Barclays Junior Banker Who Tried Hand At Comedy In Email To Interns Not A Barclays Junior Banker Anymore

This is why we can't have nice things.
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Last week, a member of the Barclays power group sent an email to incoming interns that was quite obviously a joke.1 But apparently it wasn't obvious to all! As Matt Levine points out, some people took it quite seriously! Despite the fact that it contained lines like "Have a spare tie/scarf or two around. You never know when your associate will run out of napkins" and "First, I would recommend reading the GS Elevator twitter feed for some social cues. It might be seen as a joke to some people, but around here I think many people find it insightful."

Here is the Wall Street Journal conceding that "parts of the email were likely designed for laughs" (parts! likely!), but getting a very serious statement from Barclays saying that the e-mail "was in no way authorized" and that it's "fully committed to creating an environment" etc. you get the idea. Here is CNBC calling the e-mail "blunt advice" for the new interns, and noting ominously that "the bank declined to say whether Kwan was still employed." And of course Gawker went wild with rage.

And now this is happening:

Gawker is reporting that the Barclays analyst who sent an amusing e-mail to incoming interns has lost his jobs at Barclays (which he was leaving) and at Carlyle (where he was starting), which is an awful result.

Poor Justin Kwan [BloombergView]

1. Of debatable funniness, yes, but with the intent of being a joke nevertheless.


Bernie Madoff Was Just Trying To "Change The Way Money Was Managed," Not That Anyone Cares

For about a year now, Bernie Madoff has been holding court with various members of the press about something that's been plaguing him: the fact that few people if any are willing to give credit where credit is due. Yes, he may have pleaded guilty to a $50 billion crime that ruined countless people's lives, including those of his wife and children, one of whom committed suicide as a result, but he did a lot of other stuff too, like run a "successful business" for which he won lots of "industry awards" during his "legitimate years." And, yet, everyone seems to forget all that when his name comes up, much like they conveniently forgot about how Mussolini made the trains run or time, or how Hitler built those wonderful autobahns, or how Ted Bundy made women feel special. And since he's serving a 150 year sentence, Berns has had lots of time to ponder why his years of legitimate achievements go unmentioned and the one thing he keeps coming back to? Irving Picard, who's pulled a fast one on you all, by suggesting that Bernie's crime started wayyyyy before it did, when, in fact, Madoff Securities was only running a Ponzi scheme for barely even 20 years. Examine the evidence Madoff shared with Forbes contributor Diana B. Henriques via email: Jan. 17, 2011 11:05 A.M. … Also remember that the U.S. Attorney admitted that they had no evidence that the crime started in the 80’s and could establish that Montauk and the N.Y. homes in Ruth’s name were not purchased with tainted funds … Mar. 10, 2011 7:35 A.M. … I would love to know what evidence [Picard] has to date my crime back to 1983 … THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS NONE. 8:05 A.M. … I say once again the fraud started in the 90’s … Mar. 18, 2011 9:26 A.M. … I guess I’m obsessed with this START OF CRIME ISSUE. Don't you see, idiots of the media?! That's the real issue here. Not the crime itself but the start of the crime. Do the math. Oct. 11, 2011 7:20 A.M. ... You can do a back of the envelope calculation as follows. From 1963 I made substantial arbitrage profits for the Picower, Shapiro and Chais families joined by the Levy family in 1970. [M]ost of these profits were re­invested and the amounts compounded. In 1970 Saul Alpern formed his partnerships later [run] by Avellino and Bienes. In 1980 I started trading for [French banker] Albert Igoin and his French and Swiss banking associates. All of these accounts averaged about 20% annually and were involved in various forms of convertible arb using bonds, pfds [preferreds], Rts. [rights] and units. [A]nd ALL WERE LEGITIMATE TRADING. THIS CONTINUED THRU THE EARLY 90’S. Nov. 24, 2011 6:51 P.M. … When you look at my RIDDLE [in the Nov. 23 letter], consider the fact that there was in fact no crime until I did not have enough capital in the firm to cover the losses. There is your real STORY The interesting thing here is not that there was an 11-figure fraud, okay? The interesting thing is how long the 11-figure fraud went on. And it stinks to high hell that that slippery fuck Picard and Co. are claiming it dates back to 1983 and that you're all buying it, hook, line and sinker. Come on, people. They're lawyers. Who are you gonna trust, them or a Ponzi schemer? But don't feel sorry for Bernie. Feel sorry for yourselves, for what could have been and what never was. Near the end of that e-mail the clouds of self-deception close in again, and Madoff turns himself into a pitiful martyr: “I made the tragic mistake of trying to change the way money was managed and was successful at the start, but lost my way after a while and refused to admit that I failed at one point.” HE WAS TRYING TO THE WAY MONEY WAS MANAGED! A legitimate way to make Ponzi scheme payments, before it was tragically snuffed out. Oct. 11, 2011 7:36 A.M. … I will never get over the distortions being presented by everyone as to the poor and now homeless when in fact they all signed documents when opening their accounts that they were sophisticated and had enough wealth to withstand the possible losses of short term trading. I wish I had saved the hundreds of letters I received thanking me for how I was responsible for their happiness over the years and their pleading with me to keep their accounts open when I tried to close them … when I worried about the wreckage I might cause if I couldn’t recover. Is the REAL STORY that the investor agreements specifically authorized BLMIS to make Ponzi scheme payments (a totally legitimate type of securities transaction, a short term trade if you will)? Unless someone pulls their head out of their ass, the world will never know. Exclusive: The Secret Madoff Prison Letters [Forbes]

Barclays Chief Understands Not Everyone At The Bank Will Be Comfortable Complying With New Company Policy That Dictates They Follow The Law

Earlier today, Barclays chief Anthony Jenkins sent out a memo to employees informing them that moving forward, there'd be a new way of doing things 'round the bank. Namely, that whereas during his predecessor's tenure, manipulating interest rates and engaging in other forms of criminal activity was acceptable, such things would no longer fly. And not in a "this sort of thing is now frowned upon" way but in a "you actually can't do this anymore/if that presents a problem for you than clean out your desk and leave" way. Aware that change can be very difficult, that it often causes great anxiety, and that many will be initially resistant, Jenkins chose to take 1,479 words to get his message across, taking the time to acknowledge not everyone will be on board with acting "fairly, ethically and honestly," rather than writing: "Hey, we have a new policy called 'not doing illegal shit.' It's a little unorthodox and it may not be for everyone, so please take some time to think it over. If it's not for you, we wish you good luck in your future endeavors."

Person Sends Email To Jamie Dimon

We* don't really find it particularly amusing amusing or post-worthy that a Jefferies employee accidentally or misguidedly put Jamie Dimon on an email about a working group list but judging by the number of people who've sent it to us, this is the height of banking humor, so here you go: