The Financial Times reports that UBS expects its compensation costs to fall by as much as a third this year. A major restructure over at UBS Investment Bank has seen headcount fall by around 3,000 staff, and weaker revenues will translate into smaller year-end bonuses. The newspaper quotes UBS spokesperson Andreas Kern confirming that 'the bonus pool will be smaller'.
The Sunday Times reports that an extraordinary meeting of Commerzbank's 21-member supervisory board is scheduled for later this week, and is expected to give the go ahead for a $13bn bid for Dresdner Bank.
Here's a bit of light market news and gossip for those sick of all the doom and gloom.
Most firms struggled through an 'ugly' quarter in the second trading period of the year without announcing largescale job culls. The focus, instead, has been on non-personnel cost-cutting and general capital raising. The third quarter ends for the likes of Goldman, Lehman and Morgan Stanley in a few days (and most of the rest of the financial markets community in a few weeks), and the early indications are that this period, too, will have been tough. Although most are not expecting huge asset writedowns this time around (with one or two major exceptions), we are likely to see a dramatic fall-off in revenues which will detrimentally affect third-quarter earnings. This will undoubtedly result in many firms reviewing headcount once again, chopping in good time to save on bonus payouts.
As UBS executives appear to have given their tentative blessing to the continuance of the 'one bank' model, attention is focusing on how best to remunerate staff who work in different parts of the empire.
The official definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. With the UK economy now only 12 weeks away from a recession, we thought it would be interesting to look at a list of recessions from the last 100 years.
We're trying to work out where, in the scheme of things, the current credit crunch comes in terms of the worst financial crisis in the last 40 years or so.
Here's the full text of Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Richard 'Pull No Punches' Bove's research note on Lehman Brothers.
The Financial Times reports that the legal spat between UBS and Vestra Wealth, a UK wealth management unit partly funded by Goldman Sachs, which kept us amused over the last fews weeks, is over. A truce has been declared, and Vestra has agreed to a stand-still arrangement, and will not hire any more staff from UBS for the next 12 months. All further legal action in connection with this matter has been stopped.
Reuters reports that Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Richard Bove has said that troubled investment bank Lehman Brothers may find itself vulnerable to a hostile takeover bid.