Brits

Earlier this month, it was reported that Barclays’ investment bank chief Rich Ricci was working on a little something called Project Mango,* which is similar to Bank of America’s Project New BAC in that one aspect of it involves firing a bunch of people, as part of a plan to revamp the unit. According to the Journal, management is now putting the finishing touches on Project M and all that is left to decide is whether cutting 2,000 IBD jobs is enough or if they should think bigger. Read more »

Bankers’ pay needs to be curbed further to reflect the risk of a bank failure many years after a bonus has been awarded, the Bank of England (BoE) said before the annual bonus season begins next month. The European Union has already introduced curbs on bankers’ bonuses after huge payouts were criticized for helping to create the climate that led to the financial crisis in 2008. Bank shareholders, too, expressed dismay at large bonuses for bank employees despite poor returns. Measures taken so far include the requirement for a portion of bonuses to be paid in shares over several years, but the BoE’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) believes that these do not go far enough. Chunks of a bonus are typically deferred for only three years. The FPC, which takes over British bank regulation next year, said that this is not sufficient to deter bankers from taking risky decisions that can have an adverse impact many years later. [Reuters]

Jessica Mang, who traded material non-public information based on tips obtained by her Mizuho investment banker boyfriend, Thomas Ammann, because he promised to take her on vacation afterward and also because she thought his entrusting her with such a high level task was a sign he wanted to get serious, was cleared by a jury today, as was Christina Weckwerth, Thomas Ammann’s other girlfriend/execution trader. Read more »

Crispin Odey is the founder of Odey Asset Management, a sausage brand ambassador, and a guy who unwittingly made fellow hedge fund manager Philip Falcone’s life* a living hell when he pulled this stunt: Read more »

The regulator didn’t specifically suspect anything re: propensity for manipulating Libor, just a general feeling it couldn’t necessarily trust the guy, which Barclays chairman Marcus Agius conceded was not entirely off base. Read more »

Only in that senior people the bank worked hard to recruit are quitting en masse. Otherwise, it’s great. Read more »

A four-star shit hole.

Time was, working on Wall Street meant going to great lengths to lavishly entertain clients whose business you wanted to win or keep. Client wanted to party on a yacht with forty Brazilian hookers? You made it happen. Client wanted Jay-Z to perform at his son’s Bar Mitzvah? You were on it. Client wanted you to manipulate Libor while simultaneously hand feeding him grapes? All you wanted to know was red or green.

Whatever they wanted you delivered and then some and the best part was nobody said anything about it. Nobody  judged, nobody protested, nobody wondered if flying to Hyōgo Prefecture to personally slaughter a cow and bring it back with you in business class so the client’s dinner would be fresh was the best use of company money.  Then you nearly take down the global financial system and have to be bailed out by the government and all of a sudden it’s like people think they have the right to count your (or in the case of banks still partially owned by the UK, their) money.

So you scale back the big outings. You make less of a spectacle. Should’ve be enough to get ‘em off your backs, only it’s never enough with these people. They’re not happy until you’re taking clients to Applebee’s and suggesting getting one appetizer and splitting an entrée, or inviting them to major international sporting events and then denying them black car service, putting them up in relative dumps, and making them drink malt liquor. Which is more or less what one bank is doing. Read more »