Brits

He yelled at them to “get a job” as a colleague apparently laughed at the not particularly funny joke made slightly more amusing by the fact that Chuckles’ buddy may be out his own. Read more »

Remember Fred Goodwin? He was the CEO of RBS for a number of years (about 8) and for many of them, probably right liked being called a ‘banker.’ Like in 2000, when he was name Chief executive and in 2006, when he was voted the most powerful businessman in Scotland. Years from now he’ll look back on his tenure fondly but at this moment, he’s having some difficulty recalling all the good times, in light of how badly things ended, and the fact that people won’t stop making him feel guilty for putting the pieces in place the caused RBS to lose a spectacular amount of money and wind up with 82% of its ass owned by the government.

Goodwin’s been trying his hardest to move on and maybe even embark on a new career as a party planner but what’s making it so hard is that every time he opens a newspaper, he sees his name next to the word ‘banker.’ Refraining from reading papers doesn’t help either because of course you’ve got the internet and you can’t expect him to not have a Google alert set up for himself, now can you? Anyway, Goodwin tried to reason with the press and just get them to drop the ‘banker’ business altogether or at least swap it out for a better description like ‘genius’ or ‘piece of ass’ but they wouldn’t listen, so what Goodwin had to do was play hardball. Read more »

You guys want to hang onto your clients? Get video production on the horn and find an empty parking garage ASAP (turn your volume down, this one’s on auto-play). Read more »

“Even if a guy is really lazy and has done s*** all year, he’ll still get a £600,000 bonus.” Read more »

Remember the financial crisis? U.K. bank regulators do and what’s most memorable to them is just how badly their firms fucked that shit up. RBS, seriously? SERIOUSLY? And the rest of you weren’t much better. It’s something that keeps the FSA up at night and to be honest, confidence in your abilities to respond to another serious “situation” has not been restored. In fact, if we’re being completely open, RBS, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, all you guys right now are like a stoner who nearly burnt down the house because you absentmindedly left the stove on when you tried to make pot brownies and then wandered out of the room to look out cloud formations. If that wasn’t bad enough, you didn’t smell the smoke or see the flames and it was your neighbor who had to call the fire department and carry you outside. There’s no way anyone’s comfortable leaving you home alone again for the foreseeable future and you have them so freaked out they’ve been forced to treat you like imbeciles and make you go through a bunch of mock scenarios to see if you’d know how to react.

U.K. bank regulators are launching a new type of “stress test” that forces banks to consider unlikely but potentially disastrous scenarios…The latest exercise, which the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority instructed banks to start conducting in mid-December, is dubbed a “reverse stress test.” It requires banks to identify potentially fatal events and then to work backward to find ways to revamp their businesses so they would be better prepared to withstand such shocks.

So far those scenarios include what to do in the event of: a Latin American coup that knocks out a bank’s local operations; a disrupted food supply sparks social chaos; a major trade war erupts between the US and China; volcanic ash cloud grounds UK air traffic for months; and a flu pandemic wipes out a bank’s workforce. Read more »

Earlier this morning across the pond, Bob Diamond told the House of Commons Treasury Committee that while payouts will be distributed “responsibly,” Barclays employees will be awarded bonuses that reflect the work they’ve done this year and will not be dictated by some arbitrary cap. Why won’t BD listen to the repeated calls from the government and the people to limit pay? Because to do so would in essence be saying “sorry, we were wrong,” and guess what, Bub? The days when Barclays would get down on its hands and knees and beg for forgiveness from the masses are over. “There was a period of remorse and apology for banks,” Bobby said. “I think that period needs to be over.” And while we’re on the subject? Remind Bob again why exactly an institution like Barclays should even be apologizing for in the first place? It’s just not exactly clear to him given that you seem to have two types of banks in the UK- the kind like Barclays, which did nothing wrong and the kind like RBS, which can’t do anything right. And yet, they’re treated one and the same. Read more »

An employee of the "lapdance hangout," pleased with the turn of events.

I know I don’t need to tell you that there have been terrible consequences to the financial crisis. People have lost their homes. They’ve lost their jobs. Some have lost their wills to live. Many of those whose jobs remained intact saw their bonuses take a painful hit. One of the lesser known stories is that of the financial services employees who lost neither their jobs nor their sizable compensation package. They too have suffered, possibly even more so than the victims the media chose to focus on. Because they had the money to spend but couldn’t, for fear of coming off as insensitive, in these trying times. Oh, no, wouldn’t want to upset anyone, the thinking was. Today, however, some heartening news comes from across the pond. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.

A boom in hedonistic “greed is good” spending is sweeping through London after two years of recessionary restraint…West End stores, clubs and restaurants say they have been astounded by the sudden spike in guilt-free spending in recent weeks on a scale that would have been unthinkable even six months ago. Andrew Hawes, managing director of Bollinger UK, said it was currently impossible to get enough of its £120 a bottle Special Cuvée into Britain because demand is so strong. He said: “There was a time when people certainly didn’t want to be seen with an expensive bottle of champagne — but we’re past that phase now.”

It gets better. Read more »