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Morning Coffee: Banks can't get enough of these 40-year-olds. University majors of psychopaths

Club Patron: So, what do you do? Patrick Bateman: I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly. Club Patron: Do you like it? Patrick Bateman: Well, it depends. Why? Club Patron: Well, most guys I know who are in mergers and acquisitions really don't like it.

After more than five years of painful job cuts, there are signs that many investment banks are actually hiring senior traders again (even those who don’t know how to code).

In response to soaring fixed income revenues, Deutsche Bank and Nomura are said to be among the investment banks investing in trading MDs as the industry prepares to put the era of vicious job cuts in the rearview mirror.

Deutsche Bank achieved a 10% rise in fixed income trading revenues in the first quarter and is actively hiring in its markets business. Recent examples include global credit trader Christopher McCarthy, loan trader Garret Rowan and real estate and commercial mortgage-backed securities trader Bill Moyer, according to Financial News. Nomura's recent headcount additions include senior EMEA salesman David Ishoo Mirzayoo, who came over from Societe Generale.

Over the last five years, European banks like Deustche Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse and Barclays have made savage cuts to trading divisions, shedding thousands of jobs to cut costs.

“The firms who did shrink their businesses as fixed income became squeezed now appear to be tactically trying to fill their gaps, which is hard to do quickly,” Charles Bristow, the co-head of rates trading at J.P. Morgan, told FN. Forget juniorization (briefly), seasoned senior traders are back in fashion.

Separately, have you ever wondered what Patrick Bateman – the investment banker anti-hero of American Psycho, majored in back in his university days?

A new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences has the likely answer for you: Psychopaths are more likely to study business and economics.

Researchers tested study participants – university students who had not yet picked a major – looking for signs of the “dark triad” of personality traits associated with psychopathy, narcissism and a desire for social dominance and power in the workplace.

Psychology students scored substantially lower than business, economics and law students, meaning “dark triad” students were more likely to major in one of the latter three disciplines. Researchers concluded that personality traits are “at least part” of the decision process of picking a profession, according to the Independent.


Wall Street executives are not taking the Trump administration’s threats to break up big banks seriously. (Bloomberg)

Republicans controlling the U.S. House Financial Services Committee voted to approve the first comprehensive congressional plan to undo the Dodd-Frank Act. (WSJ)

If the Trump administration decides to repeal the Volcker rule, it will have a big impact on how banks’ market-making businesses handle the practical details of monitoring risk-taking. (Euromoney)

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan, argued that Trump’s corporate tax cut proposal isn't about boosting the profits of banks like his; it will also benefit American workers, he said with a straight face. (Bloomberg)

Retaliation against whistle-blowers is endemic, especially in banking, with recent scandals at Wells Fargo, HSBC and UBS case in point. (New York Times)

The European Commission is making a grab for London's EU clearing business. (New York Times)

London losing the business of euro clearing – worth €930bn ($995bn) a day – after Brexit would massively hurt the rest of Europe, not just the UK. (Business Insider)

HSBC’s U.S. arm is performing better than it has in more than a decade. (WSJ)

Société Générale will pay €963m ($1.1bn) to settle allegations that it paid a middleman bribes to secure business from Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund. (WSJ)

Man Group CEO Luke Ellis predicts a “material” shrinkage of the hedge fund sector down to less than 1,000 profitable hedge fund firms within two years. (HFMWeek)

Wellington Management’s Nick Adams averaged 28% annual returns investing mostly in bank stocks before sinking money into ill-advised venture-capital investments in tech startups, leading to an apology, refunds and soul-searching. (WSJ)

Private equity executives are in a panic after a Swedish court ruled that all PE professionals have to treat income from investments as salary for tax purposes. (Bloomberg)

Family offices, which manage the financial and personal affairs of the wealthy, are increasingly taking direct stakes in companies and committing staff to such efforts rather than investing in PE funds. (Bloomberg)

Photo credit: Lionsgate

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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