Off the record

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"The price was absolutely ludicrous and people were openly asking if the old man had finally lost it"

One banker says Li Ka-Shing shouldn’t be too surprised he had to scrap the sale of ParknShop.


"Another managing director? What the hell do you all do?"

A group of investment banking MDs are taken aback when the head of one frequent borrower examines their business cards during a meeting at the IMF


"Cristina is brilliant at articulating stupidity. Because that’s the reality. She speaks well, you have to hear her – she has a super mind in terms of memory of data and detail. It’s just that this information gets channelled wrong"

An Argentinean banker flirts with back-handed praise for his president but ends up more in the category of plain insult


"I am really disappointed by the lack of detail in fundamental analysis of our financials. All these hints and suggestions the analysts feed you journalists... they’re just parroting what we tell them, sorry, what we guide them to say"

A chief financial officer gears up rather grumpily for his company’s third-quarter earnings call


"It is an absolute shocker. Eight separate banks managed to get it completely wrong"

One investment banker is baffled by the Royal Mail float


"You want the right people to own your debt – you don’t want idiots that will flip it"

One issuer seems less than enamoured with the hedge funds


"I don’t know how many more building societies have to fail before regulators wake up to the fact that retail banks are where the risk to the system lies"

This analyst points to the Co-op as just the latest in a long list of UK failures