Perhaps the most difficult thing about Brexit so has been watching the famous millionaire CEOs of major global financial services reckon with a future that has them sleeping in Frankfurt hotels and dining in Dublin restaurants.
It has not been easy to watch these men of taste and refinement anticipate the stark reality of being exiled from cosmopolitan London and into the backwaters of lesser European cities. Can you picture Lloyd Blankfein eating take-out Döner kebab on The Zeil? Or conjure the image of Jim Gorman being forced to endure an Irish winter morning en route to some nondescript office park outside Dublin? Is it even fathomable that Brian Moynihan would suffer the indignity of...wait, forget this one.
What we're saying is that the curse of Brexit will have real impact on the lifestyles of some very rich and very powerful bankers. This is an existential crisis among the corner office crowd. Well, maybe...
Until now, stiff firing and hiring rules, high taxes and a spike in political risk during this year’s presidential election held back Paris’s efforts to win jobs as the U.K. prepares to quit the European Union. While Frankfurt and Dublin have garnered several relocation commitments, HSBC is the only major international bank that has publicly expressed a preference for Paris. But French politicians and executives say they have more cards to play as President Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker, prepares to cut taxes and overhaul French labor law.
“We want Paris to become the No. 1 financial hub after Brexit,” he said in English to a conference hall notably fuller than it has been in recent years. “The government is committed to making Paris more attractive” to finance and business.
Considering that Paris is currently the 29th largest global financial center, that is a lofty goal, but one that might just be achievable what with Paris being a renowned Metropolis chock-full of natural beauty and epicurean delights. But it would really take one financial titan biting the bullet and admitting that he cares way more about living well than he does about efficaciously relocating his European operations from outside London. A CEO so freakishly confident and utterly unafraid of his board and shareholders that he can say "Fuck that cheap-ass Dublin real estate, homeboy wants a buttery croissant."
So Yeah, Jamie Dimon is totally gonna do this, you guys.
"Where your legal entity is based is not where your people are based," Dimon said. "The people could be in Paris, in the Netherlands, or Madrid or anywhere in the EU. We haven’t decided yet,” he said, adding that he sees “enormous leeway” for France’s new government.
Zut alors! Vive le Brexit!