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Morning Coffee: A disgusting thing happened to a banker entertaining clients. What to say when you under-performed

banker entertaining clients, banks, bankers, banking, jobs, careers, Wall Street, SocGen, Societe Generale, trading, equities trading, BNP Paribas

Anyone for roasted guinea pig with a side of bloody bandages?

Who can put a price on being embarrassed, nay, mortified in front of a group of clients expecting a five-star meal?

A high-profile UAE-based banker is suing a historic luxury hotel for Dh50m ($13.6m) in compensation for “his moral, emotional and material damages” after he found a bloody bandage in his plate during a business dinner that included senior banking officials and clients.

Dinner was served, and after the banker had taken a bite of food, he was shocked and appalled to discover a blood-soaked bandage in his plate. His guests were reportedly “irritated and disgusted” and the banker had to cancel the event, according to Gulf News.

The heavy-hitting banker complained to the Dubai-based hotel’s management, which admitted that the incident had happened, apologized and offered him a free meal, eventually upping their offer to a complimentary five-night stay – but that failed to satisfy him, and his lawyer promptly filed a civil lawsuit against the hotel.

His attorney wrote: “My client…was left in an embarrassing position in the presence of his guests when the blood-soaked bandage was found in his plate. All the invitees were [so] disturbed at what they saw that my client had to call off his business event…. Having already eaten from his plate and afraid of food poisoning, my client later went to a hospital and did the required blood tests.”

His health is reportedly fine, and hopefully his guests have been understanding. Still, it was bloody embarrassing.

Separately, the French are well-known for their exquisite cuisine, luxury brands and art museums, but the rest of us could also use a lesson in how to accept defeat French style.

Societe Generale reported lower second-quarter profits, missing out on an equities trading surge that benefited rivals such as BNP Paribas – which reported a 25.7% rise in its equities and prime services business serving hedge funds – and Natixis, whose equity trading revenue was up 33%.

In comparison, SocGen’s equity trading revenue fell more than 3%.

“Figures speak for themselves, they have done better than us, that’s it,” Didier Valet, the head of SocGen’s investment bank, told Reuters. “It’s clear that we want to do better.”

That’s pretty straightforward.

To right the ship, SocGen has shaken up its management ranks, cut costs in the investment banking division and invested more in fixed income and prime services. Voilà!

Meanwhile:

Barclays has signed a 20-year lease for Dublin office space that will accommodate more than 400 staff. (Irish Times)

J.P. Morgan’s LOXM AI program is even more complex than it first seemed. (Business Insider)

Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan all posted better-than-expected first-half earnings, but overly optimistic investors were not impressed. (Bloomberg)

To fix Goldman Sachs’s struggling fixed-income trading business, the bank must change the mix of products it emphasizes and the clients it transacts with as many hedge funds have been less active, Lloyd Blankfein says. (Bloomberg)

By deferring compensation, employees are taking on the credit risk of their employer, as Lehman Brothers bankers found out the hard way. (New York Times)

Investment bankers and PE titans recall the biggest failure of their careers in a post-mortem on the death of the buyout frenzy. (Bloomberg)

Standard Chartered, a laggard among banks restructuring since the financial crisis, still has a long way to go to improve returns. (WSJ)

The COO of UBS says that robotics and artificial intelligence over a time horizon of four to eight years will fundamentally change the banking business. (Business Insider)

About half of private companies with valuations exceeding $1bn, a.k.a. unicorns, wouldn’t have earned the mythical title without the use of complex stock mechanics. (Bloomberg)

Some say the Big Three credit-rating companies continue to weaken standards to win business, with regulators again asleep at the wheel, even after the post-crisis swing in the regulatory pendulum changed Wall Street forever. (Bloomberg)

This is your chance to weigh in on how the OCC should revise the Volcker Rule, which Blankfein diplomatically calls “cumbersome.” (Bloomberg)

Things are looking up at Carlyle. (Bloomberg)

Warren Buffett’s favorite private equity firm, 3G, is finding out that it isn’t good business to be known as hatchet men specializing in ruthless cost-cutting. (Bloomberg)

CBOE, which oversees the largest U.S. options exchange, is partnering with the Winklevoss twins (of Facebook lawsuit fame) to use Bitcoin market data, paving the way for it to list Bitcoin derivatives. (WSJ)

New York University’s Stern School of Business is trying to get a better sense of what its MBA applicants are really like, so it’s asking their friends to comment on their social skills. (WSJ)

Photo credit: Marc Belair/GettyImages

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