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and i thought my $50US dinners were excessive...


TRIBE Member
from the national post today ... makes you wonder how much money you could be making if these guys didn't hoard it all.


Drinks for six cost $100,000, and five jobs
Bankers 'didn't bat an eyelid when they got the bill'

Barclays Capital, the venerable British bank led by former Bank of Montreal boss Matthew Barrett, has fired five of six employees involved in a drinking extravaganza worthy of a citation in the Guinness Book of World Records. The five employees were caught trying to disguise their expensive night out as an ordinary business expense.

Dining at the renowned Ptrus restaurant in London last summer, the group spent more than $100,000 on just five bottles of wine: a 1947 Chteau Ptrus, a 1945 Ptrus, a 1946 Ptrus, a 100-year-old Chteau d'Yquem and a 1984 Montrachet. Added to the bill were two bottles of Kronenbourg beer, a packet of cigarettes and other small items.

The tab averaged more than $16,660 a head, smashing the previous Guinness record of $9,940 per person charged at London's Le Gavroche restaurant in 1997. It could have been worse: Ptrus's owner, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, graciously waived his guest's food charges, which came to another $680.

He needn't have bothered. "They didn't bat an eyelid when they got the bill," Mr. Ramsay noted at the time.

But Barclays noticed.

After news of the outrageous expenditure hit the British press, the bank gave its six oenophiles a stiff reprimand.

Last Sunday, it was revealed that five of the employees had later tried to pass off their share of the bill as a business expense, leaving Barclays to foot most of the tab.

The five expense form offenders have been sacked. The one survivor, Iftikhar Hyder, is a Muslim and claims not to have touched any of the wine. "I've never drunk alcohol," he told the Mirror, a London tabloid. "I was only helping out with the bill and will be reimbursed. This has caused me enormous damage."

For Barclays, it is the latest in a string of public relations disasters. The bank has developed a reputation for greed and avarice. One of Mr. Barrett's most recent predecessors was branded "a libidinous drunk who could barely string a sentence together after lunch."

Since leaving Canada and taking the reins at Barclays two years ago, Mr. Barrett has managed to boost the bank's profits and goose its share price. He has been handsomely -- and many would say lavishly -- rewarded for his efforts. Mr. Barrett has been paid tens of millions of dollars while closing hundreds of Barclays branches, leaving dozens of British communities without a local bank outlet. The aggressive cost-cutting has earned him the nickname "Matt the Rat."

But he is not the only bank chief to draw eye-popping compensation while demanding that his employees cut their out-of-office expenses. Last year, for example, the investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston told staff to reduce the cost of entertaining clients. "Given current market conditions," read an internal memo, "try to keep dinners below US$10,000, particularly when no travel is involved."

A US$9,999 dinner hardly sounds penurious, but it is peanuts compared to the money some high flyers have spent in the past.

Consider the Flaming Ferraris, a firebrand gang of Credit Suisse equity arbitrage traders who burst upon the London scene four years ago. They were young, cocksure and rich. One of them, James Archer, was the son of millionaire novelist Jeffrey Archer. Another, Adrian Ezra, was a former Indian squash champion.

Their name was inspired by a cocktail they favoured, a combustible concoction of rum and blue curaao. The Flaming Ferraris spent prodigious amounts of money drinking the cocktails and entertaining clients and friends in some of London's swankiest restaurants and nightclubs.

They delighted in dressing up for paparazzi as film characters and posing in front of exclusive establishments such as Nobu, a Japanese eatery in London's Park Lane. "They work hard and play hard," one of their friends told the Daily Mail in early 1999. "In return for that, they get very well paid. Credit Suisse must be delighted with them."

Well, no. Credit Suisse was embarrassed after the Flaming Ferraris began holding pyjama parties and food fights, and bragging in public about the size of their annual bonuses.

The party ended in 1999. Mr. Archer and two of his mates were suspended from Credit Suisse amid allegations they had attempted to manipulate the Swedish stock market. They were subsequently fired and banned from trading securities.

Stories of runaway expense spending at Canadian investment firms are not unknown, but they seldom see print. "It's not like the wine doesn't flow, but we aren't ostentatious," says one Toronto-based securities analyst, with Scotia Capital Inc.

Not so on Wall Street. Last year, a pair of free-spending traders stunned a lunchtime crowd in Manhattan's Nello restaurant, tipping back a number of cocktails and then ordering two bottles of fine wine, a 1995 Chteau Margaux and a 1988 Chteau Lafite Rothschild. According to their waiter, Louis Pinheiro, they were celebrating the successful conclusion of a large business transaction.

"They were very happy," he recalled. "They were willing to share this happiness with everybody."

After piling up a US$8,843 bill, the diners tipped Mr. Pinheiro US$16,000. On purpose.

Mr. Pinheiro handed part of his windfall to some colleagues and invested the rest in the stock market.

The tab for six investment bankers at Ptrus in London
1947 Chteau Ptrus Quantity: 1 Price: $28,000
1945 Chteau Ptrus Quantity: 1 Price: $26,500
1946 Chteau Ptrus Quantity: 1 Price: $21,500
Chteau d'Yquem dessert wine Quantity: 1 Price: $21,000
1984 Montrachet Quantity: 1 Price: $3,200
Glasses of Champagne Quantity: 6 Price: $128
Bottles of water Quantity: 10 Price: $80
Bottles of Kronenbourg Quantity: 2 Price: $16
Pack of cigarettes Quantity: 1 Price: $11.25
Glass of juice Quantity: 1 Price: $6.40
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
28 page views and not one reply? maybe i should stick to working during the day and not topic posting.

anyways, here's a pic of one of the guys who got fired. he's quite the hottie:

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TRIBE Member
Originally posted by JayIsBored
that'll learn you, newbie. maybe you aren't as interesting as you thought? :p



Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
spoiling certain individuals is very worth it. what is a $10,000 bill if it results in that individual giving your firm a deal involving billions?

when venture capitalists or presidents of big companies choose firms - whether they are looking for lawyers or deal-makers - often the decision is made not based on who is more skilled (because it is difficult to distinguish between the top ten firms in any field) but rather based on who sends you the better *perks*.


TRIBE Member
but this was $100,000 dinner between 5 employees disguised as a business expense...no handshakes or deals going on that night.

thats just insane!


TRIBE Promoter
Hey, if you're gonna go out, you may as well go out in style! I hope no one spilt any of the wine on the tablecloth or poured some out for all the dead homies.

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TRIBE Member
Originally posted by mr tall
man would I love to be able to try that 47 petrus :eek:

mmm, yes please.

and that took balls. those five are probably commodities traders or legally defined criminals by now.


TRIBE Member
well now I feel more justified in charging the company I work for over 17,500 for last weekends escapeds to Niagra.... shhhh don't tell them about the hooker either. I've heard expensive hookers don't go over well with my boss (unless they're being shared) :rolleyes:
Money is meant to be enjoyed... espeacially free money!

It's getting cold in my room again. Maybe I should throw another money roll on the fire.


TRIBE Member
ewww niagara hookers are so trashy. i hope you got a lady with at least one gold tooth...err umm not that i would know anything about that. :eek:


TRIBE Member
not only did she have a gold tooth, I stole it and now I wear it around my neck on a rope. :D
I was going to try to rip off her artificial leg too but she caught me so I had to run away. Now that would have been something worthy to have on a rope around your neck!
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