The old cliché another day another dollar seems to be one that doesn't apply to my new role. It's been just over a week and I'm yet to deal with any risk-related disasters. It's going to require patience, but I do at least have the space to investigate other opportunities.
I've had a number of conversations with people I've worked with who are in the midst of "setting up a fund." Markets are in their death throes but people are still openly talking about investment strategies they're about to launch. It's only when the conversation turns to funding the bold new vehicles that the conversation changes, confidence drains from their faces, and things become vague.
The fact is that admitting that the glory days have turned gory is hard to do for a lot of former investment bankers. Until last year, saying you worked in investment banking felt glamorous: people outside the industry equated the inflated pay packet with a higher purpose. For many now out of work, those halcyon days are hard to part with. They are therefore deluding themselves with dreams of rising above maelstrom and becoming hedge fund guys. I wish them well, but they are delaying the inevitable realisation that times have changed forever.
The news out of Deutsche Bank earlier this week regarding their equity derivatives losses showed how people haven't got to grips with the changes of the past six months. Losing that sort of money suggests that they were taking enormously aggressive risk positions. This seems badly timed to say the least. Rumour has it that anyone anywhere near the offending desk has been removed to spare any further mistakes.
Apart from the mass failure to admit the new reality, another thing that has begun to really annoy me is the incessant documentary programmes purporting to expose the villains behind the credit crunch. They're typically presented by some multi-millionaire private equity guy or hedge fund billionaire who's taken it upon himself to talk about greed, particularly in banks.
If broadcasters continue with this, I look forward to the Panorama special with Robert Mugabe lecturing on the importance of democracy, followed by Dispatches where Mr. Pot calls Mr. Kettle black. Honestly, I have acknowledged the greed that has occurred within banking over the last five years and the imbalances this has lead to, but when some jumped up billionaire turns on the industry that has feathered his Mayfair-based nest, I feel a certain amount of grievance.
I suppose the broadcasters are forced to make up for the enormous gap in schedules left by all those property buying programmes that now seem in impeccably bad taste.