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RBS Is Pissed

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But not in the British sense of the word (oh yeah, bit of a linguist here). At left, we've got Alexandre Graham, one of the organizers of last Saturday's "Circle Line Party," a soiree held to commemorate the final hours of legal drinking on the Tube before London Mayor Boris Johnson's alcohol ban on public transportation went into effect. Sadly, we were not in attendance, but judging by the photos of people swinging from poles, passed out under benches, knocking each other unconscious, and puking on one another, it seems like Graham did an exceptional job, and may have a future in the party planning businesses. That talent will serve him well, in the event that his employers at the Royal Bank of Scotland fire him, which the Daily Mail reports the higher ups are considering. Absolute BS, we know.
As it happens, we received an email from someone interested in retaining Graham's services this morning, wondering if we knew of any interest in "some sort of [similar] day drinking event for every single unemployed financial services employee in New York." The ad people in this asylum want you to say no, of course I'm not interested because I'm gainfully employeed and pulling down 9 figures. Don't let them silence you. It would be a great way to kick off your Summer o' Severance. Plus, the whole NYC vs. London thing, which is always fun to debate. Which one can get the most bankers arrested in a single evening? Now that both cities blow equally re: not being allowed to drink on the subway, it'll be an even match. At least think about it. If not, we can always float the rumor that Metro North is considering a similar ban on booze. It's not going to happen but who among us wouldn't love to see (/take part in) Westchester and CT's middle-aged commuters losing their shit and erupting into a drunken violent party protest over not being able to drink gigantic Coors out of paper bags on the way home to the wife and kids? The answer is no one.
Need some inspiration? Here's a clip of Saturday's festivities, set to Abba, so you know it's good (bad).

Facebook Tube party that ended in drunken riot was organised by City banker [Daily Mail]


Repentant British Banks Forcing Clients To Transport Themselves To Olympics, Stay In What Is Basically The Equivalent Of Motel 6, Drink Olde English

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 be enough to get 'em off your backs, only it's never enough for 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. The games are typically one of the biggest corporate schmoozefests on the calendar, with official sponsors and interlopers alike flashing the cash for the best tickets, best party venues and best celebrity guests. Many banks and other companies spent mightily four years ago in Beijing to show their clients a good time and increase their profile in China. This time around, banks are under pressure to cut costs and avoid displays of wealth that will further inflame an already angry public. What is more, the U.K.'s influence in the world isn't what it used to be, and its economy, mired in recession, doesn't exactly have the growth prospects of China's. And antibanking sentiment here is still off the charts after several years of global financial turmoil. Lloyds is arguably in the trickiest position by virtue of its Olympic sponsorship. The [sponsorship] deal was struck in the heady window between the day London was awarded the games in 2005 and when the global financial crisis kicked into gear—and kicked Lloyds into trouble and, eventually, partial state ownership. One of the main points of such deals is the ability to strut with clients around the Olympic Park—something the bank is largely keeping in check. For one thing, Lloyds didn't buy all of the several thousand tickets allocated to it in the original agreement. And being invited to the games by Lloyds isn't exactly a luxe affair. The bank said "the majority of our guests will travel to and from Olympic venues on public transport." Lloyds also says it won't offer guests transfers to and from airports, and will in some cases put them up at three- or four-star hotels—a contrast to the five-star accommodations frequently used in bank hospitality events. Lloyds has also put the kibosh on Champagne. Happy now? Hold the Bubbly: London Financiers Keep Low Profile at Olympics [WSJ]

RBS Is Gonna Try Something New

For the last seven years, the bank has reported an annual loss. Unhappy with this outcome, the upper echelons of management apparently put their heads together and said, "What if every time we had an impulse to do one thing, we did the opposite?"