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When a 17-hour workday is just fine with you

Yet again facing pressure from the public and competing industries, banks are looking to do more to take care of their young talent. The latest change comes from Goldman Sachs, which just announced new rules around work hours for interns.

In a memo, Goldman told its 2,900 new interns that their workday is limited to 17 hours. Or, to put it in a nicer-sounding way, the bank said that interns are to leave the office before midnight everyday and can’t come back until 7 a.m. at the earliest. They are also banned from the office on Saturdays. Wall Street interns, particularly those working on investment banking desks, frequently work deep into the night and sometimes into the next morning. That will no longer be happening, at least at Goldman.

The announcement comes on the heels of two recent suicides by junior bankers, both of whom told family about their brutal schedules in the preceding days, and a joke email sent to Barclays interns that said, among other things, that “we expect you to be the last ones to leave every night…no matter what.” The employee who sent the email was reportedly fired and had another job offer rescinded from the Carlyle Group.

While the rules currently apply only to Goldman interns, we know from past experience that when one firm makes work-life changes, others tend to follow rather quickly. Bank of America told junior bankers to take a minimum of four weekend days off each month in 2013 following the death of an intern who was pulling all-nighters. Within months, every bank on Wall Street had a similar policy.

The key with these rules, as with the weekend initiatives for analysts, is to see if people actually follow them and if they are enforced. If one person stays past midnight, others will surely join them.

Best Banks For FICC, IBD and Equities (eFinancialCareers)

Which investment banks are heading up and which are sliding down the rankings?

How Barclays Excludes Jerks (eFinancialCareers)

We understand from recruiters that the bank is routinely putting experienced junior hires through automated ‘ethics and values tests’ at the final stages of their interviews.

RIP (Bloomberg)

J.P. Morgan’s top investment banker, Jimmy Lee, died suddenly on Wednesday. He was 62. CEO Jamie Dimon called him “an incomparable force of nature.” Lee was arguably the top rainmaker on Wall Street.

Spitzer Heading Home (NY Times)

Since leaving the New York governor’s office in disgrace, Elliot Spitzer had a failed stint at CNBC and saw his political comeback dashed when he lost the Democratic primary for New York City comptroller. Now, seemingly somewhat reluctantly, he is taking over his father’s sprawling real estate business, Spitzer Enterprises.

Lawsky Admits to Middling Results (Bloomberg)

Ben Lawsky, known as the “Sheriff of Wall Street” in his role as the head of the Department of Financial Services, is departing today to start his own legal and consulting firm. He said in his final interview, despite being responsible for numerous arrests and huge fines, that fraudulent, immoral and illegal behavior has not slowed on Wall Street under his watch.

Best Locales For Expats (WSJ)

Thinking about taking a job overseas? Here’s the latest update on the most – and least – expensive cities for expats. London isn’t half-bad actually, at least compared to cities in Switzerland.

Watch Steven Cohen Eat Some Chorizo (Business Insider)

Billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen is a notoriously private person. It was a tad strange then for him to pop up as a guest on Guy Fieri's Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." He ate some chorizo and seemed rather pleased.

Buzz Around the Office

Poor Cleveland (Today)

A man likely frustrated with living too close to the airport decided to play a prank on unsuspecting travelers. In huge letters, he painted, “Welcome to Cleveland” on his roof. He lives in Milwaukee.

Quote of the Day

“Isn’t it funny when you walk into a investment firm, and you see all of the financial advisors watching CNBC — that gives me the same feeling of confidence I would have if I walked into the Mayo-clinic or Sloan Kettering and all the medical doctors were watching General Hospital…” – a senior portfolio manager at UBS


AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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