While You Were Working - May 11

Jes, Jes, Jes...

What kind of a stumbling, bumbling fool has Barclays CEO Jes Staley become? Fresh off an annual meeting where the main headline was the board of directors defending their decision to not fire him for trying to unmask a whistleblower, Staley foolishly replied to a prank email from someone pretending to be Barclays Chairman John McFarlane.

The prankster was so sophisticated that they fooled Staley with a Gmail address. A Gmail address!?!?

The event shed some light on just how adept Staley is at kissing derrieres when the need arises. Here is a sampling of what Staley wrote to the person he thought was McFarlane:

“You are a unique man, Mr McFarlane”.

“You came to my defense today with a courage not seen in many people. How do I thank you?”

“You have a sense of what is right, and you have a sense of theatre. You mix humor with grit. Thank you John. Never underestimate my recognition of your support. And my respect for your guile.”

“And some day I want to see an ad lib guitar run. You have all the fearlessness of Clapton.”

“Thanks for sharing the foxhole.”

Wow. That is some impressive smooching.

At what point does the Barclays compliance department resort go to the nuclear option and handcuff Staley to his desk with nary an electronic communication device within his reach?

AIG hopes for fourth time lucky

AIG swears it has the right CEO this time. It looks like the troubled firm will name Brian Duperreault as its new CEO. Duperreault will be AIG’s 4th CEO since the financial crisis. At what point does the board of directors just admit it isn’t good at this whole naming-a-CEO thing?

Name games with dark pools

As a communications guy, I must admit I always smirk whenever I see stories about dark pools. Wall Street has a terrible reputation whereby no one really trusts anyone and there is little transparency. Yet in that environment, the people who designed an opaque kind of trading venue still decided to go all in and name it “dark pool.”

Strangely, the first image that comes to my mind every time I here the phrase “dark pool” is the scene from the movie Syriana when Matt Damon’s son jumps into a lethal dark pool of his own. For investors, maybe that scene is art imitating trading venues.  

To the mines they go!

It looks like student loans are getting more expensive. But fear not, young students. At least you have other options. With all those great jobs that are going to come charging back into the coal industry, who needs a college education?

This is gonna go over like a pregnant pole vaulter

The US is looking into the possibility of banning laptops on all flights from Europe. There are so many angles wrong with that plan that it is hard to defend its stupidity. For starters, I am pretty sure bombs in a laptop can be designed to blow up whether they are in the cargo hold or the main cabin (See: Pan Am 103 – Lockerbie). Second, now that passengers’ main form of entertainment has been taken away from them, how much you wanna bet airlines are gonna get rid of all the free movies they show on transatlantic flights and start charging for everything?

WYWW Appetizers