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The Weird World of the $7m Trader

Tom Hayes had a superhero duvet

Tom Hayes is going to prison. He’s been sent down for 14 years, although Nick Leeson thinks he’ll only do five with good behaviour. It’s all a bit of a tragedy for the 35 year-old trader from Fleet in Hampshire, UK who was once offered $3m to join Goldman Sachs and who made over $7m working for UBS and Citigroup.

The judge in Hayes’ case said he, “succumbed to temptation” and did things that were, “honest and wrong.” This may be so, but there’s also plenty of evidence that Hayes’ life wasn’t as fancy as outsiders might suppose.

Firstly, there was the duvet cover – Hayes famously slept as an adult under the exact same superhero duvet cover he’d owned since he was eight years old. We assume that this was before he met his wife in a Tokyo swimming pool.

Secondly, there was the bullying – Hayes has been diagnosed with Asperger’s, and Reuters reports that his colleagues (who had nicknames like Pete the Greek, Golum, Pools and Fast Eddie) called him Rain Man and taunted him with a line from the film – “Qantas never crashed, Qantas never crashed”.

Thirdly there was the antisocial behaviour – Hayes sat in a corner and read a book during one office Christmas party and drank hot chocolate instead of beer on nights out. Fourthly, there was the personal hygiene – Hayes never washed if he was on a winning streak and declined to speak to colleagues via video chat because he, “looked like a tramp every day.” 

And lastly, there was the depression. Hayes said he was sometimes, ‘so stressed he wanted to jump off a bridge.’ Maybe million dollar trading jobs aren’t so special after all.

New MBA Recruits (eFinancialCareers)

Meet the new class of associates joining Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley.

Why We Left Goldman Sachs (eFinancialCareers)

These two Goldman Sachs juniors left the firm to start their own fashion label. This is what they learned.

Shut Down at Barclays (Reuters)

Barclays has made a move akin to Deutsche’s decision to pull back from single name CDS trading last year, and has closed down its asset backed securities business. This helps explain why ex-Barclays securitized product strategist Andy Purnell left to become a DJ several weeks ago.

A Simple Life (Financial Times)

Tom Hayes just liked to stay in watching the InBetweeners and eating ribs.

Herd Mentality Gone (Bloomberg)

Thanks to Tom Hayes, you can no longer claim absolution on the grounds that ‘everyone was doing it’. This is the start of a new period of personal responsibility in banking.

Junior Bonuses At Wells Fargo (Dealbreaker)

Wells Fargo juniors are quite happy with their bonuses.

Bonus Win – Kind of (Reuters)

Jorge Usandivaras, the former head of the Latin American Strategic Transactions unit at Deutsche Bank, just won $3m in compensation for a breached employment contract. He’d asked for $45m.

Regulatory suspension (NY Times)

Promontory Financial, a consultant to big banks and the Vatican, has been hit by US regulators.

Quote of the Day:

“The thing that killed the cat is very important to me. If I am not learning, I am not happy,” meet the man who speaks 32 different languages.

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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