Banker expenses are being cut and posh restaurants are out of bounds

Posted by Ed 17 mths ago
There’s definitely a point in the banking earnings cycle which can be identified by the memos that go out about restaurant bills. When the revenues are doing well, nobody cares too much about expenses claims (and everyone’s usually too busy to really rack them up). At the bottom of the cycle, managers are just happy to see some evidence that a client has picked up the phone. But in between the two extremes, there’s usually a period around the point of inflection, when denial is still strong and it’s possible to believe that a multi-million dollar cost base might be materially affected by a few hundred-dollar steaks.
It seems that this is where we are; according to rumours on which the company has decided not to comment, bankers at Macquarie in Sydney have been told that they aren’t allowed to have lunch at Mimi’s any more. This is very unlikely to be the only such policy in the industry – it’s more normal for these things to work by raised eyebrows and shared understandings than formal policies, but all over the world, there will be an implicit list of places that nobody wants to see a receipt from for a while.
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