Finance: The first cut is always the cheapest

The Trader

IT'S FUNNY, isn't it, how it's always the simple things that cause the problems.

While the credit department have always come down on us like a ton of bricks if we even suggested any kind of deal with Russia, they have not, it seems, been so picky about boring old loans and dull old venture capital. Net result: bye-bye bonus, bye-bye profits and possibly even bye-bye bank.

The first, but surely not the last, casualty of all this is the director responsible for allowing all this profligate lending, Johnny H__. This is a surprise in itself; usually they try to find someone more junior to carry the can, but I suppose they couldn't in this instance, and dear Johnny had to step in and metaphorically fall on his sword instead. Still, it's a lot better than what the FX boys had in mind for him, though that did involve a sword, too.

So now all we can do is wait for the ripple to work its way outwards. The boys seem to spend most of their time gazing mournfully at their Hermes ties, wondering if they'll ever be able to afford another one.

"Oh yes," says Laura, "the ties that bind."

"Or, in Freddie's case, the ties that blind," I reply. "Just look at that frightful yellow number he's sporting today." And then we remember what's going on, and think of all those trips to Harvey Nicks we'll never make, and we stop laughing at once.

All I can say is, thank heaven for Olivier, who has been taking me out to dinner or the cinema nearly every night in an attempt to lift my spirits.

"What is the worst that can happen?" he says over pudding (chocolate tart because I'm stressed and deserve it, obviously) each night. And then we work out that the most dreadful possibility is that I and/or other members of our happy little gang lose our jobs.

"So, then you get another one; it's not so complicated," Olivier says to me with Gallic logic. "And besides, if you have a few days off we can go on a holiday together."

Suddenly the possibility of redundancy doesn't seem so awful - it might even be a laugh - though I have the chocolate tart anyway, just in case.

Laura, it's true, is unconvinced by Olivier's happy little theory. In her book, losing your job is one of life's great stressful events, up there with divorce, bereavement or marriage. In other words, not something you just shrug off.

Quite how she comes by this idea is hard to say, since she's never been made redundant herself, but it may well be connected with her chance encounter with Rory in the Underground last week.

"Well, it was a bit early in the day for drinking, even by Rory's standards," she points out. "After all, he never used to have Special Brew for breakfast before, and certainly not out of the can."

She's right, of course. Reluctantly, I have to conclude that getting the push may not be the awfully big adventure Olivier kindly tries to make out.

What makes it worse is that none of us is responsible for losing the money in the first place, so we won't even get to be notorious and have books written about us. "Modern life is so cruel," I sigh. "My new suit would have looked perfect on the news."

I turn to Laura who is gazing at her computer screen in horror. The last time she looked this distraught was when Neil took off his trousers at that party of Rory's, so it must be something pretty terrible. And it is: a news item on the Internet that says we are cutting our trading operations to the bone with immediate effect.

But, as I point out to Laura, if it were true we'd have been the first to be told, wouldn't we...?

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?