Morning Coffee: Goldman finally admits it’s overstaffed. The most degenerate place to work in finance?
In a bad sign for fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) professionals everywhere, Goldman seems finally to be deciding that FICC revenues won't be coming back soon after all. Fox News reports that, 'a sharp reduction in trading revenues has caused a panic inside Goldman Sachs,' and that there will be more redundancies imminently unless things improve.
Fox's revelations follow Goldman COO Gary Cohn's disclosure earlier this week that Goldman has quietly cut 10% of staff from its FICC business since 2010. The current lack of volatility is "abnormal" said Cohn, adding that, "If markets never move or don’t move, our clients really don’t need to transact.” Fox didn't indicate when the new redundancies are likely to happen, but Goldman's traders must hope that their performance is better than that of rivals like Citigroup, which is expecting a further 20-25% drop in trading revenues in the second quarter of the year.
Separately, the inter-dealer broking sector has sealed its reputation as the least salubrious place to work in financial services. Fresh from allegations of assassination, sexism, nepotism and cage-fighting, brokerage firm BGC Partners is at the centre of a new storm alleging that its new employees are compelled to take place in a boorish initiation ritual known as the 'run.' During the run, new traders are compelled to sprint across the floor while water is thrown at them by colleagues. The practice has been brought to light by the ex-head of BGC's swaps desk Robert Bou-Simon. Having refused to submit to the run, Bou-Simon was allegedly taunted by BGC employees for his lack of manliness. He is now suing BGC for unfair dismissal. Matters are complicated by the fact that Bou-Simon was found asleep at his desk, suggesting he wasn't exactly a model employee either. Despite the company's allegedly corrosive culture, Bou-Simon worked for BGC for five years between 2000 and 2005 before returning of his own accord in 2012.
Mike Corbat says volatility will probably rise in the second half. (Bloomberg)
Mediobanca is hiring ex-investment bankers from Barclays as it tries to reposition itself as a boutique. (Financial Times)
Och Ziff is closing, but most of its staff are simply following key hedge fund manager David Fear across to a new Ziff family private office, (WSJ)
Jezri Mohideen, the former head of rates trading for Europe and APAC at RBS, is suing the bank for racial discrimination after losing his job during the investigation into Libor fixing. (Businessweek)
Actually, the US government wants to fine BNP Paribsa $11bn for violating sanctions on Iran. (Telegraph)
The mark of a fair society is not that it rewards ability but that it does not do so. (Stumbling and Mumbling) ,
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