Morning Coffee: Senior Morgan Stanley operations banker goes on wild spending spree, Netherlands plans harsh bonus cap

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Where Kalmar went

Recently, George Kalmar, ex-vice-president of European Settlements at Morgan Stanley, has been living in a one bedroom flat in an insalubrious area of Glasgow. However, it was not always thus. Until early this year, Kalmar - who was lauded at Morgan Stanley for being a great boss with a charismatic personality, was living in the very nice Park Circus area of Glasgow. He was also spending £70k a time on nights out at London restaurants like Nobu and the Savoy Hotel.

Needless to say, Kalmar's lifestyle wasn't funded by his senior settlements job. He was convicted yesterday of stealing money from Morgan Stanley using his 'encyclopaedic knowledge' of the bank's procedures and ability to persuade junior Morgan Stanley staff to transfer money to dormant accounts without asking too many questions. In total, Kalmar embezzled £387k. His crime was unearthed while he was on holiday earlier this year. Kalmar's due to be sentenced later this week.

Separately, the Netherlands is proposing a bonus cap which makes the European Union's look stupidly tame. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Dutch government wants to cap banking bonuses at 20% of salaries from 2015. The cap would apply to all banks in the Netherlands, Dutch or not.


Morgan Stanley is also under investigation for hiring Chinese princelings.(Reuters) 

John Hourican has been hiring ex-RBS bankers to help him out at Bank of Cyprus. (Evening Standard) 

Goldman Sachs., UBS and GLG Partners Inc are gathering money for Asian hedge funds. (Bloomberg) 

“There are loads of different places in the world to buy gold,” said Jeremy Charles, chairman of the London Bullion Market Association and a trim, tough-looking native Londoner who started out at 19 as a tea boy in the gold rooms of the N. M. Rothschild bank. (Vanity Fair)

Senior bankers never retire, they simply consult: Douglas Beadle, 68, a former Rothschild banker, acts as a consultant to London Gold Market Fixing from his home in Caterham, a small commuter town 45 minutes south of London by train. (Bloomberg) 

How to ride your bike to work in the dead of winter. (The Atlantic) 

Idiot’s guide to leverage ratios. (BBC)

How Goldman Sacs thinks about leadership. (Yale)