Wharf seems like bad news in a year when Brexit’s birds will come home to roost. However, it’s worth noting that the bank’s decision to cull London staff was made well before the Brexit referendum. Like Goldman Sachs’ decision to expand in Warsaw, Credit Suisse’s motivation for moving out of London is more to do with cost than constitutional issues.
“There are two main points of consensus: London will remain important and that there will not be a ‘new London’ post Brexit.” (Financial Times)
A median worker salary in Britain is about $38,493. In contrast, the average pay of a senior banker in 2016 was $1.06 million. (Reuters)
Brevan Howard’s macro fund had its worst ever year last year. (Bloomberg)
Crispin Odey’s long short fund fell 20% last year. (Bloomberg)
Someone at Robey Warshaw earned £37.3m last year. (Financial Times)
Stamford Harbor, Steve Cohen’s new hedge fund, wants 50 compliance officers for a “command team” to monitor its traders in real time. (Business Insider)
Deutsche Bank still says bonuses will be fine for 2017. (Financial Times)
2018 is the year Goldman will get a crytpocurrency trading desk. (Bloomberg)
Psychotic narcissists drink gin and tonic. (NY Daily News)
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