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Morning Coffee: Goldman Sachs to London traders: "Move to NYC or lose your jobs." Excessive travel makes you immoral

If it happens, it will happen like this. Goldman Sachs isn't eviscerating its London office because of Brexit yet, but it's having what could amount to a tiny trial run.

Reuters reports that Goldman has commanded eight people at Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP) in London to either transfer to the firm's Battery Park office in New York City or look for other jobs in the firm (with no guarantee of success). GSIP is Goldman's "opportunistic multi-disciplinary hedge fund."  It's pretty certain, therefore, that the eight in question are traders.

The move doesn't appear to have been inspired by the prospect of a hard Brexit. Instead, it's more to do with an internal reorg after the two most senior people at GSIP in London left. Poor performance may also have played a part. Either way, it sets a precedent. And what with claims that the firm is contemplating shifting up to 50% of its staff out of London, the precedent is not a good one.

Separately, are you morally unhinged? A new study by academics at Columbia University suggests you might be if you travel a lot.  Titled, "The dark side of going abroad: How broad foreign experiences increase immoral behavior," it found increased overseas travel to be positively correlated to cheating and the contravention of moral norms. The cause was held to be moral relativism: the more you travel, the greater the number of moral frameworks you're exposed to and the higher your moral confusion.


"At a minimum, it is expected that the new EU27-based entities will need to have autonomous boards, full senior management teams, senior account managers and traders, even though much of the back-office might stay in London or elsewhere in the world." (Bloomberg) 

"The Volcker Rule was, to me, an overstep in relation to all the other regulation that was put in place, particularly because I think that was part of what banks are supposed to do for a living: take ­reasonable risks to provide capital to the market," says the new CEO of Nasdaq. (Bloomberg)

European banks would actually quite welcome the end of Dodd Frank: "Dodd-Frank has erected so many barriers to entry — through capital requirements, licensing, and regulatory discretion to hit foreign banks hard — that it’s almost impossible for any outsider to challenge the big U.S banks." (Politico) 

The U.S. Department of Justice is now going after individual Deutsche Bankers in its probe of residential mortgage backed securities sales before the financial crisis. (Reuters) 

Giacomo Draghi, the son of ECB president Mario Draghi, has quit Morgan Stanley for a hedge fund. (Bloomberg) 

The art of being a dealmaker like Ken Moelis: "Ken is used to dealing with eccentric tycoons.” (Financial Times) 

When you've just been voted America's best bond analyst, but you're unemployed. (Financial Times)

When you're at a protest sanctioned by your employer: "The company sent her off with a gift; a “protest kit” that included hand warmers, gloves, a marker pen and poster board. (BBC)


Photo credit: British Airways A320 by Aero Pixels is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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