President Barack Obama came out Wednesday, as expected, and announced that the executives of banks which receive 'exceptional' taxpayer assistance in the future will be limited to $500,000 compensation per annum until the government borrowings are repaid.
The Daily Mail reports that 44-year-old Tullett Prebon trader Kate Cassidy claims to have been fired because her former employer felt that she was spending too much time and energy trying to get her son Sam's pop career off the ground, instead of doing what she was paid to do.
Reuters reports that a group of Credit Suisse clients who lost money as a result of investments in Lehman Brothers paper want the subject of the return of management bonuses to be on the agenda at the company's forthcoming Annual General Meeting.
It wasn't too long ago when three firms stood out as the biggest payers of investment banking bonuses - Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Now, it seems, that's all in the past, as, despite what Main Street and President Obama's administration would have you believe, bonuses just ain't what they used to be.
As London laboured under several inches of snow Monday, one wag sent us in this great pic, which was taken outside one of the large City investment banks. See the picture to the right (you'll need to press on the magnifying glass to enlarge the image).
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Goldman Sachs was looking to shed an additional 5 - 10% of headcount, as it prepares for its next round of lay-offs. Morgan Stanley, too, was said to be thinking of making a further 5% of staff redundant. Well, the newspaper now reports that, according to an unnamed 'person familiar with the investment bank's plans', 1,500 to 1,800 of the firm's staff, or 3% of the total number, are now likely to be axed in the coming weeks.
The Wall Street Journal's 'Deal Journal' column says that it has reviewed a private bonus agreement established between Merrill Lynch and Bank of America when their 'merger' was first struck last year. The agreement apparently confirms that Merrill's bonus pool for 2008 should not exceed $5.8bn, and that 60% of this should be cash, with the remainder in deferred compensation. On the surface, then, it looks like former Merrill CEO John Thain was in the right when he claimed that Bank of America was fully aware of the bonus payouts he allocated to his staff last month.
Bank of America's annual meeting in a few weeks time looks like being an interesting one. Some stockholders are said to have it in for CEO Ken Lewis, and are demanding he pay for what they perceive as recent missteps with his job.
Incredible though it may seem, The Financial Times is reporting that ABN Amro has held exploratory talks with Royal Bank of Scotland about the repurchase of certain units (but only the decent ones!).
'I was laid-off in late October, after over 20 years with the same firm, and almost 30 years in the securities industry. Unlike many of my peers, I had never been laid-off before, and, given my age, I was worried about what awaited me. But I never felt that it would be as bad as it's been over the last few months to get another job. In spite of everything I have done, I just can't get another job at a securities firm. And, in fact, several people, including the career advisor paid for by the bank, have told me to basically not to bother trying until things pick up, hopefully later this year.