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Opinion

Year in review: Best from "Off the Record"

“The share price hasn’t moved for a decade. Working for Citigroup has put an extra five years onto my working life. You make a pact with the devil when you work for an investment bank, I know, but you at least expect him to keep his side of the bargain!” One disgruntled Citigroup banker bemoans having his retirement plans indefinitely delayed

January 2007

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“Beagle had a foolproof trading strategy ...it related to page 3 of The Sun and hinged on whether or not the photograph had been taken in a warm studio!”

A comment added to euromoney.com’s WeeklyFiX channel following a story about a legendary former FX trader


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“Oh great – another free copy of the magazine. It’s a shame you don’t work for Playboy”

A hedge fund manager jokingly greets Euromoney on its second visit to his office in as many months

December 2006

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“Tea, coffee? Drugs, women?”

A Ukrainian investment banker offers a warm welcome to a Euromoney reporter

December 2006


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“Look, I’ll tell you the truth. Actually sod that, nobody ever tells you the truth. Why the fuck should I?”

A fixed-income banker’s refreshing attempt at honesty


November 2006


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“That sounds like the person making that comment is really stupid”

A banker gives his opinion on Euromoney quotes sent for approval – the only problem is that the words quoted were his own


November 2006

 

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“There is no such thing as Islamic finance and banking in the Middle East”

An investment banker queries the solidity of the region’s Islamic finance infrastructure

October 2006


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“Oh God, that is so boring. People are sick to death of hearing about it”

The global head of real estate at a European bank is brutally honest when asked to highlight the structural brilliance of one of his own deals

September 2006


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“We’re going to either have to bend over and take it now, or in two years’ time. I think it’s now”

An economist gives the bearish view on the global economic situation

July 2006

 

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“If you can utilize your financing tool kit to add alpha, you are really servicing clients!”

A structured finance banker jokingly tries to get as many marketing clichés into one sentence as possible

July 2006

 

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“I’ve met with the SEC hedge fund inspectors, and they’re not as stupid as everyone thinks.”

One industry association head tries to dispel a popular belief

June 2006 


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“Argentina is a nation of congenital swindlers.”


A hedge fund manager makes his feelings clear

June 2006 


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“One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal.”

A Standard Chartered banker sums up his firm’s kind of magic – with apologies to Freddie Mercury

June 2006

 

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“These people aren’t really rich: their net worth might be as little as $5 million to $10 million.”

One bank manager in Riyadh shows what it takes to be considered a high-net-worth individual in Saudi Arabia

 May 2006

 

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“You investment bankers are like whores, you are all there to be fucked!”

The CFO of a Russian borrower opens discussions with an investment banker

May 2006

 

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“I see you have the same problem as in my country: prostitutes everywhere!”

What a central bank governor from central Asia said when he saw a group of secretaries from a US investment bank smoking outside the bank’s City of London headquarters

April 2006

 

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“Studzinski has an insatiable appetite for personal publicity. He has to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.”

In which case Studs will surely be a happy man. One day the financial newspapers were full of reports of his demise, or repositioning as special adviser to the chairman to HSBC. When he stayed on as co-head of investment banking, despite a management reshuffle, the surprise news gave rise to even more column inches

April 2006

 

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“Whenever I go to the Gulf these days, all the investors out there just say ‘Alpha, alpha, give me alpha’. When you ask them if they know what alpha is, they say ‘No, but I want it – now!’”


The head of sales at a major investment bank shows how the Middle East’s investors are looking to put their petrodollars to work

April 2006

 


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“Germany is the market of tomorrow – and always will be!”

An analyst talks up the Teutonic structured finance sector

March 2006

 

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“Private equity has the liquidity, hedge funds have the brains – the only thing us banks have left is credibility...”

A rare example of true honesty from an investment banker, or a too gloomy assessment of the state of the industry?

February 2006

 

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“They are among the dumber trades I have seen.”

One emerging markets portfolio manager gives his view on the Latin American perpetual bond craze

February 2006

 

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“I’m talking to you from the gym. I don’t need to stop exercising to talk because I’m a very fit 40-year-old. I’ve resculpted my body.”

Senior capital markets banker in Asia gives an interview from his treadmill.

February 2006

 

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“Please could you clarify which types of deal the high grade/SSA category for deals of the year would cover. Would high yield transactions fall under this category?”

An investment bank PR person (name withheld) pitches for Euromoney’s “Stupid question of the year” award

January 2006

 

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