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Morning Coffee: Confessions of an IB analyst who quit after six weeks. Curious events at Barclays

Quit your banking job one day, start traveling the world the next

After graduating from college in 2007, Mark Manson joined a bulge-bracket investment bank because he was good with numbers and all his poker-playing friends were working in financial services. He thought it would be his forever career but he only lasted six weeks.

“I played poker a lot and I made money playing. Everybody else I knew who played poker was doing finance. So it was cool to get a job in finance, but I was put into a kind of cubicle hell,” Manson told AFR. “It was not what I expected; it was basically just doing data entry.”

The sense of power Manson felt after accepting the job offer soon disappeared once he entered the grey, sterile and joyless bank surrounded by other ambitious 20-somethings “awkwardly stuffed into cheap suits and business attire. Some worked furiously at their consoles, invigorated. Others slinked in their chairs, lifeless and a paper jam away from putting a shotgun in their mouth. I would soon be one of the latter,” he wrote in a blog post entitled “How to Quit Your Day Job and Travel the World.”

Two hours into his lifelong career choice of finance, Manson was already contemplating an escape route – not a good sign.

Manson says quitting his investment banking job to start his own online dating business and selling most of his possessions to travel around the world were decisions that are “high up there in my own 'didn't give a f---' hall of fame” and eventually led to him writing the dating manual Models: Attract Women Through Honesty and the self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F---: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.

The key message is accepting that you are not uniquely special or defective, but be willing to struggle for what you really want. Stop focusing on bad values based on external measures such as material possessions and being told you're right all the time and instead prioritizing good values that you have complete control over such as creativity and humility.

Another life lesson to take away from Manson’s experience? It’s more fun traveling the world writing books than working at a bank.

Separately, former police detective Jonathan Cox, the senior compliance officer responsible for Barclays’s whistleblower program, is leaving the bank after settling an employment dispute just before it was set to go to trial, according to the Financial Times.

Out-of-court settlements typically bar either side from revealing details about the case, so it is unclear whether or not the employment lawsuit, the subsequent settlement between Cox and Barclays and his planned departure are directly linked to the whistleblowing investigation that has been hanging over Jes Staley, the bank’s American CEO.

In April, Barclays announced that the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority were investigating it after Staley’s attempts to use Barclays’s internal security team to track down the authors of two anonymous letters making allegations about a former colleague Staley had hired, which were sent to the board and a senior executive at the bank last June.

Some have speculated that Cox was fired because he may have tried to stop Staley from pursuing the whistleblower and then sued the bank for wrongful termination, leading to the bank’s decision to pay him off rather than face an embarrassing trial. However, due to the terms of the settlement, we may never know all of the details related to this mysterious eyebrow-raising situation.


The 41-year-old J.P. Morgan banker Paul Blight, an executive director, sent a malicious letter as part of a smear campaign falsely accusing Bupa’s David Hynam of launching a prolonged homophobic hate crime after he was spurned by the healthcare chief’s long-term boyfriend. (DailyMail)

As Trump's top economic adviser, former Goldman Sachs President/COO Gary Cohn is working to dismantle the rules put in place after the financial crisis – and his bulldog mentality can be traced back to his rough-and-tumble childhood when he punched a female teacher whose punishments crossed the line. (The Intercept)

Goldman Sachs thinks it can generate as much revenue from online consumer loans—a market targeted by many fintech startups—as from buying and selling securities. (Quartz)

Morgan Stanley is making a hiring push, but not in the division you might think. (Reuters)

Here’s another reason Main Street still hates Wall Street. (Bloomberg)

Chancellor Philip Hammond said he would work on a “bespoke” deal giving the financial services industry special treatment after Brexit. (Quartz)

Italian investment bankers who handle some of their country’s biggest deals out of London are moving to Milan, lured by bumper tax breaks at a time of deep uncertainty about Brexit. (Reuters)

Japanese investment bank Nomura has set aside $100 million to invest in promising startups from a new innovation office in San Francisco. (Finextra)

Australia’s banks are sitting on a ticking time-bomb. (WSJ)

Axa has been flirting with French rival Natixis. (Reuters)

J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon condemning bitcoin and threatened to fire portfolio managers who invest in it, but some of the bank’s clients are still doing so. (The Merkle)

Female hedge fund managers’ returns were two times higher those run by men in 2017, piling pressure on the male-dominated sector. (FT)

Fintech is changing the competitive ETF landscape. (Fund Action)

Many Silicon Valley start-ups, including virtual reality company Upload, are run by young, immature men who are flush with cash and do not know how to handle their power, leading to litigation and reputational damage. (New York Times)

Unending news of tech companies’ sexism and harassment have prompted sought-after STEM-educated women to rethink their options, perhaps giving Wall Street firms a recruitment edge. (Bloomberg)

The tides are turning against Google, Facebook and Amazon – there's blood in the water in Silicon Valley. (Bloomberg)

Entrepreneurs can raise money for their idea via an initial coin offering (ICO) without giving away any of the profits of that idea, as they would under the VC model – ICO investors are funding a risky new idea without any expectation of sharing in its profits. (Bloomberg)

Cybersecurity as we know it will be completely upended when a powerful quantum computer comes to market. (WSJ)

Nine years ago, Lehman Brothers became the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, and you can buy memorabilia online. (Business Insider)

There’s a new brand of whiskey toasting the demise of Lehman. (BBC)

Photo credit: mikkelwilliam/GettyImages

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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