Off the record

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"[Gallic shrug with arms fully extended to the side and look of bemusement and disdain]"

The eloquent reply of a senior French banker to our question about the proposed financial transactions tax


"The thing is, you have to keep these discussions on the straight and narrow"

A banker uses a perhaps unfortunate turn of phrase on his dealings with the firm’s diversity committee


"Managers are preying on fears of rising rates to push investors into loans to feed the Wall Street origination machine"

It is all looking horribly familiar to this investor


"There are signposts along the highway – notably the unemployment rate – allowing investors to gauge progress towards eventual tapering off in purchases. But the Fed is driving down that highway at 200 miles an hour in a very big truck. It knows that before long it has to touch the brakes. But it can’t be sure what will happen when it does"

A bond trader sees a big crash coming in the bond markets when the Fed exits quantitative easing


"Never underestimate [Chinese officials’] ability to use counterintuitive rules to reach a conclusion they happen to like"

A Beijing-based non-performing loan expert explains why healthy suspicion is not a bad thing when dealing with Chinese bureaucracy