A lot of humility will return


Some wise words from Richard Hartung, a former banker who wrote a piece for Weekend Today. The following is (apparently) only available in the printed edition of this weekend’s Today:

“The market will reprice itself… A boom tends to over-reward everybody as young executives rush in to become investment bankers, private bankers, property agents, stockbrokers, remisiers, personal bankers, etc. During a boom, the good returns from transactions fail to separate the wheat from the chaff, and even the incompetent gets rewarded. Now that the market has been brought back to earth, the system can start redistributing jobs according to real talent again. Young investment bankers will be laid off and the remaining will need real talent to survive. A lot of humility will return.”


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  1. Agreed with the author of the article wholeheartedly!

    Pragamatism saves the order of the day.. banks are trying to be pragmatic, saving those performers!

    And I must say that not only will humility return but sanity!

    Cos some bankers are in a mad rush everyday working.. and this financial crisis may provide a chance for them to reflect whether these are the jobs they want.

    And not forgetting the risk vs money consideration of their jobs.

    Overall your website is excellent!

  2. How has the recent spate of economic downturn affected bank employees in Singapore save for AIG and LB? Are they going to continue to receive huge bonunes and all that? or are there going to be retrenchment?

  3. time has since changed.

    there will definitely be restructuring in the financial sectors. hence jobs lost and created, the onus will be on the nett figure.

    bonus and renumeration goes in line with both overall and individual performances. a prop trader will still get his cut in accordance with the terms stated in the contract. likewise, the same for those who have contracts, if its still in effect.

    on the otherhand, for employees on general terms are likely to be susceptible to the ups and downs of the companies they belong.

    im pessimistic. there will be plenty of adjustments down the line, the road and time.

  4. Not too bad for Lehman employees in Asia since Nomura has acquired the operations. Nomura is offering them their 2007 bonuses, and is guaranteeing their pay out until 2010. Not all will want to stay of course, but for the more senior and expensive ones, and given the current job outlook, this is a veritable lifeline. Naturally, current Nomura employees arent too pleased….

  5. Maybe this will teach those young investment banker punks a good lesson, that everything can change in life and just because you happen to join the right industry does not make you better than other people.

    Sick of those pretentious bastards, this is retribution.

  6. that last post has got to be one of the most myopic and short sighted statements ever. last i checked, financial services only constitutues only 10% of the singaporean workforce. front-office employees probably constitute something like 30 to 40% of that 10%.

    granted that the people in these positions do make a lot and will face the brunt of the layoffs, but this financial sector sickness will inevitably affect the real economy – tourism, manufacturing, construction et al. your typical SME is going to have a tough time getting a loan for any capital expansion. so business will be down and most employees in any sort of cyclical business will be looking at a lower salary/bonus this year. not to mention that your investments will be losing money as well. why bother to rejoice in other people’s plight when you are possibly going to get less yourself?

    talk about cutting off the nose to spite the face.

  7. Jealous mah… cannot compete with those investment bankers, so very happy lor when they go down.

    Like you said, it’s very myopic, and in the long run not a useful attitude for himself. What’s the use of harbouring all those envy and jealousy–might as well do something about it and work hard to achieve something!

  8. They could be teachers, since MoE s aggressively hiring… they could teach the students about moral values having seen the evils of capitalism

  9. Yeah precisely, in this world “guan xi” is very important. We are back from square one, at least we knows how “nice” it is for the banking industries to suffer this crisis. Totally unethical

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