Morning Coffee: 26-year-old Goldman Sachs CFA ethics prize winner was not ethical. Investment banking’s semi-comeback
It might be supposed that the ethics topics in the CFA exams are easy compared to things like quantitative methods or derivatives, but this would be wrong. The ethics component of CFA exams is widely held to be one of the most difficult, given the ambiguity of the questions and subjectivity of the answers. But ethics are also something that CFA Institute prides itself on. The "highest standards of ethics" are "fundamental" to its mission, it declares.
For a CFA Institute ethics prize winner to become an insider trader at Goldman Sachs is therefore slightly ironic.
This is what occurred with Anthony Viggiano, a former associate in Goldman Sachs' asset and wealth management division. Viggiano is the guy who was part of an alleged insider trading ring that used Signal and the XBox for secret communications about their trading ideas. It turns out that he's also a guy whose team won $1k in 2018 during a student competition at the University of Tampa, Virginia, which tested students' ethical decision-making in different situations.
Viggiano's hypothetical ethicality does not, however, appear to correspond much to his ethical implementation. Before making an alleged $300k in illicit gains from what the SEC says was insider trading with a childhood friend while at Goldman Sachs, he was allegedly compelled to resign from Blackstone after it discovered he'd been trading personally without approval from compliance. That didn't dissuade Goldman from hiring him. Nor did it prevent Viggiano from allegedly flexing industry ethics again. Maybe performance in exams doesn't match events in the real world?
Separately, there's a bit of excitement about a possible recovery in investment banking revenues. It's early days and it won't be like 2021 for a long while, but there are suggestions that it might be "a premium to [the] 2018, 2019 level" as the investment banking "wallet normalizes" at circa $80bn-$90bn, according to various senior bankers opining to the Financial Times.
Some big deals like Arm's listing and Cisco's $28bn acquisition of software maker Splunk are bringing dessicated deal teams back to life. Even so, Bloomberg notes that it will be a struggle to hit $3 trillion in M&A deals this year, and that $3 trillion in deals has been a "given" for a decade.
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If you earn $650k and you move from New York to Miami, you'll have an extra $200k after tax. (Bloomberg)
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