Traders like to have fun, and that "fun" can take many crazy forms, but one would like to imagine that the lads over at Barclays London HQ act a little more than Downton Abbey than Stratton Oakmont.
But according to former Barclays employee, and LIBOR rigging defendant, Jonathan Mathew, one would be very, very wrong:
Mathew, who is partially deaf, said on his first day of testimony that he was hit on the back of the head with a 12-inch baseball bat, shouted at and forced to stand on a chair in the trading room to answer a quiz on world capitals by his boss, Peter Johnson.
"It wasn’t particularly hard, it was more designed to humiliate me," the 35-year-old trader said of Johnson. Jurors were told Wednesday that Johnson pleaded guilty to charges of Libor manipulation in October 2014.
Even through the miasma of minimal pain and maximum mortification, Mathew had to wonder where Johnson found a baseball bat in London. We can imagine him crying out "Wouldn't a cricket bat have been more apropos?!" as Johnson cackled maniacally.
But like any bizarrely effective team-building tool, Mathew looks back on Johnson treating his head like a hanging slider as one thing above all; on-the-job training:
Mathew, who joined Barclays as a 19-year-old, said he received no formal training when he moved to the bank’s money markets desk and worked as a Libor submitter with Johnson.
"How did you learn what to do?" asked his lawyer, Bill Clegg.
"From my boss, Peter Johnson," said Mathew, who failed the U.K. regulator’s so-called approved person exam three times. "Him explaining things to me, copying what he was doing, taking notes. On-the-job training."