Morgan Stanley suspends banker accused of stabbing

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More details have emerged, courtesy of Bloomberg Businessweek, in the pathetic saga of William Bryan Jennings, co-head of North American fixed-income capital markets, who was arrested and charged with stabbing a cab driver in a hate crime after he refused to pay a cab fare.

As it turns out, Jennings had been drinking steadily on the evening of the crime. The cab driver says the executive appeared drunk Jennings himself told police that while he had been drinking throughout the afternoon, he was not "highly intoxicated."

But how else do you explain events? He ended up stabbing the cab driver, who required 60 stitches and spewing lots of racial spurs. The cabbie says his irate customer reached through the partition dividing the front seat from the back to stab him, which just might have saved his life. Jennings maintains that the cabbie accidentally cut his hand while reaching back through the partition in an attempt to prevent the banker himself from calling the police. The police do not believe this account. As for Morgan Stanley, it has decided not to stand by its executive. The bank has put him on leave.

This episode is troubling on many levels, and it speaks to the enormous pressure on Wall Street executives. We've touched on the toll such a career can exact. Substance abuse is one product of this sort of work-style. A telling symptom: Going off on cab drivers.

For some reason, cabbies bear the brunt of employees on the verge of meltdowns. If you see a colleague getting nasty at the slightest provocation, that's a big red flag.

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