Wednesday’s Headlines: Working in Investment Banking Can Make You Sick

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Investment banking is bad for your health. Or so says a University of California researcher who found insomnia, alcoholism, heart palpitations, eating disorders and an explosive temper in some of the two dozen entry-level investment bankers she shadowed fresh out of business school, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the decade she followed the group, they all developed a physical or emotional stress-related ailment.

The researcher found: During their first two years, the bankers worked on average 80 to 120 hours a week, but remained eager and energetic. By the fourth year, many bankers were a mess … Some were sleep-deprived, others developed allergies and substance addictions and still others were diagnosed with long-term health conditions such as Crohn's disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disorders.

By the sixth year, the participants, now in their mid-30s, had split into two camps: the 60 percent who remained “at war” with their bodies and the remaining 40 percent who decided to prioritize their health, meaning they paid more attention to sleep, exercise and diet and set limits on how much they allowed work to consume them. Roughly one-fifth of the bankers left the profession.

Another study of 26 stockbrokers during a boom economy found that a quarter developed clinical depression.


Other News:

Stand-alone U.S. brokerages are closing shop amid trading slump, costing the industry 200 jobs in January. [Businessweek]

The Fed approved Capital One’s purchase of ING ’s U.S. online bank. [Bloomberg]

Jefferies Group is trying to sell its Harbinger Capital loan. [Businessweek]

MetLife’s net Q4 income rose to $1.16 billion from $82 million, bolstered by earnings from derivatives. [Bloomberg]

French bank BNP Paribas’ quarterly profit declined by more than half as it wrote down the value of its Greek debt holdings. [DealBook]

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia said profit for the six months ended Dec. 31st rose 19 percent to $3.87 billion. [Bloomberg]

Apollo is trailing its competitors in real estate fundraising. [WSJ]

The controlling shareholder of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, an Italian lender that is often called the world’s oldest bank, might sell up to 15 percent of its stake. [WSJ]

The Italian insurer Unipol has agreed to combine with its rival Fondiaria in a four-way merger. [Financial Times]

Federal criminal authorities are investigating whether a Taiwan-based Goldman analyst leaked inside information to hedge funds. [WSJ]

A look at the romance between private equity firms and their portfolio companies. [WSJ]

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