The year opened with all the usual speculation about bonuses. Management practised standard mind games.

At the World Economic Forum at Davos, the annual gathering of the elite of the worlds of business and politics, the only topic of conversation was the newly-elected President Trump.


There were fears for the effect of Brexit on the City of London’s pre-eminence as Europe’s financial centre. Of course some people were able to see a positive agenda.

The City had been given a big let-off in that the implementation of the latest draconian regulatory directive, Mifid II, had been deferred by a year. This didn’t stop people pondering its implications.

On February 24th Alex celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of his first appearance in a newspaper (The London Daily News, as you ask). He and Clive mused on their career longevity.

The Brexit vote was perceived to be a reaction against the trend towards globalisation.


The latest manifestation of cost-cutting in investment banks was a policy known as “juniorisation” which involved firing highly-paid older people and replacing them with more affordable younger ones.

Compliance brought in specialist help in its ongoing efforts to stamp out illicit practices.

Alex’s wife Penny’s career as a non-executive director continued to thrive.

The uncertainty of global conditions presented the perfect opportunity for money to change hands in the occasional informal wager.

In the ongoing war between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials in the office the latest battleground was Blockchain.

Clive’s marriage to Bridget was clearly over after her continuing affair with his boss Cyrus. Alex had some words of consolation.

In the light of possible terrorist plots targeting aircraft there was talk of airlines banning laptops.


Clive and Bridget separately discussed the issue of him taking his bank to an industrial tribunal over Cyrus’s affair with her. She wished he’d “man up”. Predictably he didn’t.

Alex took an Easter holiday in France, where he faced some Brexit-induced hostility from locals.


A national treasure that has been around considerably longer than Alex, the Duke of Edinburgh, announced his retirement from Royal duties.

Markets, pumped up with the steroids of central bank policy and hopes for Trump’s tax cuts, were still rising inexorably. Alex was not one to buck the trend.

A trendy new media-style club opened in the City in Midland Bank’s old banking hall - The Ned. Bankers were desperate to get membership. Alex was sceptical.

Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly called a snap General Election for May 8th to capitalise on her party’s apparent lead in the opinion polls.


The Election backfired horribly on the Tories and, following a disastrous campaign, they lost their majority in Parliament and only just clung on to power. A revitalised Labour Party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, was suddenly the talking point (and in the City, the fear) of the moment.

There was a heatwave at Royal Ascot and the stringent dress code was relaxed for the first time in living memory.

Alex was as ever a guest at the annual charity cricket match hosted by ex-City grandee Sir Victor Blank.


Alex’s colleague Steven unexpectedly started to identify himself as a transgender woman named Stephanie.

The iPhone celebrated its 10th anniversary. In this short time it had totally displaced the once ubiquitous BlackBerry as the gadget of choice for the investment banker.

Alex, clearly feeling his age, was put on the 5:2 diet.

Alex had his inevitable stand-off with his summer intern, a “snowflake” called Jacob.


The “Magic Money Tree” which Labour supposedly would have to resort to in order to fund its public spending commitments, had been much discussed in the media in the fallout from the General Election. In a summer fantasy sequence Alex found the actual tree growing in the garden of No 10 Downing Street.


With only four months to go till Mifid II came into force, banks were beginning to make serious preparations for this huge regulatory shake up.

It was ten years since the run on Northern Rock kicked off the financial crisis. Central banks were still running the economy.

Banks made much of their diversity and inclusiveness policies but in reality they were still hiring well-off, well-connected graduates.

With his divorce imminent, Clive’s attempts to hide his money from his wife’s lawyers hit a technological snag.

Generational tensions between the Baby Boomers and their children continued.

Alex’s bank moved into a new corporate HQ - a modern state-of-the-art “groundscraper”. Alex considered it a prison.

PR firm Bell Pottinger collapsed following some dodgy dealings in South Africa. Its competitors were not slow to profit from its unfortunate demise.

RyanAir announced mass flight cancellations due to what CEO Michael O’Leary described as a “cock up”. You might not have thought Alex would be affected by it, but he was.

“Swipe a ride” tech firm Uber had its licence to operate in London revoked by the Mayor Sadiq Khan. Alex and Clive railed at his short-sightedness.

Despite ten years of compliance overdrive the financial world was, according to an official report, riskier that it had been before the financial crisis.

Alex waged an ongoing war with his compliance officer over the latter’s attempts to ban him from entertaining his clients.

But Alex’s old boss Rupert, now semi-retired, had no compliance issues with his trip to the grouse moor.


A routine lunch with a friend became suddenly problematic for Alex’s newly transgender colleague Stephanie.

Alex made his annual visit to the October Club - that gathering of the great and the good of the City at the Savoy with the aim of eating, drinking, networking and in the process raising half a million pounds for charity.

It was the country sports season and, despite the best efforts of compliance, Alex managed to fit in a bit of shooting and fishing.

No one (the regulators included) still had any idea was going to happen when Mifid II hit in January, but the outlook wasn’t positive.

As the bank strove to meet diversity quotas it was expected to ensure that appropriate provisions were in place.

Alex failed to see eye to eye with his Millennial graduate trainee Leo over technological innovations.

Banks were still setting aside large sums of compensation money for PPI misselling claims. Alex came up with rather an elegant solution to the problem.


Stephanie had become decidedly po-faced since her gender reassignment and was reluctant to join in some of the more manly pursuits in the office.

The gender pay gap was much discussed in view of the forthcoming regulation which would oblige all companies to declare the differential between the salaries of male and female employees by April 2018.

In the wake of social media accusations against Harvey Weinstein of workplace harassment, Alex’s own behaviour toward certain colleagues was found to be “inappropriate”.

Alex won a pitch to float a sandwich shop business. The CEO turned out to have once been his graduate trainee.

Thanksgiving was coming up and Alex discovered he had more in common with his American boss that he had supposed (his cynicism proved to be well founded).


As is its wont at Christmas time, the cartoon veered off into a fantasy sequence about robots taking over the financial world. This story could run and run.

For a more comprehensive selection of Alex cartoons from the last year please see
The Best of Alex 2017

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