Back in 2010, a Glencore trader named Andrew Kearns was fired for what management perceived as a drinking problem, which they believed was affecting Kearns’s ability to do his job. Kearns denied that his drinking was a problem, and filed a wrongful termination suit, seeking $1.2 million. Last month, a judge ruled no dice on the $1.2 million; yesterday he rejected the remaining piece of the claim, which sought a mere $20,000. Where did things go wrong for Kearns? Ultimately, it came down to not seeing eye to eye with his superiors on a number of booze-related issues. Among them:

A debate over the line between being a fall down drunk and merely mixing it up with clients.

  • Kearns, who earned about $500,000 a year “regularly consumed excessive amounts of alcohol,” which meant he was late for work or unable to function effectively, Seymour said in the written decision. Kearns argued during the trial that Glencore’s claims weren’t true and that he had been doing his job by socializing with clients. He denied having an alcohol problem and said the company singled him out because of a disagreement with managers.

The proper way to stage an intervention, and the appropriate response to such a thing.

  • Cohen told the judge that when Glencore offered to help Kearns see an addiction expert, he responded by spending an afternoon in the pub.

Read more »

  • 19 May 2011 at 1:39 PM

Bernie Madoff’s Mini-Booze Turns Nice Little Profit

The wine and alcohol collection amassed by Madoff was auctioned off Wednesday, fetching staggering prices for rather mundane lots. The proceeds will go to victims of his decades-long fraud. Some examples: Four airline-size bottles of alcohol (Smirnoff vodka, Bombay gin and Grand Marnier liqueur): sold for $300 (Estimated value: $10 to $20). [WSJ, earlier]

This afternoon, the US Marshals Service will hold yet another auction of Bernie Madoff’s stuff, with proceeds going to the victims of the Ponzi scheme. Today’s lots are comprised of the liquor left behind by the Ponz Master. As previously mentioned, one lucky bidder will take home Bernie’s prized collection of low-grade mini-bar booze (including a selection of 2-ounce bottles of Smirnoff vodka, Bombay gin and Grand Marnier liqueur). Also up for grabs? A decanter containing a mystery liquid, which starts at $500. Read more »

The covers story for this month’s Bloomberg Markets magazine is a big piece on Jamie Dimon and how “no bank has more to lose with the new financial service rules than JPMorgan,” as well as what bad WaMu loans could mean for the bank. And while Dimon is no rosy-eyed optimist and seems to have the press’s number (telling people in 2009, “I know exactly what the headline will say when I make a mistake: ‘Dimon Loses Luster,’” according to two people who heard the comments), there’s a sense that throughout everything he’s done in the past and will do in the future, he knows things will be okay. That’s because, one, JD is hard worker who has the courage of his convictions and two, he’s got a case of gin that says so.

Dimon doesn’t want to hear excuses for his executives’ failures. He has a sign in his office in big bold type that reads “No Whiners.” “It’s a looking-forward mentality: Don’t whine about it; just get it done,” says Ron Seiffert, whom Dimon hired from Huntington Bancshares Inc. to run Bank One’s small-business lending in 2002. Seiffert says Dimon displayed his philosophy when United Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002, after being weakened by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bank One was one of the airline’s biggest creditors. Instead of scaling back his exposure, Dimon decided to extend even more credit to the airline.

It was a risky bet that eventually paid off, Seiffert says. “He said: ‘We made this decision. If we made the wrong decision, I’ll go home, I’ll have a couple of martinis, I’ll wake up the next day and we’ll come back,’” Seiffert says.

And hey, hey, hey– the booze isn’t just reserved for JD. Read more »

  • 28 Oct 2010 at 12:50 PM

Fox Business Anchor Shares Tip For Pulling All-Nighter

Fox Business’s Neil Cavuto is has told his staff to “bring cots and enough Red Bull to keep going” ’til 2 in the morning on election night, when programming will be focused on what the results mean for Wall Street. But what is Cavuto’s personal game plan? Glad you asked. Read more »

  • 21 Oct 2010 at 6:17 PM

News You Can Use About Booze And The Workplace

When was the last time you got shitfaced at lunch and then headed back to the office? How many days this week have you not pounded a bottle of tequila and returned to the desk to put on some trades? Going to go out on a limb and guess “not in forever” and “all of them” due to fear of what people would think and a firm-wide rule about not trading while under the influence. Well no longer. Tomorrow, you have those 10 martinis for lunch– it’s cool now and everyone else is doing it anyway. Read more »

  • 14 Oct 2010 at 3:07 PM

How To Make The Ultimate CNBC Segment

The following elements should be involved (Source: CNBC employee handbook, handed out to all on-air talent on their first day on the job):

* 1 guy in a kilt

* An intense moustache

* A bottle of booze (here’s where you can get creative: could be a $150,000 bottle of whiskey or your favorite flavor of Boone’s Farm, doesn’t matter)

* Questions like, “what have you got in that bushy pouch?”

* A CNBC anchor who goes by the motto “I’m here for the party”

* Lively dialogue such as:

Guest: What I want you to do is put it in your mouth and hold it.

MCC: Put it in my mouth? You shouldn’t say that to me [the suggestion being, you *should* say that to me]

Guest: Keep it in there keep it in there keep it in there

MCC: [Laughing]

Guest: Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it

* Supremely awkward reaction shots of co-anchors

* Confetti! Read more »