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Morning Coffee: The job cuts that make investment banks look gentle. Credit Suisse bankers quit despite retention bonuses

If you're one of the people losing your job in Credit Suisse's FX sales and trading business this week, then rest assured that however horrible it is, it could have been worse. Instead of working for “Uli the knife,” at Credit Suisse, you could be working for Elon Musk at Twitter.

Musk has declared that he's cutting 50% of jobs at Twitter, and his approach to doing so has been far harsher than any bank yet. Both Twitter itself and networks like Blind have been deluged with complaints from Twitter employees, and the Sunday Times has done a pretty good job of rounding them all up.

Before the cuts happened, Musk is understood to have set up a Hunger Games-style competition between Twitter staff to establish who would stay and who would go. Initially, Twitter engineers were asked to print out all the code they'd written in the previous 30 days and to present it to Musk as evidence of their worth. In a reversal, they were then asked to shred the printout, but some engineering managers reportedly still urged their teams to quickly code something to prove what they could do. Some engineers claimed credit for work that wasn't theirs. 

Other teams were given genuinely urgent work to do, but to harsh deadlines. Esther Crawford, a project manager at Twitter, posted a Tweet of her sleeping on the office floor. Crawford has since insisted that this was simply because she's part of an ambitious team and that they're "giving it their all across all functions: product, design, eng, legal, finance, marketing, etc," but it's not great optics. 

On the day of the cuts, Musk is said to have turned off employees' passes and told everyone to stay home. People began finding out that they were unwanted when they couldn't log into their emails. One person found out when they were ejected from a video meeting halfway through. No one knew who had gone and who was still around. One manager sent a Slack message to her team, but there was no one left. Survivors likened it to after a nuclear apocalypse - people tentatively sent each other Slack messages and emails to try and work out who'd survived. 

And after all that trauma? It seems that Musk may have made a few mistakes. One Platformer journalist, writing on Twitter, reports that some of those who were let go are now being offered their jobs back again. 

Separately, Credit Suisse has paid its bankers yet another round of retention bonuses, but not everyone is convinced. Brian Gudofsky, the global head of technology investment banking at the bank is reportedly moving to Wells Fargo. Gudofsky is leaving after Credt Suisse reportedly handed out nearly $300m of retention bonuses in the third quarter. 


Credit Suisse will be making cuts to its global wealth management business this week too. Some teams could see 10% of their headcount cut. (FiNews) 

CS First Boston is going to be a bit like when Blackstone spun off its advisory business and merged it with Paul Taubman's PJT in 2014. Except that CS First Boston is expected to have revenues six times larger. (Financial Times) 

The new culture at Twitter: "Sense of achievement on delivering mission critical projects with 24/7 working and sleeping at office." (Business Insider) 

It's a particular nightmare for Twitter workers on H1B visas. They only have 60 days to find a new job before deportation. Some Twitter employees have reportedly been offering to lose their jobs in the place of H1B holders. (Business Insider) 

Fixed income sales and trading revenues at SocGen rose 34% in the three months to September. This was better than at BNP Paribas and better than the 23% average at Wall Street banks. (Bloomberg) 

Neil Philips, an FX trader at GlenPoint Capital is awaiting extradition to the US after being arrested in Ibiza. He's accused of '‘barrier chasing,’ or heavy trading to force a currency to hit a specific level. Rival traders say there's nothing wrong with that strategy. (Bloomberg) 

BaFin has threatened to fine Deutsche Bank if it doesn't fix its money laundering controls. (Financial Times) 

Jeff Bezos' former housekeeper says she was forced to work 14 hour days with no breaks and that there wasn't anywhere to go to the toilet. (Sky) 

Male Congressmen behaved more aggressively towards Janet Yellen, the female chair of the Fed, than to her male predecessors. The same legislator was 14 percentage points more likely to interrupt Yellen in 2014 as they were to interrupt Ben Bernanke (her male predecessor) in 2013. They were 18 percentage points less likely to interrupt Jay Powell (her male successor) in 2018 than Yellen in 2017. (Guardian) 

The British Liberal Democrats want to give homeowners £300 to pay their mortgages, funded by a tax on banks. (BBC) 

You can do an online MBA at Wharton now. (WSJ) 

Photo: eFinancialCareers/Stable Diffusion 


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Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • An
    8 November 2022

    The Guardian article doesn't say whether the survey concluded that congressmen interrupted Yellen and the male chairs more because she was a woman or for some other reason. Or to what extent congresswoman interrupted Yellen or the male chairs. Which suggests the survey might be, well, sexist.

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