The Bankers' Plumber

Thoughts on events and developments in the Financial Services industry. Some of these posts appear in the Bankers Plumber's Handbook

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09 AprThe Muppet Show: the correct use of the term in the banking world

Kiss & Tell at Goldman Sachs! With the joke about doing God’s Work getting a little old, one Greg Smith has done himself and the gossip columns a favour with that rather stinging and public resignation letter. Now first off, as best I can tell he was not badly treated at Goldman and did not […]

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03 AprProcess control. The advanced class.

Editor’s Note: This is﹟7 in the series on Controls. All that heading stuff looks a bit funny in the emails, so I have dropped it. More. Yes, there’s more. Last week’s blog looked at the three basic elements of good process controls: One Screen, Score and Action. This week we will take it to the […]

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26 MarHe with the best process wins. How to control the process

Editor’s Note: This is﹟6 in the series on Controls. All that heading stuff looks a bit funny in the emails, so I have dropped it. If you fancied talking about Process in a scientific way, you would say it is a function of Procedures and Systems. In the previous blogposts on this subject, I have […]

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20 MarControl V – The Procedure – How do we do that again?

The procedure. Inside a bank that is a topic that has all the appeal of a trip to the dentist. Regulators expect us to have them and senior managers expect us to follow them, not least because that certainly gets them a tick in the CYA box of life. For the poor schmucks that are […]

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14 MarControl IV – Procedures & Checklists or why we don’t need the excitement of a TV Quiz Show

Checklists. A simple trick for a simple business. Memory. We all think we are good at memorizing things. Just like the average guy thinks he is great at driving a car. Still we’d all admit that we are a big forgetful at times. In some professions like being a pilot, forgetting is not an option […]

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06 MarControl III – The #11 Tram Problem or “We don’t need another hero”

A Goldman Sachs partner worrying about trams. Actually it’s personal and he wants to know who knows what you are doing. There is a Zurich theme to this week’s post. No bad guys, just good ones and ladies. Trams in general are a prominent feature in Zurich and the #11 is a fixture downtown at […]

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26 FebControl II – How to miss an open window, lose $2mm and survive

I once lost $2mm of Goldman Sachs’ money and lived to tell the tale. This is a post about Corporate Actions. In banking this refers to events relating to the bonds or shares of a company. At the centre is Rupert Murdoch, or rather News Corp. For once not the villain in the story and […]

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19 FebControl I – A needle in a haystack

Mistakes. We all make mistakes. Some are innocent, some are fatal and some are “near misses”. And guess what, even the great Goldman Sachs has its share of mistakes too. One, to the tune of $1B, nearly blew up a major IPO deal. Some quick thinking managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, […]

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12 FebKYC – Know your customer, not just your commission

Which customers are good customers and how you acquire them is a hot topic. There are some very nice private bankers from St. Gallen who failed to head their own advice and are now feeling the full force of the US Attorney General. The quest for a fast buck coupled with cursory due diligence is […]

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31 JanNormal III – Rogue Traders. Some tricks of the trade

Kweku Adoboli. The $2.3B dollar man. Today seems an appropriate day to look at rogue trading, as the man who brought Ossie Grübel’s second coming to an abrupt end appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London; “innocent on all counts m’lud” said the young man. Now if you are ready to believe that, I have […]

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