Most ex bankers have stories to tell about colleagues going that extra mile.
Buy me a pint and I will tell you about the head of trading at my old American bank being arrested on the trading floor and an email being sent around telling us he was mentally ill and was being "helped". A few days later it turned out he was moving markets to get his baskets into the money...
Of course much of this was done before phones were recorded and emails were believed to be private conversations. The regulators are having a field day in this facebook posting frenzy and some of the extraordinary deceits are mind blowing. Take UBS. The Useless Bank of Switzerland. The news just keeps on getting worse. This bank has whole handledly destroyed the Swiss reputation for secrecy. If you want the world and his dog to know about your finances, open an account at UBS.
Firstly it was hammered by sub prime. Then madoff. Then toothpastegate. Then a rogue trader. Now its libor fixing. Barclays may have been a bit over zealous but UBS has acted like the kid in the gang that takes the petty crime into serious unforgiving nastiness.
And who suffers? The poor ol' stockholder who just keeps on giving and throwing away dividend after dividend because the UBS management, Enron style, had no idea what its employees were up to.
The sad thing is there are many who got away with it. They are living in large houses in Holland Park and the Hamptons, showering everyday in unused dollars. Like slave owners who hope their past will be forgiven or forgotten but with the threat of archived emails becoming unarchived, those who grabbed and run will forever be waiting for the knock on the door.
But you know that. What it does highlight though is Investment Banking is no longer fun. A few weeks ago a heap of graduates were dumped on the street (reuters) because they were there at the wrong time. All those internships, firsts, masters and ass licking, all for nothing. Careers barely started; no wonder banking is no longer first choice for the young.
UBS maybe turning a corner though. The bond bubble is ready to burst, so say the experts (telegraph) and they don't want more reasons for the regulators to fine them for incompetence, mis-selling or being Swiss.
The facts tell another story. Take a look at the FSA fines league table (fsa). And there you go. Coming in twice in the top five is ....UBS. The way it is going, UBS will end up just having a bunch of safety deposit boxes; which is how the business originally started. Union des coffres-forts.
Tom Hayes, 33 (bloomberg)
Bernanke is a hedge funds best friend (bloomberg)
Greece: Winners and losers (marketwatch)
Banker takes yes for an answer (sfgate).
Switzerland to rename itself to "Giving Up The Golden Ticket".