Watcha Readin'?

Is there some irony that I decided to not jump on the turbo tonight, but instead wanted to start my new book…

I blame you @GRamsay! :joy:


Let me know what you think. I had to rage my way through processing this stupid report today, been putting it off because it always raises questions and arse ache but ran out of time and had to do it.

Still dreading the comeback but at least its done.

Cant keep living my life like this


You could have read it on the turbo :grin:


Exactly. That’s what audio books are for!


Finished, really enjoyed it.

Might take a short reading break now, have done barely anything else for the past week :sweat_smile:


Thats when you know youve got a good book, you just cant put it down.


Just starting one of my all time favourites, a kids book, The Little Prince! By Antoine Saint-Exupéry.

Finished the Trading book, and I must admit I am disappointed. It started well. I reckon that if I had access to Citi records even I could work out who was who, and thus learning who did what re brokers and trading on STIRT desk. (While noting Whisk and others concerns/views above, assuming that it was all personal experience)

But, the chap seemed to get himself into a really bad place and it ended up as a battle between him and his employer, in Japan by this time (whose rule based system aided him survive). In a nutshell he claims that when he wanted to leave, City wouldn’t let him go (by refusing outstanding bonus payment’s and his boss threatening years of legal action to bankrupt him and wear him down), and a cat and mouse game emerged where City allegedly tried to break him. He won. The implication from final comments, and a warning early in the book, that this was not unheard off when highly profitable traders wanted to leave.

So I am left wondering if (1) Traders really are treated so badly by the big banks, or (2) he didn’t read his contract of employment properly, or (3) he was simply suffering a breakdown. I feel for the guy, but the ending of the book didn’t live up to the beginning. But that might just be a reflection of where he was at. If you are here Gary, your book was very much worth a read.

And frankly, if Traders even remotely have to work like this book suggests, you deserve your money. No training, just expected to do it, great when things are good, but we will destroy you if you are any good and you try to leave.

Though if I was rich I would be wary now of using any investment bank as a customer, preferring perhaps the Warren Buffet approach (skip the fees). Buts that’s academic.

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Trading is a stressful job and not one that I would want.

If you’re successful you can make a huge amount of money.

If you have a bad run, you can be out of a job in an instant. You’ll get a call from HR, be presented with a compromise agreement to waive the rights of your contract in return for some cash and you’ll be escorted off the premises.

I don’t really understand how Citi were making it difficult for him to leave if he’d had enough. A trader who doesn’t want to be there is potentially a big liability. A contract might have a clause preventing the trader doing the same job at another firm for a period of time, but that’s common - I’ve heard of partners at big law firms with 12 month notice periods, who’ve been made to work
Their notice doing menial admin tasks :man_shrugging:. Traders tend to have short notice periods so the firms can fire them without paying out a long, expensive notice period :roll_eyes:.

Regarding not paying bonus that is due, if bonus is paid on 31 March and you resign on 30 March, you’re not getting that bonus even if you are still working there when everyone else gets their bonus :roll_eyes:.

CRD V has limited bonus relative to basic salary and requires deferral of bonus for “material risk takers” and senior managers. Firms used to pay their traders bonuses worth many times their basic salary, but now that’s generally capped and payments will be deferred for up to 3 years. If you leave and are a “bad leaver” (I.e. you aren’t retiring or being made redundant), you will forfeit any deferred bonus amounts. If you are going to another firm they will probably buy you out for any deferred bonuses. If you are just leaving so you can travel the world or write a book, you’ll lose anything that is still outstanding :man_shrugging:


Whisk, thank you, your words help me grasp the book better.

  1. A big issue was the deferred bonuses. He figured out that he could keep it by going to work for a charity, per his contract, but City allegedly said no.

  2. It was sad to see him turn from a team player to where he ended up. I know that I can be awkward/social nitwit, but even I would have thought about letting him go at one point. He seemed to change from team player to I am going to make the most money on STIRT, to crashing and burning while still making the money.

Presumably the contract allowed for good leaver status if leaving to join a charity, but only at Citi’s discretion?

Good leaver status is always a bit contentious. My ex boss decided he’d had enough and was going to retire. He was only 56 but could access his pension (and probably had more than enough cash in the bank :roll_eyes:), but he wanted to retain his deferred bonuses. He had to negotiate working a much longer notice period before the firm would let him have good leaver status on retirement because he was younger than the age that they’d expect people to retire :man_shrugging:

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Heresy by Catherine Nixey.

She studied Classics at Cambridge and now works as a journalist at the Economist.

It’s quite an eye opener, about the many ‘Jesuses’. I am only a quarter of the way in, and it might be challenging for a Western (but not Eastern) Catholic. Some nuggets so far…

  1. In early Eastern Christian art, Jesus is shown holding a staff/wand. The cross came later in the West.

  2. She explores the Magi (you know wise men……magicians).

  3. A lot of commonly known Bible stuff (eg ox and ass, cave etc at birth) are drawn from religious texts that were discarded.

  4. Oh, yes, there were many Jesuses, some good, some bad, some well, make you think. The one chosen by Western Christianity could easily have been another, changing things entirely.

Recently published, good reviews, and an exciting read (as long as you are not offended by the alternatives to your Religious views).


Is the subtitle “I’m Jesus and so’s my wife”? :wink:

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Wolves noses :grin:

Banter aside, it is a fascinating read.

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Four Million Footsteps by Bruce Tulloh

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On holiday next week and would normally rip through a Bernard Cornwell or a Reacher - any recommendations for something to smash through whilst being constantly distracted by kids etc?

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My recommendation…

A Clean Kill in Tokyo by Barry Eisler

A little dated this series, but far superior to Reacher etc IMHO.

(“Free” on Kindle Unlimited too.)


Perfect, exactly the sort of thing i was looking for!

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Abroad in Japan, very funny.

Paradise Lost, and I will admit I am lost with it. The commentaries etc I understand but the 12 books of poems, I only get a few lines here and there. Anyone here an English English teacher who can offer some words of wisdom on how to immerse myself into the poem?

On the subject of religion, the Heresy book I noted above is very thought provoking. Can’t imagine the Church like it much.

I can’t put this book down. Fascinating, though for any here who may have been involved you have my sympathy. The explanations of how both the Provisional IRA and the British Army/Police worked is engrossing.

After all the books I have read on Russian and Western spies/military folk becoming traitors and seeking a new life, I thought that I had a reasonable handle on why and how people chose to make such choices.

This book however, lays such things out much more easily. For example, something that I had suspected has happened to me, that of leaving stuff around to read, is noted as a method. (In my case shortly after publishing my submarine locating paper, military naval mags iirc, never before, nor after and way out of context of the location).

Anyone who is interested in the Troubles or Spies, might enjoy this, very easy to read book. It carries you along nicely.

The devil in me wonders if I should publish on two (as far as I know not covered in conspiracy land) locations which might be Fastmover bases, and on how one of them might be useable as a submarine locating tool. Evil cackle. :rofl:

Serious hat on :tophat:, don’t take that too seriously, even if possible it would take years/decades to confirm, as it is but initial thoughts. Might also upset the two nations concerned. Or be a load of daydreaming nonsense.

Ejc, I am just having a bit of fun. But the book is an excellent read.