'I'd like you to meet Peter', my boss said as he introduced me to the man standing by his side. 'He's going to be working with us for a bit - on your desk'.
So much for all the outrage French President Nicholas Sarkozy has been expressing about irresponsible bankers. According to The Independent, Sarkozy has been busy wooing top European banks in an attempt to get them to switch their EMEA HQs to Paris.
The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to Sterling InfoSystems Inc., a company that provides employment screening services, cocaine showed up in 7% of the positive drug tests undertaken at Wall Street firms last year, down from 16% in 2007.
To paraphrase US President-elect Barack Obama (not to mention Sam Cooke), it's been a long time coming, but a change has finally come. The financial markets industry has for many years been the career path choice of countless graduates and the envy of those on the outside. Average companies, run by clueless CEOs, have been able to post phenomenal profits. And ordinary people have been able to walk off each year with extraordinary compensation packages. The last few years of massive leverage have spawned a me-first culture of excess which culminated in the subprime debacle, and ultimately resulted in trillions in writedowns, billions in corporate losses and tens of thousands of layoffs.
It's amusing that US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is having to work so hard to get his team to rebut rumours that he ever worked for Goldman Sachs.
Here's last week's Thomson Reuters Investment Banking Scorecard.
It looks like the UK, and that's because, as usual, the authorities there are naive good old boys who have played with a straight bat on the bonus issue, while others have made plenty of noise, but largely left banks and bankers to their own devices when it comes to making year-end payouts.
Here's the latest on the 'Movers & Shakers' front.
The Financial Times reports that Goldman Sachs International has filed a lawsuit against Natixis over the French bank's decision to terminate three credit default swap agreements Goldman purchased.
The biggest payouts ever ?
A new reputational low ?
In the last week of his life, the parents of Moritz Erhardt, the 21-year-old Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern who was found dead in a shower at his London flat, realised from emails sent at 5am and 6am that their son was working through the night.