Off the record
"I see UBS is targeting a 15% return on equity. I’m not sure that’s so ambitious: 15% of fuck all surely can’t be that hard"
A London-based investment banker is resolutely unimpressed by UBS’s radical reinvention of its investment banking division
"What’s the justification for delaying Basle III in the US...that Dodd-Frank is tougher? That’s bullshit. Dodd-Frank is in limbo"
An angry European bank CEO sees US regulators handing that country’s banks an unfair advantage
"A Chinese investment banker recently told me that the trouble with our political system is that to be elected our politicians need to make stupid promises they can’t keep. Look at Heathrow for example. That was a pretty mad policy"
Someone in the City comments on the virtues of China’s political transition
"Apparently, retail sales of watches and other gifts are down because nobody is quite sure who they need to bribe at the moment"
One banker’s only slightly tongue-in-cheek comment on the confusion caused by regime change at the top of the Communist Party in China
"Think that may require a longer discussion, old bean"
The response of a former senior FICC banker at UBS on being asked if he could sum up in one word what he feels about what’s happened at the Swiss bank
"Let’s face it. All the IPOs have been fucking dogs. Down 10 is the new flat"
An ECM banker says what everyone else in the Asia-Pacific region is thinking
"I don’t know about Tunnock’s teacakes – I was always more of a gingerbread man"
A Hong Kong-based spokesman for Citi makes an alarming admission about his double life during a discussion about great British biscuit manufacturers
"Don’t go in cold with your chopper out"
A senior banker says the importance of preparation for pitch meetings should not be underestimated