Thursday, 28 February 2013

The (ex) banker's bonus bonanza bitch fest

Dear EU

Thanks for the cap on bonuses, well overdue.

I was just saying to my mate Flash (real name Gordon) the other day that we aren't half on to a cushy deal, you know. What with the golden handshakes, the 'who-you-know' network, the smoke and mirror deals, the greasing of palms and mutual back scratching, well, it's all one big jolly, isn't it?
Plus, guess what? We get to gamble on a daily basis with - get this - other people's money! How cool is that? And the more complicated we make the deal, the less anyone understands it (including us, I'll be honest) and the easier to get away with some of those calculation errors that used to catch me out during GCSE maths.

Anyway, enough about all that, let's talk about the readies.

Fact of the matter is that regardless what you put in place to curb our bonuses - which, let's be honest here, is why the majority of us actually choose to a) work in the City, and b) go in to banking - you will be both hard pressed to enforce it as well as destined to more frustration as we find alternative imaginative ways to compensate ourselves for any 'losses'.

In essence, it's a battle you cannot win.

Basic pay levels will just be increased, additional funds will be paid in to escrow accounts, and beneficiary loans will then conveniently find their way in to personal bank accounts on a monthly basis.
In addition, there will be a whole new raft of complex instruments put in place, specifically designed to detract attention from remuneration and re-focus your efforts on capital adequacy and avoiding risk at all costs.

But, hey, good effort anyway. How long did it take you, by the way, to agree on this? Were you able to take advantage of your EU parliamentary privileges or will you be billing the taxpayer for overtime? And were all the perks of the job - first class travel, three-course meals, chauffeurs, etc - laid on for you during this most pressing debate? I hope so. It would be awful if you had been dealt short shrift.

No hard feelings. I get where you are coming from and I can sympathise. It's tough at the top. Or not even at the top, actually. Because, you see, the percentage of individuals you seem to be gunning for is, in reality, quite minuscule compared to the overall numbers employed in the banking sector in the City.
People who are doing their job, being paid a market salary, and looking forward to a bonus (never guaranteed, you also seem to have forgotten that bit) at year end for having done their job well and contributed to the earnings of their institution.

The simple rule is no profit, no pay. Now that is something we can all subscribe to.

But I am not so sure you would understand, given your choice to partake in the EU gravy train and pontificate on matters that - in all honesty - you really do not have a clue about.

Yours, in euros,
(former investment banker)


Sunday, 10 February 2013

A scrum of rugby

This post may appear slightly disjointed. I am going to blame the combination of lovely fit men and Lycra. Bear with me.

So, last Sunday, mini rugby training session completed, I was heading in to the club house with my youngest (Widget) when something someone a renown figure caught my eye.

Yes, it was none other than that perma-tanned (former) bastion of the Welsh national rugby team Gavin Henson, walking straight towards me.
I hesitated for a millisecond and then came to my senses.

"Gav!" I said, in full-on familiar terms. "Got a sec? I have someone who'd love to meet you!"

And before he could gather his thought(s), I hauled Widget out of the club house, crouched down next to him and asked, "Know who this is?"

From the mouths of babes, as they say.

A few days later and I am returning from a business conference in the City, when I spot something someone a renown figure, descending the steps to the tube.

Now how I recognised this (former) bastion of the England national rugby team is a mystery as I was walking behind him, but let's leave it at that.

I alighted the tube, so did he. I sat down. So did he. Opposite me. I became somewhat entranced by the surreal - and loud - conversation two teenage girls were having nearby. So did he. I rolled my eyes. He smiled at me.

And then got off at the next stop.

Never mind. I hope the eye-rolling did not put him off.

And then of course there was the fabulous - and long overdue - Welsh victory over the French at the Stade de France on Saturday. I yelled so loudly at the television, I thought the neighbours would lodge a formal complaint.

One player in particular was worthy of my lung power.

I laid bare my thoughts via Twitter, as you do.

I am following him avidly, am considering adoption, and might even go as far as undertaking laundry fairy services should he take up my offer.

Don't worry. I will come to my senses shortly.

About the laundry, that is.


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Elliott says hi

You may - or may not, depending how much attention you have been paying - have read somewhere that one of my erstwhile training partners, the indefatigable BB, started training with a young, fit, toned, vibrant, and undoubtedly dedicated military boot camp-style personal trainer called Elliott.


Now, despite being a very smart, sassy and incredibly gorgeous woman (with a wicked sense of humour as well), BB has succumbed to a peculiar malady.
It is called 'The World According to Elliott', and comes with the following symptoms:

  • no carbs
  • no alcohol
  • no bananas
  • no running without sprints
  • no wussy weights during circuits
  • no complaining
  • no 'pootling along' during bike rides
  • no fart-arsing around in the gym
  • no half-hearted efforts in the pool

Ho hum. So much for MY training then. No chance of improvement in the near future unless I join the ranks too.

Oh, and he often tells BB to 'say hello' to me.

I have never met the man. I do not even know what he looks like, let alone if he has a surname. At least I could Google him if that were the case, or stalk him via LinkedIn or Facebook or something. I am actually unsure how you spell his first name: one 'T' or two? And how many 'L's, while we're at it?

He also - cheeky bugger - now regales BB with various anecdotes and adds that I (as in me, LCM) "should write a post about it".

So, dear Elliott (my preferred spelling, so you're stuck with it until further notice)
Thank you for your concern and your cryptic messages. I am so impressed with what you have done for BB (she looks amazing, so something definitely is working), but please, please, PLEASE can I have my beloved training partner back? Alternatively, can you fit me in to your schedule as well? Have car, will travel, but somewhat impeded by pesky things called - variously - children, work, mini rugby, school governorship, business associates, extremely tolerant husband, ice cream and laundry. Not sure how that cuts with you?

Can't wait to hear from you.

Lotsa love, LCM x

P.S. I thought you should know that I have located the microchip in BB's left buttock and will be removing it shortly. Don't tell her though. She will only swim/bike/run faster so I cannot catch her (not that I can anyway, but that's for another post).


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