Hong Kong’s Banking Industry Is ‘Buried in White Powder,’ But Only on the Weekend


Ever since former JPMorgan exotics trader Neil McCormick, the 36-year-old head of Asian equity derivatives at UBS, jumped to his death after snorting cocaine off a plate at a party in his honor, questions have emerged about the extent of drug abuse among Hong Kong bankers. “I would say around 65 percent of the people who work with me have a recreational drug habit,” a 29-year-old stockbroker told Danwei's Tessa Thorniley. But before anyone gets overly excited (any more than they already are) about the fact that East Asia's banking center, home to one of the highest concentrations of multinational banks in the world, might be suffering from impaired judgment, rest assured it's merely a hobby for the single foreign men that call Hong Kong home: “I would not say they were addicts, and I've never seen them do drugs in the workplace, but at the weekend — sure!” the stockbroker clarified. One former addict, one of the many white-collar workers that populate local recovery programs, explained how it all goes down:

“First they get the cocaine, then the girls, then the jeroboams [double magnums] of champagne, then the hotel suites and so on. We call them the weekend warriors. They start with beers on a Friday night and they don't stop until Sunday evening, even when their families are calling them and asking where they are. Usually they are at work first thing Monday morning though."

Oh, phew. For a second there we thought it might be a problem.

Coked up bankers of Hong Kong [Danwei via Business Insider]