Lunchtime Links: The boring reality of trading jobs, defending the reputation of M&A bankers

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For the time being, investment banks are facing no problems attracting sufficient numbers of applicants to their entry level positions, but with the current level of banker basher in the UK, Channel 4 has asked, why anyone would want to work in the industry now.

There are many standard points raised about banks’ recruitment techniques – they’re very visible and enticing on campus, a £50k starting salary turns a few heads and career advancement opportunities are a big selling point – as well as one ex-SocGen investment banker, Will Davies, saying that there were “no moral qualms” over the amount of money it’s possible to earn in the sector.

More interestingly, Lydia Prieg, and former fixed income trader at Goldman Sachs (who we interviewed in 2011), claims once lured into these big name investments banks, the reality is that the day-to-day job is both boring and unfulfilling.

However, Chris Roebuck, former economist and HR professional at UBS and HSBC, makes the case for the defence. The sort of people working in investment banking and M&A “have intellectual ability and to have been to good universities and got very good degrees”, he says, and they’re unlikely to do anything “dodgy” because “if there’s a slightest hint of something dodgy your career is over”.

"When you talk to them in detail about their views, the vast majority are sensible, down-to-earth people who generally behave with integrity. The problem comes when the pursuit of profit gets in the way of your moral compass," he says.


Wall Street suing itself over Libor (Bloomberg)

The Bank of England put pressure on the BBA to shake up Libor in 2008 (Reuters)

Cuts came in Q2, but more cuts are coming (Bloomberg)

Piece by little piece, Wall Street banks are cutting themselves down to size (Independent)

The UK is the only major economy where appetite for M&A is increasing (Financial Times)

John Costas, the former UBS banker, is now leaving the fixed income boutique he founded in 2009 (Financial News)

Credit Suisse is pulling out of “certain illiquid private equity businesses” (Financial News)

Robert Wolf, UBS’s chairman for the Americas, is stepping down to start his own advisory firm (Dealbook)

Google has added over 20,000 employees in the second quarter (Market Watch)

J.P. Morgan has an employee called Libor (Twitter)

How the Amsterdam financial crisis of 1763 compares with 2008 (Alphaville)

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