Warning - the contents of this item are a little explicit (although we have done some editing and toned it down).
The Financial Times reports the 'outlandish claims doing the rounds in the City' that John Studzinski, co-head of investment banking and markets at HSBC for three years until a few months back, spent $2.35bn hiring in expensive bankers in an attempt to get his show on the road. $2.35bn does seem a lot, but there's no doubt that many of the bankers 'Studz' brought in weren't cheap. And when you add in base salaries, upfront payments, bonus buy-outs, guarantees, benefits and recruitment costs, the sums soon start to mount up.
Each year thousands of graduates / MBAs find work in the financial markets. All start at (or near) the bottom of the ladder, and hope that one day they will make it big. Few do. And those who eventually achieve success usually face a relatively long wait. Not so one young man who, at 23, just might be the youngest VP ever to attain that position in a major investment bank.
Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder of Sports Direct, was in the news again over the weekend. And this time he has raised eyebrows after it became public that he lost a game of Spoof with a Merrill Lynch investment banker to settle the payment of a legal bill, allegedly costing his shareholders some $400,000.
Staff over at Citigroup in London are said to have started to learn more about their future (or lack of it) with the organisation. Rooms were said to have been booked out for 'personal interviews' last week, and some 'luckless' individuals were apparently called in to find out their fate.
The New York Magazine reports that a team from Goldman Sachs triumphed at a recent trivia quiz night held at the Gramercy Park Private Roof Club in aid of Darma, a charity which raises money to feed women and children in Africa.
The Wall Street Journal reports that ABN AMRO boss Rijkman Groenink had a stab at stating the obvious last week, telling his staff in a letter that the uncertainty surrounding the future of the bank (and, by implication, their own), was far from over.
The Financial Times reports that Liu Min, the former head of fixed income at BNP Paribas's Shanghai office, has been accused by government prosecutors of paying a $128,000 bribe to a Chinese Ministry of Finance official in order to ensure that he (the official) did not raise an objection to the French bank underwriting a Chinese sovereign bond in the late 1990s.
The New York Post reports that Barclays has agreed to cough up $10.9m to settle charges that Steven Landzberg, a distressed debt trader, illegally traded millions of fixed income securities over an 18 month period between March 2002 and September 2003. Landzberg, 40, also agreed to pay $750,000 to settle civil charges. Neither the bank nor the trader admitted or denied wrongdoing.
Reuters reports that Bear Stearns is shuffling its management pack in Europe. Paul Abecassis, head of European investment banking, is to take on the newly-created role of Chairman of the division. Mark Goldstein, currently head of Bear's financial sponsors coverage group (based in New York), will become co-head of European investment banking with Florian Lahnstein, who was hired from UBS earlier this year to head up media and telecoms.