Morning Coffee: The tragedy of the ex-UBS trader now running a burger restaurant. Gary Cohn's new way to make $250k

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UBS trader LIBOR

What do you do when you're banned from working in finance by the regulator after a 15 year career as a trader? How about opening a chain of fancy burger restaurants in London?

This was the route taken by Arif Hussein, trader turned UK director of Fatburger, a Dubai-based franchise selling freshly made burgers made from Halal meat. Fatburger has two outlets London outlets (Camden and Wembley) and there are plans for more. However, Fatburger's online reviews are 'mixed' and Hussein admits that turning burgers into money isn't easy: "With high rent and rates you have to sell a lot of burgers to just break even!"

Selling sterling rates swaps is probably an easier way to make money, but this is what Hussein was explicitly banned from doing in 2016 for his part in the Libor fixing scandal. In an effort to return to his previous profession, Hussein - who was a relatively junior trader despite his years of experience - has been trying to appeal the ban, arguing that he was simply told the rate to give to Libor submitters by his seniors and that his actions were, “mandated, sanctioned by the words and conduct of his senior managers and the policy of the bank.”

In a court ruling yesterday, the judge said he was sympathetic to Hussein's case, which he described as a "tragedy" and "troubling" given that the senior traders implicated in the affair all appeared to have fled the "jurisdiction" or to have managed to, "keep their fingerprints off the relevant documents." However, the judge upheld the ban due to a "serious error of judgment” on the part of Hussein who was initially not candid with the FCA when under oath. Hussein said this was because he feared an "enormous financial penalty, which would have put me under dire financial pressure and most likely resulted in my young family losing their home.”

For the moment, then, Hussein is stuck in the difficult business of selling burgers as he attempts to support his family. Fatburger UK's most recent accounts (for 2016) suggest the business wasn't profitable - although this may have changed. Sympathetic traders who want to support him, may want to send out an Uber to collect today's lunch.

Separately, ex-Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn has got various options after taking his leave of Donald Trump. Vanity Fair suggests that Cohn could always get busy on the speaker circuit, where he could earn between $200k and $250k a speech. Failing that, he could write a kiss and tell story of his time with Donald Trump - although he apparently doesn't want to do that. Or, there's private equity. Alternatively, Cohen can always relax with the $250m+ he's amassed already.

Meanwhile:

Former chairman of City of London Corporation says Brexit could result in the loss of 75,000 jobs and up to £10bn in annual tax revenue. (Guardian) 

European commission rates paid by asset managers fell 28% thanks to MiFID II. (Financial News) 

Lloyd Blankfein is frightened of Italian debt: "A lot of the leverage that was with the banks didn’t disappear from the world. They migrated over to the sovereign.” (Bloomberg)  

Bank of America holds the most live patents in the blockchain space: "We don't want to be left behind." (Fortune)

Hedge fund manager denies he wanted to call his assistant "sugar tits." "Inventing a false #metoo narrative about me is insane because everyone knows I didn't go around touching people inappropriately or discriminating against anyone." (Business Insider) 

Over at Deutsche Bank: '...some traders misled customers about whether their orders had been fully completed so they could retain profits, and failed to correct and deliberately made errors in trade execution records to benefit themselves and the bank.' (Financial Times)

Goldman Sachs' new China partner came from outside the firm for the first time ever. (Reuters)

Barclays offers UK workers redundancy or redeployment opportunity in Pune, India. (Mirror) 

Modern yoga and meditation practices can inflate your ego, (Quartz) 

England's upskirting ban will also apply to kilts. (Scotsman) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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