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The Ex-Banker On Cocaine Binges & £600k Bonuses | Informer

one of the things that happened to me quite early in my career that made me realize what was going on i went to some basement with about 100 other bankers and there were this semi-circle of plastic chairs and we all sat there all men and then these two women took out an assortment of marital aids and just proceeded to have sex with each other while people were doing coke and people were watching and and then they got some people in the front row and then just started them there’s something grotesque about a hundred men in suits watching two women going at it hammer and tongs and i remember thinking okay this place is a little bit mad i was an investment banker for 12 years between 1996 and 2008 it’s an incredibly secretive world no one really seems to understand it i thought it was about time someone explained what really happens investment banking covers a multitude of sins in its very simplest form it’s about putting together people who want to invest money and people who want money invested in their companies and we’re in the middle taking a huge slice i had been to a decent university i could also with the best of them and that is a important aspect of any job in the city the city is a place that rewards probably more than any other career i couldn’t believe the amount of money i was earning within about four years i was earning 120 and my bonuses were getting up to 300. and then by the end of it i was over 600. the money is ridiculous i mean the justifications for the money have always been things like oh it’s stressful well this wasn’t as stressful as a teacher’s job oh it’s dangerous or risky it’s not as risky as being in the army i always felt a little bit guilty about it like why the hell are these people spending so much money on me when all i’m doing is pushing around bits of paper it was a source of continual bafflement cocaine is the perfect drug for bankers because it is expensive it’s glamorous it’s something that can make you talk even more than you normally do it gives your already inflated ego an even bigger puff it used to be a core part of my strategy for getting clients on board we both had something on each other i could lose him his job he could lose me my job you know i used to come back from like an all night bender go straight into the office and i’d have to go on the mic in front of 200 people on the trading floor one of the very first major presentations i ever did i was doing it and suddenly everyone started giggling and i was thinking what the is going on here and suddenly i saw this blood hit onto my white shirt and i was like oh my god and i’ve got a massive coke related nostril bleed all over my crisp white shirt it’s the perfect job for a psychopath if you look at what psychopaths are and i’m not talking about hannibal lecter here i’m talking about actual normal everyday psychopaths they are manipulative they are often charming they hate jobs that require serious qualifications they are people who don’t show remorse or have empathy for example if a company announces that it’s going to lose a thousand jobs you might feel that’s a bit of a shame but actually in the city we would absolutely celebrate and reward that company because that company is going to be more efficient and it’s going to make greater profits it’s an industry that rewards psychopaths and it’s an industry that psychopaths thrive in insider trading happens all the time because people in the city aren’t satisfied just with their six-figure salaries and their six-figure bonuses they want to get even more money for example during the financial crisis there we used to be rumors spread that this company’s going bust or this bank is about to have to ask the government for some money and by doing that these hedge funds were exacerbating the financial crisis making it worse and worse and worse but they didn’t give a because they were making a buck themselves and they they never got found out because they could always claim they’d heard it from someone else first so it’s one of those crimes you never get found out for the thing is about insider trading is people think it’s like this victimless crime but actually what it means is that a hedge fund as it usually is has bought some shares off grand pension fund and that grand pension fund has unwittingly sold it to them not realizing the share price is about to rock it when it gets taken over so in fact it’s not a victimless crime they’re stealing directly off your granny it’s really simple you just got a bunch of really clever greedy ruthless people together and the rewards are massive and the risks of getting caught are negligible so they are going to do everything in their power via insider trading spreading false rumors market manipulation anything they’ll just game the system to make a fast buck and unless they really sought out regulation it will always be the case i was playing for the team that was on the side of corporations that were raping this planet and i was on the side of corporations who didn’t give a about their workforce but just gave about their quarterly earnings figures it kind of gets to you especially if you have the kind of upbringing i had which was fairly left-wing religious and i was kind of a hippie as well you know i used to tell young kids about what a terrible job banking was and then when i described it strippers thousand pound meals cocaine bonuses of five six hundred thousand pounds they were like tell me how i get this job it has changed it’s more about being a serious guy with two maths phds they are still earning a lot of money but not as much nowadays there’s limits on how big your bonus can be it can only be a maximum of twice your salary whereas back in my day you’d get six times your salary and the drop of a hat it’s no longer quite the playground for druggy lads having a ball anymore and thankful for that frankly because it’s not right the way we used to behave i think on my deathbed that particular phase in my life i will not be very proud of i sold my soul to the devil basically but i did get a good price for it [Music] you
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