OLX- just had a shave with the police

November 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Markets being quiet I decided to pop out and grab the new Coldplay CD. Had just ducked out when I somehow managed to get myself caught up with the crusties march. One of the men there asked me who I was. Of course didn’t wanna give away my real identity so said that I used to be a banker but had quit work today. The sod then told me to put on a Guy Fawkes mask.

In need of a bit of diversion I did, then ran down the street screaming ” I hate bankers” with the rest of them. Unfortunately a cop collared me. Things turned out ok though– I gave him a couple of £50 notes and he let me go. To think what could’ve happened…….

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OMG (IMHO)

November 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hot dog, hold the press.

I just got called by Nakamura. I cannot believe it. The details too spicy to be true….but the bonus is back on!!! (all will be revealed soon).

Expenses

November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Have decided– will expense everything from now until Christmas. Most do it normally though I’ve always had qualms (a firm sense of honour I suppose). Was speaking to a restauranteur friend of mine over the weekend. Coming up to Christmas time he’s had a lot of guys coming in and expensing their lunches. Average bill– £250. Most thrifty- £500. Guess who– yes RBS! The cheek (but well done if you can get away with it).

IPO SOS- please help urgently

November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dachsmuller IPO later this week lead managed by us. And guess what? No interest whatsover.

James McDougall, head of syndicate, is frantically trying to call all his friends and fund managers to help him out so we don’t fall flat on our faces. Alas my friends this kind of patchup scrambling is all too common in these four (five?) walls.

I do feel sorry for him though– what a tough job. Within five minutes of arrival his shirt was soaked in sweat, like a mop. Yet he bravely battles on– he too needs a bonus. So c’mon folk if any of you care to help out put in an order with your brokers today– remember A Christmas Carol. Tiny Tim needs his Turkey.

Under Pressure

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

The atmosphere is electric. The desk hasn’t been this active for weeks. Everyone trying to boost their p&l, calling in favours, scouring far flung markets, arbitraging the shit out of anything they can find– but what is there? I mean we missed our chance with the euro didn’t we?

Besides my risk limits are stretched like a thin rubberband torn between a horse and an elephant (classical reference).

I personally am looking to boost my profile by getting some coverage in the press. Wasn’t included in FT’s top 100 list. Maybe something else out there? If there are any journos reading this….

XX Brokers holding a party tonight.  Much as I despise these broker soirees, I’m kind of obliged to go along now to show my face!

Au rev

Bonus season

November 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some of you have asked why I’ve been unusually silent these past few weeks. Some of you wonder what I am doing with my time? Rather than tell you, let me describe to you the scene of last week (I forget which day).

0800 hours: Paul arrives at office. Banal talk of golf etc. Announces conference call schedule 1400 hours with Dean Dwyer, head of inv banking, NYC.

1400 hours: Eight traders sit around desks looking fidgety, nervous, tense. You can cut the atmosphere with a knife. Even a cake knife would do it, it’s that bloody tense.

1411 hours: Dwyer on line. I reproduce his talk, almost verbatim:

“Gentlemen,” he begins. “We’ve had a tough year, but it would be wrong of me if I wasn’t to praise the work you have done. There has been competition and other houses have been making their own waves. We have beaten them off so far. But now the pressure is on gentlemen. We all know that. It’s crr-unch time. But that’s not the reason you are here today. I would like to give you a clue as to why you have been gathered here.”

STARTS TO SING.

“Tis the season to be jolly tra-la-la-la-la, la-la-la la. Yes forget the pressures, you’ve all excelled yourselves this year. And now is your downtime. It’s that season we all love. Bonustime!

This year’s bonuses will be chunky. The U.S.sales and trading division alone has contributed $X billion in revenues, the best in our history. The U.S. Structuring division has propelled us into the stratosphere.U.S.equities is looking solid again. Thanks to the sterling work done by Simon Gallaghan and his team of boys here, things are looking better than ever. We may not have issued as much as them but there’s a room full of traders, structurers and sales guys pissing its pants in the street down from us. They know that they’ve been taken again.

Now, of course, the situation in Europe’s not been so kind. You all know that this is one mother-of-all bear markets. Shrinking fees, lower margins, higher volatility have combined in a perfect storm. And so comrades…the truth is that the European bonus pool will be small this year. Smaller than it’s ever been.”

Mutters, gasps and guffaws all around.

“So, having talked it over with Simon, I’ve devised a new way to compensate you. Individual bonuses will be based solely on individual performance this year. Best traders will still be adequately remunerated. The lower performers will see their bonuses shrink. I’m sorry to tell you this but……some may get nothing at all.

I think it’s about time that someone got on the phone to Merkel and told him to pull his fucking finger out of his ass!! Anyway that’s all. So try and get your p&l’s up. Get your face out there. Remember—be a shark or you’re a scavenger. Bye and happy holidays.”

Yep you heard what the man said. Performance based bonuses! It’s about as bad as it’s ever been.

So I’ve got about two and a half weeks to somehow get my p&l in order. Or else there’s no bonus for me. You can all now see that if I’m a bit quiet its because I’m F***G WORKING!

(Sorry about the bad language, just a little stressed out.)

GS Rule the world

November 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Was chatting to Ashwin– says that new Italian PM Mario World is ex-Gilbert & Sullivan.  They are clever buggers. I wish that we showed more initiative like that.

List of other ex-GS in Eur and US politics: Mario Draghi, Papademos, Corzine, Rubin, Prodi, Mandelson and Montgomerie. I remember seeing the last two at the GS book of the year awards a few years ago. You should’ve seen the smirk on Mandy’s face, mooching like no one before….

PS In 2001 GS worked with Italy on a series of ir swaps to lower the country’s budget deficit. Could Monty have been advising on this? I know that Papademouse was involved with the Greek Freek (massaging swap trade)….at least that’s what Ashwin tells me.

Update (from Ashwin): Actually Prodi, ex-It PM, who worked with GS to carve up budget shortfall using irs in 1997. Why choose GS? Because he was ex-GS. See Gustavo Piga paper, Isma, 2001. Slipped under radar post-9/11 blues.

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