The other threat to European banking jobs: power cuts


After spending the past five years figuring out which jobs needed to be moved from London to the EU as a result of Brexit, JP Morgan is now considering send the teams back to the UK to deal with the risk of power cuts this winter. The initial planning focus appears to be the Frankfurt office, which is potentially the most exposed to Russian natural gas shortages, but apparently the bank is preparing for contingencies across all of its European operations.

Even the UK might not be immune to power shortages, of course; if things got to absolutely extreme levels, some bankers might have to be sent back to New York. JPM currently stresses that this is an extreme risk, stating: “It would take a perfect storm of a complete Russian gas supply shutdown, no reduction in gas consumption and little alternative gas supply. gas before it has a real impact on our business. “, but there is potentially quite a difference between “a real impact on our business” and “substantial inconvenience for our employees”.

Bankers need an uninterruptible power supply; it’s something you rarely think about in the front office, but there are people whose job it is to make sure the systems remain accessible no matter what. March was chaos at Citi, with people stuck in elevators and broken computer systems during a power outage; the idea of ​​this happening a few times a week for months is certainly intolerable. Slower organizations like the civil service might resort to using carbon paper by candlelight but business records and transactions must be updated in real time.

The way banks generally protect themselves against this type of event is to have several options; backup generators and backup sites. JPM has diesel generators in Frankfurt to deal with small temporary interruptions. And the plan to relocate some functions to the UK means that the legendary Basingstoke save site will be available again.

Not only that, but as Dan Pinto pointed out a few years ago, the combination of cloud computing and working from home means that banks are inherently more diversified against this type of risk than they were before. When every employee’s home is potentially a recovery site, it’s much easier to plan for power outages as long as they’re small and local. During the California wildfiresmany companies have faced severe power disruptions by distributing small generators and battery storage systems to their staff rather than making large moves to new sites.

But, of course, that’s not very helpful in a prolonged national power shortage, which is probably why relocating to the United States is seen as the fallback option of last resort. Most likely this won’t be necessary – the actual risk seems to depend on whether or not another exists”Beast from the East“Polar air mass, something that cannot be predicted this far back in time. It just goes to show that there is more to “risk management” than quantitative analysts analyzing large datasets.

Elsewhere, one of the main attractions of cryptocurrency for its early male adopters was that by making them not just wealthy, but wealthy in interesting, futuristic and slightly hacked ways, they could be more successful in dating. . In a number of cases, apparently, this actually happened. But according to a mini-survey by Coindesk of the women involved, it was not always the most satisfying experience.

Much of the trouble seems to stem from synergies with crypto’s other big draw for its fans – it gives you a conversation starter where you can indulge feelings of superiority over others. So there were twenty-three-year-old founders who wouldn’t hide how great they were despite being funded exclusively by their parents, and forty-year-old “sugar daddies” who regularly made things worse. already embarrassingly trying to mentor their 24-year-old girlfriends on crypto investing. Basically, the crypto bros have all the flaws of the finance bros, it seems, but the finance bros are sometimes able to not talk about finance.

For what it’s worth, there is now a “decentralized anonymous dating organization” called V1, so the crypto community can connect. According to its spokesperson, it aims to exploit the fact that “attraction is mutually zero knowledge”. More realistically, this could mean that at any given bar on any given night there are two people having an excruciating date where all they do is talk about crypto, rather than four.

Meanwhile …

There’s an old joke that every hedge fund analyst has two jobs – their own and a part-time macro policy commentator. Now Kwasi Kwarteng, formerly of JPMorgan and Odey Asset Management, will have the chance to sit at the helm as Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Financial News)

Credit Suisse is recruiting in Qatar – not only for wealth management and investment banking, but also aims to create a technology hub in partnership with a government agency and recruit up to 100 people locally. (Reuters)

The success of activist investors in forcing ESG on the agenda of big oil companies has now generated a backlash – Vivek Ramaswamy, fund manager and author of a book called “Woke, Inc” has launched a campaign at Chevron to get them to scale back their climate mitigation program and pump more oil. (WSJ)

Neil Phillips’ arrest appears to have reputational contagion for his former colleagues at Glen Point Capital – Hopewell Wood, the former CEO of Glen Point quit her job at Commonwealth Asset Management, and other alumni quit or were furloughed from Balyasny and Kirkoswald. (Bloomberg)

Bank of America, which so far has leaned toward the more work-from-home end of the spectrum, will “outline flexible working standards” over the next two months. (Reuters)

One day, saying that your boss or client has the heart of a pig will not be a gross insult but a mere medical fact. (WSJ)

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