Late Lunchtime Links: ‘A unique network of innovative firms and workaholic employees’ vs. ‘A source of systemic instability, unfettered greed and industrial-scale tax dodging’

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Vince Cable looking pained

Vince Cable thinks he has got the measure of the City of London, sort of. Writing in the Guardian today, the Business Secretary says there are two caricatures of the square mile and CanaryWharf.

In one, he says the City is seen as: ‘a vital national interest: a unique network of innovative firms and workaholic employees who generate shedloads of tax revenue for UK PLC.”

In the other, he says it’s seen as: “A source of systemic instability, unfettered greed and industrial-scale tax dodging."

Cable thinks both caricatures are true, although it’s not entirely clear how he arrives at this given the substantial discrepancies between them. More promisingly, he sides with George Osborne against the EU’s transaction tax, noting that it’s little more than: “a cynical raid on UK financial services to fund the EU budget.”

In this, Cable follows George Osborne, who today dismisses EU claims that a financial transaction tax would raise €57bn a year, estimating instead that in the UK at least, it would raise nothing at all.

And in other news:

The ECB lent €489bn for three years to 523 banks at an interest rate fixed at its main interest rate – currently 1%. In exchange the ECB took collateral under far less stringent conditions than usual – in other words it swapped cash for potentially highly dodgy loans. (Sky) 


Evolution and Investec have cut another 100 jobs. Only 20 people of Evolution’s Securities 191 person securities division will remain employed. 30 people were informed of their redundancy by telephone. (The Times)

This is how much you can earn with C++, Java or VBA skills in London. (Quantjobblog)

“Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I don’t understand it,” said Jamie Dimon. (Bloomberg)

Jamie Dimon - please do us all a favour and come to the realization that the loathing you feel from your fellow Americans has nothing to do with your "success" or your "wealth" and it has everything to do with the fact that your wealth and success have come at a cost to the rest of us. (The Reformed Broker) 

Fixed-income trading revenue at U.S. banks may fall 12% from the third quarter, minus accounting adjustments, while equities drop 10% and investment-bank revenue will probably be unchanged. (Bloomberg) 

On Jefferies: “There is still no transparency about how the bank is hedging its exposures to eurozone bonds, and we suspect that there is some window dressing in these results.” (Financial Times) 

Richard Handler has declined his bonus. (New York Post) 

Kweku Adoboli will spend Christmas in prison. (Telegraph) 

SocGen has scrapped its Santa’s Grotto. (Telegraph)

The psychic who predicted my career. (Salon) 

John Duffield says he is a nice man. (Evening Standard)