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Opinion

Uber’s IPO collides with reality as stock slumps

Long-standing fears that the business model cannot work have hit Uber’s post-IPO performance.

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Is there a point in every successful investment banker’s career when they lose touch with reality?

Probably when they start making serious money.

Young financial journalists talk to and sometimes befriend traders, analysts and bankers their own age or a little older, some of whom go right to the top. Twenty years ago, I recall being invited to a long Friday lunch by three friends who had just been promoted at one of the big US investment banks, taking them to a point where seven figure salaries were coming into sight.

Conversation turned to what they would do with the money.

“What I would most like would be to have my own chauffeur,” said one, to general nods. “Someone who could hang around and pick me up after events like this, take me to the next one and drive me to work on Monday. I’d only have to pay him, what £60,000 or £70,000 a year?”

There was quiet at the table, at least among those who understood this was probably twice what Euromoney was paying the writer.

I smiled 12 hour later, somewhere off Old Street, as I ladled my companions into an unlicensed mini cab and negotiated a price to drop us south of the river.


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