Morning Coffee: Deutsche discloses troubles in trading. Blankfein answers tricky job interview question
If you're a believer in Anshu Jain, you'll be of the opinion that any troubles Deutsche Bank has with its trading business are mere pimples on the contours of success. Last week, Deutsche gave an interview to Bloomberg in which he said that Deutsche was well-placed to survive on a diet on restricted fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) revenues because it had already cut headcount and risk weighted assets by around 20%. Deutsche can selectively invest because of this, said Jain. As we enter the post-crisis phase of the banking industry, he added that Deutsche is well-positioned to succeed.
Fast forward one week, and Deutsche has just disclosed that things aren't going so well after all. The German bank said yesterday that its investment banking revenues fell even faster in the second quarter than they did in the first. Fixed income trading revenues have now, "largely declined" on an annual basis, said Deutsche. So too have equities trading revenues, which increased in the first quarter.
Deutsche's admission of a decline in trading revenues may mask a more dramatic deterioration in its market share. In the first quarter, revenues in the bank's ongoing FICC business were flattered by disposals of its rates inventory. If inventory disposals continued in the second quarter and revenues fell substantially nonetheless, Deutsche's FICC problem may be even worse than it seems.
Separately, Lloyd Blankfein has given a good demonstration of how to answer tricky interview questions. Asked 'what motivates him [now]', Blankfein reportedly explained that he feels impassioned no matter what. "I would say that my job, when things are going well, there's nothing more fun and I can never imagine leaving it. When things are going badly, my sense of responsibility takes over, and I couldn't imagine leaving it," he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "It's a very hard thing to do. I either love what I do because it gives me a lot of exposure to great people and influence, and when things are bad my sense of—my obligations take over," Blankfein added. This also means that he never wants to retire.
Deutsche Bank warned that its exposure to FX probes could be ‘material.’ (Financial Times)
Lloyds has reinstated Martin Chantree, a former senior FX trader who was suspended as part of the FX investigation. (Wall Street Journal)
Hedge fund Millennium Management is hiring Tony Woods, a former emerging markets trader at BAML. (Financial News)
UBS has hired Neil Carragher from Credit Suisse as chairman of its financial institutions group. (Wall Street Journal)
New research suggests emotionally intelligent people are more successful. Here's how to tell if you're emotionally intelligent. (Fast Company)
Why you should pay far greater attention to your profile photos. (NYMag)