The Pained Trader: the City Ripper

The Pained Trader and Carney aren’t in it together.

  • By The Pained Trader
  • 02 Nov 2017
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The first Bank of England rate increase in a decade was nailed on this week but stop! Just hold on a minute, Mr Carney! We need to talk about this. I haven't deleveraged yet. I owe more on the mortgage now than I did in 2007 and my prospects are vastly diminished. You’re an Everton fan too and meant to be on my side.

What about “we’re all in this together”? Maybe we are but some of us are in it together more than others. There has to be an optimal moment for weaning everyone off the heroin of accommodative monetary policy but this isn't it.

How about never, Mark? Is never good for you?

Whenever the BoE shifts from dove-ish to hawkish will be too soon, but Q4 2017 is definitely not the right time because I am negotiating a veritable Grand National of obstacles in the next few months and on the other side of each high jump is a slough of boiling excrement.

I have my PDR (Performance Development Review — their terminology; Personal Defect Reiteration — my terminology), I have the vortex of dissipation which is Thanksgiving to Christmas to negotiate, my probation period at Salvation Bank ends on the last day of December, and then if I have skirted those landmines then, of course, the onset of the MiFID apocalypse quivers on the horizon. I was feeling fragile enough even before the Old Lady of Threadneedle St hitched up her skirts.

Minor indiscretions

There’s also a lifetime of minor indiscretions to consider. As #MeToo scandals have torn through Hollywood, journalism and Westminster, I have performed what Alcoholics Anonymous describes as a “searching and fearless moral inventory”. You carry your past around with you and, to paraphrase LP Hartley, “The past is a foreign country; no better there than it is here.”

I have worked (well, after a fashion) in the City for 28 years. Almost every one of my sexual partners over that period was drawn from its ranks (I use that word figuratively, not literally). Lovers. Mistresses. One-night-stands. Drunken snogs. My wife at the apex.

Then there are those to whose charms I was strangely impervious. (There were some, honestly.) I can think of at least one without trying too hard. I was resolutely impervious to the dubious allure of the bunny boiler at ING who wanted to adopt the desk terrapins and would send me raving emails on a daily basis then, at Chaucer Securities, no man in his right mind would have submitted to the succubine claims of the executive PA, even without her cloying perfume with which she tried to overwhelm me every morning. I gave in to some. After the IEDA dinner in 1998, I was accosted in the back of a cab by a buy-side dealer whose advances I felt I could not resist because she'd given me a very chunky order in Asia overnight.

Again, almost to a woman, every single one of those suitors worked in The Square Mile.

The category about which I’m most concerned, however, is the far lengthier list of lips which never puckered, no matter how I longed and thighs which never parted, no matter how I ached. Sex In The City? It sounded agreeable in principle, but there has never been enough of it as far as I am concerned.

Will any of these women think back to the attentions I lavished on them and now regard it as harassment? What I thought was a winning combination of the cheeky and the charming might in retrospect strike the recipient of my innocent flirtation as the dread spectre of the City Ripper?

Love in the Time of MiFID has been proscribed by EU regulators. Chauvinism has not been eradicated, however. It has just been driven underground.

Behaviour adjusted and adapted, but I don’t think it changed. I think back to the start of my so-called career at Salomon Brothers in 1989, and note that I’d never seen a strip-o-gram till I joined the City and then I saw three in my first six months, all of them in that testosterone-tossed cockpit of a trading floor, including one who pretended to be a job applicant and disrobed during the ‘interview’ and another who thrashed a dealer’s buttocks with his belt across his desk.

For City firms, the mingling of the sexes is a highly volatile element and fraught with litigious peril. I wonder sometimes if trading floors are becoming more male-dominated these days rather than less, because it eliminates one big and obvious risk. That might demonstrate the law of unintended — and undesirable — consequences.

I look back now, and wonder if, thanks to the all-consuming hours one works in this game, I might never have found love at all were I forbidden by today’s mores and codes of conduct from finding it in the City. I would have been considerably more useful to my employers, though, that’s for sure.

  • By The Pained Trader
  • 02 Nov 2017

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 164,197.28 637 7.95%
2 JPMorgan 154,023.20 666 7.46%
3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 148,673.66 492 7.20%
4 Barclays 126,568.82 444 6.13%
5 HSBC 110,180.81 519 5.34%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 25,941.92 30 9.52%
2 Citi 16,837.08 38 6.18%
3 SG Corporate & Investment Banking 15,661.30 47 5.75%
4 Deutsche Bank 14,193.64 44 5.21%
5 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 13,028.84 31 4.78%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Goldman Sachs 6,961.44 31 9.19%
2 JPMorgan 6,815.38 29 8.99%
3 UBS 5,503.59 15 7.26%
4 Citi 5,145.98 30 6.79%
5 Deutsche Bank 4,303.27 25 5.68%