Berenberg Bank is laying off deal makers as the market for equity issuance has started to dry up. Although Berenberg is not a big player in London it is a significant, respected and long-standing European player. I fear it will be the first of many to come as Winter approaches. It does surprise me, however, that Berenberg needs to lay people off. One would presume that those people who have met the infamous Spanish Archer (el bow) are not critical to Berenberg’s market presence in London. The market had become frothy, and money was easy. The market was full of Joker Brokers who are soon going to have to relinquish their Mayfair leases. It was too easy to make money as a lot of houses are now undoubtedly feeling having lost their shirts on ridiculous valuations.
It seems like contrition is in vogue this week as Masayashi Son CEO of Softbank revealed that the Japanese titan had made a record $ 23.4 billion loss after a string of what has turned out to be massively over valued tech stocks. Apparently, Son is ashamed of his role in this debacle although he is surely not the only one. For the past few years, the world’s great and good have bought into a whole boatload of applications which have not really added anything except to allow young bucks to do things that they could always do on a smart phone. For Softbank to own up to this failing is extraordinary, however. After all this is how Softbank made their money. I have some personal experience with this outfit, having been CEO of a company in which they had invested. I always felt that I was dealing with a group rather than with an individual . Not always a good thing as we have found with the Bank of England.
The UK Infrastructure Bank has launched a new plan to help us all to get to zero painlessly. It wants to team up with experienced fund managers to identify initiatives on the field of electricity storage. It has the smack of government inertia written all over it and I don’t suppose anything useful will emerge. What is needed is firstly blue sky thinkers and secondly a banking system that can provide leveraging capability. There ought to be a lot of money floating around to chase good projects in truly new technologies but there isn’t. Deep Well Geothermal is a truly clean baseload energy provider but it never gets a mention and is crowded out by hairbrained initiatives in things which don’t work very well. And yet this technology is all around us and can do what the government really needs to do. Keep its citizens warm in the Winter.
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. Daily Fintech’s original insight is made available to you for US$143 a year (which equates to $2.75 per week). $2.75 buys you a coffee (maybe), or the cost of a week’s subscripti on to the global Fintech blog – caffeine for the mind that could be worth $ millions.