As Facebook prepares to float on the stock exchange elderjuice's Mr Lavish is in for a surprise.
There’s been a lot of hoo-ha in the press about people getting bonuses. Frankly I don’t see what all the fuss is about.
The sums involved are hardly worth getting bothering about. After all, by the time the tax and NI is paid, the poor chap is only left with less than £400,000 out of each million. So the jolly old exchequer gets the rest.
Mr Lavish rails against the gravy train
I saw the other day that the Network Rail people gave up £20 million of bonuses. Frankly, no-one running any of the rail companies should be getting a penny bonus.
In fact they should be having their wages docked. I always rather liked the idea of shooting the odd general – pour encourager les autres. It certainly worked for Stalin in WW2 and I see no reason why it shouldn’t work now.
Of course, because the Network Rail chiefs refused their bonus, the Treasury was done out of £12 million – but in this case, I suppose they saved £20 million. Who knows?
I rather feel that train accounting is a bit like that of film. No picture ever seems to make any money but everyone involved gets rich.
And why a civil servant should get a bonus when they are already on the pig’s back, I have no idea.
Lobster ravioli with Binky
Anyway, I wandered into my pal Binky’s merchant bank the other day and asked him how he was getting on – did he need me to bung him a few quid to tide him over?
“Indeed I do not,” replied Binky. It seems he’s done rather well for his clients during the recession
His bonus, apparently, was tied to which quartile he managed to get their performance into. I had absolutely no idea what this meant, but I was glad to hear he was doing all right.
Fortunately, he then offered to take me to lunch, which is always a delight. Binky has the personal mobile numbers of all the best maitre d’s. He’s even been know have a table taken away from Andrea Bocelli and Lord Sugar.
Mind you, I just can’t imagine what those two were discussing. Perhaps it’s just as well their table was taken away.
So there we were scoffing some rather tasty lobster ravioli with a delicious white wine ( not the Asda – or is it Tesco – that Warrington makes available to La Balderdash) when up pops this chappy beside the table.
Something called ‘Facebook’
I didn’t recognise him at all – but then I’m not a high flyin’ financier.
Now it appears that Binky had arranged for chummy to meet us casually in the restaurant.
Binky clearly didn’t want him to join us for food, but he did offer him a glass. I called for another bottle – you can’t be too careful.
“Well, James,” says Binky,” What have you got to tell me?”
The ensuing conversation was completely incomprehensible to me. It was all to do with something called ‘Facebook’. I know city types use nicknames for takeover targets, so I assumed this was one of those.
Anyway, they seemed to be discussing selling shares in something called ‘IPO’ (clearly another nickname) at a price of around $100 billion – but Binky said he’d be surprised if it made $80 billion.
Even to me that seemed like a worthwhile number, so after Jamesie boy left and I’d had another glass, I asked Binky whether I ought to buy a few.
He laughed. “My dear Banker, you already own pots of it. Don’t you remember we put a million dollars into it about five or six years ago?” Frankly, I didn’t.
“Of course you do. You were in the States and met some chap at a party who said his name was Zuckerberg. So then you told me to buy Zuckerberg Corporation as you were very impressed with him.”
“Oh yes, I remember him. Terribly nice young chap. I was quietly minding my own business and there he was with no one to talk to, so I took pity on him. Didn’t understand a word he said to me, but he was very enthusiastic.”
‘Lunch is on me!’
Now it turns out this Facebook thingy is going public, and they need to get some shares from existing investors.
James is with the ‘book building co-ordinators’ (whatever that is – I thought books were printed, not built).
Now he wants to buy some of our shares. I asked Binky how much they were worth.
“Well, if the company is valued at $80 billion, your share will worth about $60 million.”
I paused as the glass came towards my mouth.
“Now that,” says I, “Is a bonus worth having. Lunch is on me!”