Interesting supplement in today’s Times newspaper on careers with an 8-page
supplement on careers in Banking. A few choice quotes:
“Confidence in the world’s financial markets is shaky”
“Lehman Brothers, UBS, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse have all announced
“Is now the worst time to consider a career in banking”
Mmmm … sounds a bit depressing doesn’t it? But it goes on to quote Neil Owen
who works for Robert Half International, a recruitment consultancy:
“We have seen various large banks talk about redundancies and job losses, but
… we are seeing very little evidence of it.”
And states that the market turmoil is squeezing credit-related jobs in the
front-office, but the rest is still all buoyant and brill. Wa-hey.
Counteract this with the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report that was released
yesterday and you’d think again. This report says that there are "serious
fragilities" in the origination and distribution model that financial firms use
to manage debt and that British Banks face a £150 billion bill if they are
forced to set aside capital against their Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs)
and Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs). Oh-no!
Back to the careers report and they then have a five question quiz on whether
you’ve got what it takes to be a real banker. Question five goes:
“The US sub-prime mortgage crisis:
a) Demonstrates the hollowness of the American Dream (0 points)
b) Was a clear risk that could have been obvious to anyone (0 points
unless you can prove you said this before the crisis occurred in which case 3
c) Doesn’t bother me at all as I bought property in London in 1996
(increase value of current points by 199 per cent)
d) Is why I’ve been encouraging clients to invest in China rather than
America (10 points minus a 3 per cent pollution levy on all points)”
OK, so all of us UK bankers fall into category (c). Wa-hey.
Except that the IMF says the UK property market is going to crash in the next
five minutes, as do most other economists. Oh-no!
So, I’ll stick with the Are you a real banker question (2), which is
the most appropriate for the Finextra crowd:
“Your favourite smell is:
a) Money (1 point)
b) Cocaine (no points as you’re not able to count anymore anyway)
c) Humans on the London Underground (-10 points as you must be mad)
d) The burn of computer networks processing enormous transactions (2
Mmm-mmmmm … smell those mips.