AT LONG last, the City’s beleaguered banking contingent has found itself a champion willing to stand up and state the bleedin’ obvious.
Tim Morgan, the head of research at inter-dealer broker Tullett Prebon, on Friday put out a damning note condemning our politicians’ obsession with bashing the bankers and non-doms – and advising them to start focusing on the economy instead.
“Within recent memory government habitually praised bankers to the skies,” Morgan fumes. “Peter Mandelson famously remarked in 1998 that he was intensely relaxed about people (which presumably includes bankers) becoming filthy rich… In other words, escalating profitability in the financial services industry was fine and dandy so long as it filled the Treasury’s coffers.”
He goes on to point out that bankers are intrinsically neither moral nor immoral, but contribute a vital amount to the British economy.
“Driving bankers overseas because they earn more money than the rest of us would be about as logical as Chelsea fans demanding the sale of Didier Drogba because he gets paid a lot more than the average supporter,” Morgan continues, firmly.
“Envy might, just occasionally, be good politics. But is is always lousy economics.”
Meanwhile, in the opposite vein, City Limits, the golf driving range just off Bishopsgate, has jumped on the politician-bashing bandwagon.
City Limits has put up three enormous fabric posters of Brown, Cameron and chancellor Alistair Darling at the end of its range, and is conducting its own unofficial (un)popularity poll based on how many times each effigy gets thwacked in the course of a day.
Apparently, Gordon Brown is the one getting “peppered” right now, though after last week’s events, shouldn’t Nick Clegg get a look-in too?
Fabrice Tourre may have had an unpleasant weekend after being personally named in an SEC fraud case against his employer Goldman Sachs on Friday, but he’s had to remain diligent in his social networking activities nevertheless.
After many a cunning hack looked up his details on the LinkedIn site over the weekend, that profile had mysteriously been removed as of yesterday.
And on Facebook, he seems to have set up two new profiles with just a handful of friends apiece… though no, wait a second.
No sooner does misfortune befall the poor fellow than someone’s gone and set up a few pages dissing him on Facebook, with his own now-infamous emails quoted back at him and a sarcastic description of him as a “philanthropist”.
HACKS N FLAKS
Over to the Bank of England sports ground in south-west London on a beautiful sunny day yesterday for the annual “hacks versus flaks” football tournament between the finest players the worlds of City journalism and PR have to offer.
This year, for the first time, saw the girls get their own chance to shine in a separate netball tournament, which the flaks – captained by PwC’s Anna White – won with a resounding 29 goals to just 8.
The hacks more than made up for that with a 3-2 victory, despite half the team sustaining injuries and having to stay on the pitch because of a lack of substitutes. Even Sky News’ resident celebrity Mark Kleinman battled on bravely, clutching his nether regions, after sustaining a painful groin strain before the match had even kicked off.
There’s dedication for you.