RSS Feed

Man of Steel

Looking forward to the new Superman film... whenever it comes out. On a separate note just been reading a review of Wrath of The Titans and apparently it is sh*t... even worse than the first one. Oh dear!


This arrogant idiot is unbelievable. First of all he gets arrested and tried for assaulting and raping a New York hotel maid. Then he is pulled up by the French police for partaking in a prostitute sex ring... an accusation he denies. Sorry... denies because he says he didn't realise they were prostitutes! Who the f*ck did he think they were? Women who just happened to want to take part in an orgy with a pervy old frog git?


Rant over.

Off The Cuff Rant No.12

Already morons have started to panic over the possible striking of tanker drivers and long queues have appeared at petrol stations... but what I can't get over is the fact that the chimps that drive the tankers are paid on average £45,000 pa. Why? How does this job warrant that kind of money?

Rant over.

The Apprentice is on... again

I don't know what it is about this programme that causes me to rant everytime it is on. And as the new series has just started it is again painfully obvious that every single one of this years contestants... is a complete tw*t.

No doubt it will follow the usual pattern of shambolic performances and culminate with Alan Sugar saying how outstanding they were in the last episode.

In the background is the squinting I know it all because I am a top business woman - Karen Brady... who in fact has f*cking failed at everything she has ever done!

Rant over.

"Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs"

I thought this was very interesting... a letter published in the New York Times the other day... says it all really...!

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.

When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.

Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.

How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.

What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.

These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.

When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.

My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.

Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Game Over?

I feel sorry for the computer game retailer Game. A victim of the Internet... undercut by online sellers with very low overheads it seems pretty obvious they were doomed in the long run. If HMV follow suit then it may well be very difficult to buy console games or CDs on the high street. I find that very sad and quite destructive. If Amazon get their way then a lot of other high street stores may go to the wall too. Then there will be simply one source remaining!

Rant over.

Drive you Usain...

Bloody 'ell... every other TV advert these days seems to have Usain Bolt in it. The bloke must be coining it. What winds me up though with the Virgin adverts though is not the fact that Bolt is in them... but that it plays to the vanity of Richard Branson who can't seem to keep his bearded moosh out of promoting himself.

Of course I'm sure Richard Branson will have a prime seat location when it comes to Bolt winning the 100m final at the Olympics... and I bet he didn't have to apply online for tickets like every other Joe "lowlife".

Rant over.

Off The Cuff Rant No.11

It seems pretty sad to me the number of UK jackpot winners of the Euromillions. Every week it seems to be a middle aged British couple grinning smugly. No one from any of the other countries seems to win. Is that what people live for here? A desperate hope to win umpteen millions. Sad.

Rant over.

"Lord" Digby Jones

Lord Digby Jones... fat tw*t with a stupid name and a stupid hair cut.

Rant over.

'I have to do my dishes by hand': Outrageous quotes of Wall Street bankers struggling to get by on $350,000 a year

"Forget the one per cent. These guys are the WHINE per cent. Several Wall Street bankers and execs have come forward to voice their discontent about just how daunting it is to survive on their six-figure salaries in interviews with

Andrew Schiff, the communications and marketing director at Euro Pacific Capital, hates traffic just like most New Yorkers, but unlike most in the Big Apple, he’s feeling the crunch from a $350,000 salary. Mr Schiff told Bloomberg: 'The New York that I wanted to have is still just beyond my reach'. The Brooklyn resident lives in a pretty sizable apartment by New York City standards, but bemoans the fact that it came without a dishwasher. Mr Schiff said. 'I'm crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand'. He told the site that he needs a 600-square-foot extension for the place to allow 'a room for each kid, three bedrooms, maybe four'. 'Imagine four bedrooms. You have the luxury of a guest room, how crazy is that?'

It's about as crazy as the worries of Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in Manhattan. Mr Dlugash told Bloomberg: 'Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?'

He added: “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress'.

Richard Scheiner said that he and his wife have kept their heads above water because they have saved their money. Still, the 58-year-old real estate investor and hedge fund manager admitted that he spends about $17,000 a year in expenses - for his dogs, and sold two of his motorcycles, according to Bloomberg. At least he still has his Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet, two Audis and his $7,500 a year membership at the Trump National Golf Club.

Wall Street headhunter Daniel Arbeeny has been reduced to coupon-cutting after a dramatic drop in his income. Mr Arbeeny told Bloomberg: 'They have a circular that they leave in front of the buildings in our neighbourhood. We sit there, and I look through all of them to find out where it's worth going.

He even cut out his annual ski trips to Tahoe and Aspen to save money.

For people like Mr Schiff, the PR and marketing executive, it's all about the triumphs of achievement.

He told the website: 'I wouldn’t want to whine. All I want is the stuff that I always thought, growing up, that successful parents had'. -- Daily Mail Website

Why do none of the above comments surprise me. We live in a society that is becoming more and more polarised - but when all is said and done one word describes the above individuals... C*NTS!

Rant over.