Morning Coffee: Goldman Sachs also has fruit-related cost cutting policies and its juniors are fed-up. Karmic stone to save City of London
It turns out that Deutsche Bank isn't the only bank coming down on fruit-related perks for its employees. Goldman Sachs has allegedly got a squeeze on fruits too and at least some juniors there are not happy about it.
Fox Business has a story detailing the discontentment. A Goldman junior allegedly attempted to expense a piece of fruit but was unable to, 'because the food group didn’t meet Goldman’s stringent criteria.' Nor is it just fruit. Fox says Goldman's analysts and associates are subject to 'strict budgeting': at Manhattan West they can only order meals if they work past 8pm, and then they can only spend $25. They're expected to be reachable by the firm at all times, but Goldman juniors have to buy their own phones and laptops for home. There are also complaints of 18 hour days and of lower pay than at other banks. During investor calls, Goldman regularly references its tight control of costs and has been praised by analysts for its squeeze on spending.
Lloyd Blankfein has been drawn into the resulting weal of resentment. While Goldman's juniors are seething about fruit reimbursements, Fox says Blankfein is having a fancy new office with a view over the Hudson River built for him so that he will still feel wanted at Goldman after retiring as CEO in October. The move is said to be stoking resentment about haves (managing directors, partners, ex-CEOs) and have-nots (analysts and associates) at Goldmans, with the have-nots in the open plan offices on the $25 meal subsidy feeling hard done-by. A Goldman executive told Fox that staff get plenty of other benefits which they value, like a health club, dietitian, child-birth classes, mindfulness training, breast milk shipping, and one-on-one financial coaching administered over the phone at no extra cost.
Even so, it may simply be time for Goldman to implement a blanket approach to fruit reimbursement, particularly as David Solomon is said to be tightening the criteria for making partner this year so that it will be harder for non-revenue generating staff to reach the top. If analysts and associates in the front office are peeved, discontentment in the foundation (Goldman's support functions) is likely to be higher still.
Separately, the City of London will be saved. With a seemingly hard Brexit around the corner and a socialist government in the wings, the City could have a hard time in 2019. It's fortunate, then, that an ancient karmic stone, the “London Stone,” is being reinstalled at 111 Cannon Street, its home for hundreds of years until it was moved in the 1800s and then again the 1960s. The 76kg stone, which is said to have been brought to London by Brutus, the first king of Britain, has its own motto: 'So long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish.' It's being housed in a newly built office block. Previously it spent some time located in a glazed alcove in a sports shop.
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