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The head of one European equity business admits that he has been employing people to do completely pointless jobs

There are two clear indicators that you are likely to be made redundant in the coming months: 1) you received nothing as a bonus last year; 2) you are doing something which fulfils no real purpose at all.

You will already know if you are part of the first group. Admitting you are part of the second may require deep soul searching.

It doesn’t take Hank Paulson to point out that banks employ people who are surplus to requirement. However, Bank of America, which has been scrutinising itself and asking for employees’ suggestions on how to cut costs, has come to this conclusion only recently.

Alastair Borthwick, co-head of global capital markets at Bank of America, confessed to Bloomberg that someone at BAML had been writing pointless and self-evident reports.

“Borthwick realized in his own European equity business that he was getting daily reports describing what had happened that day,” reports Bloomberg. “They were so “extremely well-written” and “incredibly precise” that he figured someone was spending an hour or more a day on them. From his desk at One Bryant Park in New York one July day, he hit reply-all after getting his daily report and requested that the notes stop or say simply that nothing material had happened, or be written periodically only if there were important news.”

Although Borthwick’s blast was right and necessary, the pointless report writer may have found himself underemployed and then unemployed. If you are engaged in pointlessness, let this be a warning. Find something significant, soon.

Comments (12)

  1. Having read this article, I think your job is at risk Sarah

  2. Fair enough, Sarah, but when are you going to find something significant?

  3. 2/3 of all finance related jobs are pointless whats the news here?

  4. @Bank Veteran and XXX – A valid point. However, there are some occasions on which I do more than point out the obvious.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  5. Don’t get upset, Sarah. You’ve got your health.

  6. @XXX – sometimes I have a bad knee.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  7. I bet it’s a lovely knee. Can I take a look sometime?

  8. Just look. I won’t touch – unless you want me to.

  9. what about touching yourself? better use of your fingers than operating a computer

  10. @ xxx you need a long COLD shower!

  11. Yes, the article is a bit pointless (since obvious), but the comments are just embarrassing (because too honest)!

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