Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bankers, watch your lifestyle

This is a time when bankers are apt to be lynched ( no pun on the now-defunct investment bank). So, bankers had better watch their lifestyle- the slightest sign of lavishness will be pounced upon. There's a telling anecdote from FT:

In different times, the offer from the check-in attendant would have been accepted with alacrity. But in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, with an angry public, populist politicians and an aggressive press baying for a crackdown on Wall Street’s “excesses”, the senior banker paused for thought when he heard those usually welcome airline words: “Sir, you have been upgraded to first class. Please follow me.”

Finally replying, “I am fine in coach, thank you”, he gave up the better seat and opened another chink in the armour of beliefs and practices that corporate America had built and spread around the world over decades.

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