I sometime think of all the striving technical geniuses doing their best to earn a crust through proper innovation and then along comes a story that makes me wonder if it is all worthwhile. The Daily Telegraph today reported that ex Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam is making a comeback in the Spacs market. Let me remind you of recent history. Thiam had to resign in 2020 because of a scandal that Credit Suisse were spying on their own staff. He denied all knowledge of this, but nevertheless fell on his sword. Surely knowing what your bank is up to is a requirement of a CEO? However since that time we have had the multi billion pound losses concerning both Fund Manager/Family Office debacle over Archegos and the “Supply Chain Finance” without the Supply chain antics of Lex Greensill which cost the Swiss bank billion of dollars and its reputation. But never mind he is making a comeback by launching a $ 1.5bn SPAC. In the report an executive at PwC capital markets opined that Bankers like Spacs because “it gets them involved in more entrepreneurial projects associated with disruption and opportunities. In return the companies get years worth of expertise”. I don’t know about you but it makes me want to weep.
It seems like Metro Bank founder Vernon Hill does not seem to be able to shake off his previous involvement with Metro Bank. He is now running Philadelphia based Republic First and Driver Management an active investor is not particularly happy with its performance making clear that he can see the American bank going the same way as Metro. Hill resigned from Metro Bank in 2019 following an accounting scandal involving “miscalculating” some £ 900 million of loan risk. Driver is keen to get shot of Republic First but obviously doesn’t like the current share price. Apparently Hill was not personally responsible for the miscalculation but when you’re in charge of the bank the miscalculations are down to you. Please see above?
Well here’s a non story if you ever wanted one and amid Boris Johnson’s woes on rule breaking et al comes a real world reaction to government policies of soak the voter. While writing this plotters are meeting in Westminster with a view to giving Boris the Spanish Archer. Well he can’t say that he wasn’t warned? For what it’s worth Boris a word in your ear. If you start making people poorer with daft policies they will very quickly tire of you. It is not just energy prices, stupid green policies, higher taxation but also interest rates. If you want to stay put after April fools day I suggest you reconsider?
Howard Tolman is a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London,We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information.For context on Alt Lending please read the Interview with Howard Tolman about the future of Alt Lending and read articles tagged Alt Lending in our archives.
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