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Morning Coffee: Hedge fund manager’s bizarre social experiment. Bonus disaster

All an act?

When Martin Shkreli’s Twitter account was hacked and someone declared “I am a god”, this sort of behaviour wasn’t considered out of the ordinary. Days after his arrest, which the SEC says was down to securities fraud and he claims is due to his hiking up the prices on lifesaving drugs and acting up on Twitter, Shkreli is saying it’s all a bit of an act.

Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager who was fired as CEO of pharma firm KaloBios yesterday, says that his vile behaviour on Twitter was a “social experiment”. “What do you do when you have the attention of millions of people? It seemed to me like it would be fun to experiment with,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

A hip hop aficionado, who owns the rights to the new Wu Tang Clan album that he supposedly has never listened to and could be seized, says he’s reining in his Twitter persona so that he isn’t “targeted” for the sort of charges he’s now being held for.

“Most people don’t know the real Martin Shkreli,” he said. “I think it would make sense to show them.”

Separately, the European Banking Authority has attempted to close the many loopholes around the bankers' bonus cap in Europe shortly before they’re about to be paid. All the devices that banks have used thus far will be clamped down upon, it says. Banks must adhere to the bonus cap by providing: “Specific criteria for mapping all remuneration components into either fixed or variable pay and detailing how specific remuneration elements such as allowances, sign-on bonuses, retention bonuses and severance pay are to be recognized.”


The European regulator will delay implementation of its code to allow smaller firms that pay smaller bonuses to be exempt. (Financial Times)

European banks will be cutting more jobs next year, especially retail banking jobs. (Reuters)

Interning at Mckinsey: “The new interns used to sleep in their offices over night as they had so much work. So when I was doing events until like 11.30pm they would still be there working, and then when I would come in at 6am for work they would still be there.” (The Tab)

Tom Hayes has his sentence reduced by three years. He’ll now have to spend 11 years in jail (BBC)

He still maintains his innocence: “I was at secondary school when these practices started—I am not the ‘ring master’.” (WSJ)

J.P. Morgan has hired for its China operation, poaching from Lazard (Financial News)

Equity capital markets have bounced back in Q4 after struggling all year (Financial News)

From investment banking to hedge funds to philanthropy: “There are huge quantities of res­earch around improving the way corporates are run, the way medicine is practised, the way education is provided, the way climate is changing, but so little in this crucial field.” (Financial Times)

Could you win the Bank of England Christmas quiz? (Bank Underground)

The pessimists’ guide to 2016 (Bloomberg)

Photo: Creatas/Thinkstock

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.