When I was a child in the 1960s, I remember reading an illustrated article about what the world would be like in 50 years – approximately where we are right now, in fact. It looked pretty exciting.
Just over twenty years ago, Deutsche Bank bought my old employer Bankers Trust for $10 billion; now DB looks like it may well merge with Commerzbank.
My experience of the first deal makes me fear mightily for the success of the second.
On the tenth anniversary of Lehman, it’s worth asking: could it really have been avoided?
Mark Johnson is out of prison, at least for the time being. It’s a small, significant step in the right direction. But it’s just a step.
There is more work to be done.
Continue reading “Thing with feathers: Mark Johnson’s bail pending appeal”
[A version of this article originally appeared in Euromoney. It is reproduced here with the permission of the Editor]
Mark Johnson, the HSBC FX trader found guilty of wire fraud last October and sentenced to two years in jail this April, is appealing his conviction.
You should care about the outcome.
A number of news items and events this week have made me think about the world of investment banking again after a few relaxing weeks off for good behaviour.
They have not been happy thoughts.
From rumour, to leak, to background briefing, to common knowledge, to ‘absolute commitment’, to emergency weekend meetings; and from there to a summary firing and replacement – all in less than two weeks.
Cryan’s gone as CEO, Sewing is in, and a whole bunch of new problems are just starting for my old shop Deutsche Bank.
Continue reading “Unpicking the Sewing at Deutsche”
“How is it going?” I asked an old friend from the markets over lunch recently. “You know, Curtains and Tigers,” he replied, cryptically.
I knew what he meant.
It’s Christmas and for me that means drinks parties. In the past, knowing that I was meant to be some sort of expert on finance, at least one or two people would ask me about the Euro or UK interest rates or bank stocks or, more usually, internships for their kids.
This year? It’s all been bitcoin: more particularly, bitcoin futures.
Continue reading “Emotionally short: the new bitcoin futures”
The Bank of England has announced that the UK banking system would be fine in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.
Pardon me if I’m not comforted.
I recently saw a news item about a family whose elder members have sold up everything to make a big bet on bitcoin. While I applaud their daring, I am less certain of their wisdom. It reminded me of one of my favourite jokes – a joke that I always think of whenever I make decisions with my own money.
Here it is.
Bank CEOs – although the few I have met personally have all been delightful – are not normally noted for the bitingly controversial nature of their public statements. Anodyne CEO sentiments about ‘tactical downsizing’ or ‘seizing new growth opportunities in China’ are par for the course. Coruscating attacks less so.
So it was refreshing to see that Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan has not held back in his opinion of bitcoin.