The news that Stephanie Villalba, the former senior Merrill Lynch executive, lost her discrimination case against the firm comes as no surprise. The evidence just did not seem to support her claims. And although Ms Villalba will lose a few bob as a result of her efforts to take Merrill to tribunal, she can probably afford it. The more important thing about this case, however, is that it sends out a very strong message to City staff thinking of making a claim against their firm - make sure that your case has strong foundations. Don't believe those ambulance chasers who will whisper in your ear that your employer will simply roll over and pay up or that a tribunal will bend over backwards to rule your way.
1. How much money was ex-Goldman PA Jyoti De-Laurey said to have stolen from her former bosses at Goldman Sachs ?
A UK jury found former CSFB compliance officer Asif Butt guilty of insider trading just before Christmas. The gamekeeper turned poacher now faces up to seven years in jail.
It seems to have taken a year of contradictions for many firms to really start to get their acts together. We may well look back on 2004 and realise that it proved to be a catalyst for change which shaped the future of the industry.
David Bullen, the former National Australia Bank trader at the centre of the recent $275m currency options scandal, has been charged by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority. Bullen says that he will face up to 20 charges and that he will defend himself, instead of using a lawyer. Four traders were dismissed from the bank after the affair surfaced in March.
It is almost two years now since this writer predicted a radical shake-up in the City outplacement industry. Since that time, we have seen the sale (again) of BG Careers, the merging of Lee Hecht's UK operation with Penna, challenging times and new faces over at Fairplace and a major restructure at DBM. Penna also lost a CEO.
Unlike some financial journalists, this writer does not down Pimms in the sunset on the Med. No whimsical musings here from cool and trendy beaches, against a backdrop of idle Yachts at mooring and the idle rich at play.
Just when investment bankers thought that it was safe to enjoy Xmas and that there couldn't possibly be any more bad news about jobs before 'the season of goodwill', yet another bank has come out and confirmed cuts.
Bonuses season has now kicked off with staff at Lehmans and Goldman said to have been given their numbers Wednesday.
CSFB CEO Brady Dougan has said that staff wouldn't have long too wait long before they learned of their fate. And he seems to have been as good as his word, as stories are circulating that some job cuts have already been made.
Liverpool have been linked to Arsenal ace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Liverpool have replaced Southampton as early favourites to sign Manchester City's Gael Clichy.
Liverpool are expected to be highly active in the summer transfer window.
Newcastle United are among the favourites to sign the Watford man this summer.
Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha is said to desperately want the striker at Ibrox, and could have the upper hand over Derby County.
Newcastle United are reportedly pushing to sign Burnley striker Andre Gray.
The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder will have to be even more patient for another run-out.
Newcastle United are reportedly contenders to sign Michy Batshuayi.
Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson has been linked with a move to Southampton in recent times.
Hearts' Callum Paterson and Aberdeen's Ryan Jack could both move to Rangers on free transfers this summer with Pedro Caixinha reviving his squad.