Grim news for Merrill Lynch in the FT today: Executives have been informed that there will be no more private-jet travel, unless they really, really need to do it. That's right! No more attentive service and wet bar and those delicious crunchy things that Marquis serves every time they go anywhere. Turns out writing down $9 billion has a terrible price. Says the FT:
The restrictions on flying by private jet are also meant to demonstrate that the firm’s top brass must set an example to the rank and file in tightening belts. Other changes include requiring bankers to travel by taxi rather than limousine and reduced allowances for dinner on the job.
Oh, the horror. And it's not just them. Employees at other banks are being made to suffer in unimaginable ways.
For instance, UBS bankers can only fly business class now if a flight is three hours or more. Even Goldman Sachs is cutting back!
At Goldman, staff have to contribute to repairs to their BlackBerrys if the damage is deemed to be their own fault.
Great, so a guy gets wasted and drops his BlackBerry — on company time, mind you — and he needs to fork over the $29.99 to get it fixed at T-Mobile? That is an OUTRAGE. Next thing they'll say executives are going to pay for their own Town Cars to the Hamptons. Or that they can't expense bottles of wine $400 or more. Or that Lloyd Blankfein will have to fire his personal head-polisher as an example! God, this economic plight we're in is so much worse than we thought.