Morning Coffee: Bank CEO's warning to bankers under 30. Bill Gross and the fart spray

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Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has been an intermittent source of advice for ambitious young bankers over the ages, recommending, for example, that they "pace themselves," spend some time working overseas, and care partly about themselves and partly about the corporation in equal amounts. Now guru Gorman has issued a new insight: if you didn't experience the last financial crisis, you need to watch yourself.

“It really helps to be a little paranoid and a little scarred," Gorman said at a conference on culture run by the New York Federal Reserve yesterday. "Forget about what the regulators want, what the public want, what the politicians want; we don’t want [another crisis],” he added.

The trouble for anyone who entered banking after 2008 is that they have no scars from the 2008 crisis, said Gorman. They can suffer the, “tyranny of success,” said Gorman and presume that because things have been ok, they will remain so.

This would seem apply to almost everyone under 30 in finance. However, Gorman's real fears are for the neophytes coming into banking now and next year, who will become the VPs and MDs of the future. Here, he warned that “grade creep”, or grade inflation, is at work as people experience a growing sense of security, “My fear is . . . those people who haven’t been through the last 10 plus years . . . the crisis, the post-crisis, the [London] Whale, all the other stuff that has happened since,” he said. “Fifteen years from now, will management come to work every day with sufficient scarring or not?”

At the very least, unscarred bankers might be advised to read widely on the crisis and its causes in the hope of achieving some vicarious wounds.

Separately: don't mess with bond manager Bill Gross. Following the revelation that Bill's wife substituted one of his Picassos for a replica she painted herself, the New York Post reports allegations from his wife to the effect that Gross sprayed aromas called Liquid Ass and BARFume around the house before he moved out. “The houseplants smelled foul and need to be replaced,” said Sue Gross, who subsequently got a restraining order against her former husband. Gross is also said to have placed a dead fish in the air vents.


Winton Capital is spinning out its data company, Hivemind. (Financial Times) 

Odey Asset Management is parting company with its sales directors. (HFMWeek) 

Credit Suisse has increased its global headcount in leveraged finance to 124 so far in 2018, an increase of 13% from the end of last year. Staff rose by 14% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and by 12% in the Americas. (Bloomberg)

Want to work for Google? It helps to be Asian. (NYT) 

A charity founded by a 24-year-old Goldman Sachs analyst Hamza Farrukh that aims to provide water to poor, rural communities in Pakistan and to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, won a $150,000 grant from the bank. (Business Insider) 

The CME keeps the computers that run its exchange in Aurora, Illinois, making it among the most important nodes in the global financial system. (Bloomberg)

Even a single night of poor sleep can cause changes in the brain implicated in Alzheimer’s. (New Scientist) 

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