Morning Coffee: Credit Suisse's curious choice. How to get ahead in central banking
Well, that was unexpected. A propos of almost nothing, Credit Suisse has suddenly come out as a contrarian. While other banks are busy choosing Frankfurt and Paris as their locations for trading hubs in the post-Brexit world of plummeting U.K. GDP, Credit Suisse is going for the Spanish capital Madrid. The Swiss bank is contemplating locating an indeterminate number of global markets professionals and investment bankers there.
Bloomberg reports that Credit Suisse is "considering" making Madrid its main post-Brexit trading hub and that the "majority of" Credit Suisse's operations in the EU could be based there. This will come as a shock to some people in Frankfurt, which the bank had reportedly chosen as a "key" Brexit centre as recently as August. Instead, Bloomberg says Frankfurt may play a "secondary" role. Reading between the lines, it seems that CS traders may go to Madrid and that some investment bankers may still be shunted to Frankfurt.
Credit Suisse's plans may quickly become more tangible early in the New Year. Madrid isn't an entirely left field choice for the Swiss bank. CS bank flagged its intention to move 50 jobs to the Spanish capital in July. It already seems to be strengthening its team there - Miguel Angel Rodríguez joined the cross asset execution team in October. The Swiss bank's Spanish office is run by Wenceslao Bunge, a former real estate banker.
Although the German financial city may well shrug off the apparent loss of Credit Suisse's trading floor, it's hard not to see a trend emerging. Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Citi had decided to downsize its Frankfurt office and to focus on Paris after staff at the bank lobbied to move to the French city. In our own 2016 poll about where London bankers would rather work in Continental Europe, Amsterdam came out on top. The Dutch Capital says it's attracted "at least 20" firms, but they're mostly high speed traders - and Mitsubushi UFJ.
Credit Suisse says it's, "working to maintain access to EU clients and markets by leveraging our existing infrastructure in the event of a hard Brexit," and that its solution will involve Madrid, Frankfurt and Luxembourg. "London will remain a key part of the bank’s footprint," it adds.
Separately, if you want to get ahead in central banking you've got to be big. Big in the sense of tall: anyone under six foot is almost certainly inappropriate. At this is the implication of comments allegedly made by Donald Trump about ex-chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen.
Trump considered reappointing Yellen as chairwoman of the Fed, but then had misgivings because Yellen is only five-foot-three, says the Hill. He didn't consider her tall enough to lead the bank. Instead, he opted for Jerome Powell, who is closer to six foot.
Trump's apparent reasoning has led to suggestions that he should make Knickers the steer chairman of the Federal Reserve. The preternaturally large Australian cow is six foot four inches high and would therefore seem to have all the right credentials.
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