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Emerging Markets

Loan Ranger: The loan path to enlightenment

loan ranger

The Ranger went on the hunt for meditating bankers and found that each in the market has their own definition of inner peace.

Standard Chartered may have a Buddhist temple in the atrium of its London office, but that does not mean its bankers are all ardent meditators.

The Ranger — so impressed by the stunning temple — asked Charles Corbett if he practised Mindfulness (the popular meditation trend based on ancient Buddhist meditation techniques). Corbett's blank stare was almost Zen-like, but he said that he had never heard of Mindfulness and certainly did not meditate.

His colleague Hiren Singharay held up the fort (or lotus flower), however. The emerging market loans aficionado meditates daily, he disclosed, and has been doing so for the last 42 years. Which is, as Deep Thought revealed in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. 

So take Hiren aside next time you see him and he might just slip you the secret.

But those who know Singharay will already be aware that in the working day he is more vocal than introspective, and more likely to extol the values of local currency loan markets than sit down quietly on his own.

This encounter with equanimity put the Ranger on a quest to find out what other loan bankers do to find their inner peace. The results were most enlightening.

Citi’s Rizwan Shaikh spent his weekend in the studious calm of homework. Not his own, but helping his children with their long division.

There has been little calm in the United Arab Emirates for Vivek Gopalakrishnan, another Stanchart banker, who has been working through the night in recent weeks to keep up with the glut of Middle Eastern loans.

One office where it appears there is little chance of serene meditation is Commerzbank on Friday afternoons.

The shrill sound of a fire alarm rudely interrupted the Ranger’s call with Graham Lofts and an impossibly plummy voice reminded Commerzbank to remain calm, this is a fire alarm drill. The Ranger at first confused the calm voice of the announcer with Lofts’ own plummy tones and wondered why Graham was telling her to remain calm.

Are you Om-ing your way through stressful days in the office? Please get in touch and share your shakras with the Ranger – elly.whittaker@globalcapital.com

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