As 2009 comes to a close, City folk are craving a bit of fun. After being forced to keep their heads down all year amid the misery, bailouts and chaos, most bankers I know are desperate to let their hair down, get drunk and embarrass themselves.<br /><br />One of the things I miss most about the City is the feeling of boundless revelry that we succumbed to during the month of December.<br /><br />The free-flowing champagne and surreptitious trysts with colleagues almost made up for the fact that my job was slowly killing my soul the other 11 months of the year.<br /><br />Yet there is something slightly awkward about this year&rsquo;s Christmas parties, because those bankers who have survived are optimistic about 2010, but the rest of the world still hates them. Unless they want to be trashed by the media, they mustn&rsquo;t be seen to be celebrating: you can&rsquo;t have traders and brokers splashing out on 50 ice sculptures at their parties shortly after half the City faced meltdown.<br /><br />It is not all dour, however: while their parties have largely been pushed underground, here are a few of the scandalous ways I hear bankers are continuing to spend all their (or their company&rsquo;s) hoarded cash. <br /><br /><strong>SERIAL GOLD DIGGERS</strong><br />This time of year inevitably brings a seasonal influx of Eastern European beauties prowling City meat-markets &ndash; you know, all the usual bars and clubs &ndash; for a piece of your bonus. <br /><br />I always warned non-locals to avoid these places, not because they aren&rsquo;t fun in a kind of voyeuristic way &ndash; to see secretaries and traders releasing their sexual tension is amusing and harmless &ndash; but because they&rsquo;re full of pickpockets. I&rsquo;ve even had stuff stolen from the cloakrooms in these places.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s never nice to have your money taken, but when it&rsquo;s by a very lovely and exotic gold digger who flew in just for the cause, well, that puts a whole different spin on it.<br /><br />One of the things I miss least about working the City is the frequency with which City boys mistook me for a Russian gold digger while out drinking in one of the City&rsquo;s classy watering holes.&nbsp; It was an honest mistake.<br /><br /><strong>ANONYMOUS RECEIPTS</strong><br />Most of the Christmas parties may be cancelled and the perks cut but the other day I heard a story about two friends of mine in the City that went to an all-expenses paid property fund conference in Vienna (far from the tabloids&rsquo; prying eyes) and somehow managed to add &pound;2,000 for some entertainment with high class hookers. It was picked up on the corporate Amex by our mutual friend but was reimbursed by a company cheque from his partner in crime. I have no idea how he managed to raise a cheque and have it signed off. But the guys are still finding ways to have some fun. <br /><br />Another friend at RBS, while drunk last week, foolishly admitted to me that he&rsquo;d spent &pound;2,500 in taxpayer bailout money at a strip club entertaining clients. Turns out his expenditures came up as &ldquo;restaurant x&rdquo; when he tried to pull them past HR. Pretty incredible given the fact that nowadays most banks refuse their staff more than one napkin in the canteen.<br /><br /><strong>JOB-HUNTING IN ASIA</strong><br />The City of London has its advantages &ndash; the stunning architecture, the buzz and excitement of the markets &ndash; but if you are fed up with the idea of bonus rules, a 50 per cent tax rate and hyper-regulation, perhaps it&rsquo;s time to consider Asia. <br /><br />Sources tell me that Goldman, UBS and particularly Barclays Capital are on hiring sprees in Tokyo, as well as other Asian financial centres. If you can handle the cultural shock, you&rsquo;ll be rewarded with a 15 per cent tax rate and amazing fish, and a tube that actually works.<br /><br />I haven&rsquo;t completely ruled the idea out myself. I thought when I published a whistleblower&rsquo;s book on the City I had turned my back on performing that line of work. But no one in Tokyo &ndash; where I was launching my new book last week &ndash; knew I was &ldquo;City Girl,&rdquo; and after several nights of networking, I found myself with offers to interview for derivative sales roles at two of the largest investment banks.<br /><br />My wheels started spinning: I could work there for a couple years&hellip; then write &ldquo;Tokyo Girl.&rdquo;&nbsp; Move to New York for a few years&hellip; then write &ldquo;Wall Street Girl.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>HIRING MORE WOMEN</strong><br />Not so scandalous, per se, but still expensive and out of the ordinary.<br /><br />It is a well-known stereotype that females take less risk, and are more cautious, than their male counterparts. <br /><br />My ex-risk manager validates this, admitting that when female traders had the grit to make it in trading, they often were some of the best performers, not least because they take more precautions. Females are not nearly as prone to be overcome by ego, greed, ambition and the illusions of unlimited power that go along with high-octane careers. A lot of men are more hubristic, and humility is important in being a good investor.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not that women are more risk averse,&rdquo; as one high-profile City Girl noted. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s that they are more risk-aware.&rdquo; If your firm is looking to keep risk under control and maybe even cut down on the scandals in the near future, now is a better time than any to let the ladies sort it out.<br /><br />Barbara Stcherbatcheff is author of Confessions of a City Girl (<br /><strong>&bull; Victoria Bates is away.</strong>