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$4m 'Ocean's 11' Heist Said To Have Affected Top Firm (Updated)

Oceans 11

Unconfirmed reports are coming in about a daring 'Ocean's Eleven'-type robbery said to have taken place at a data centre in the Kings Cross area of London late last night. Thieves, said to have been dressed as police officers, are thought to have handcuffed security guards and walked off with around $4m of computer hardware, including motherboards and processors.

A Goldman Moment

FT Alphaville reports on the uproar in the US this week when Goldman's lead economist, Jan Hatzius, put out what has been described as a 'fear' note, sugessting that the end of the world was nigh (among other things he is said to have predicted a 15% slump in US house prices).

Citi, Credit Suisse, UBS, Man Group, Morgan Stanley

Citi executive Vikram Pandit may well be the most likely insider to ascend to the vacant company CEO position, but, according to The Wall Street Journal, the hedge fund he founded (Old Lane Partners, the one acquired by Citi for $800m earlier this year) isn't doing as well. The newspaper quotes Hedge Fund Research, which says that Old Lane is now showing gains of around 3% this year, which compares badly to the 10% average gain seen by hedgies so far in 2007.

More Doom & Gloom

Reuters reports that US bank stocks fell Tuesday after continuing concerns about how subprime lending-related losses would impact fourth-quarter earnings. Shares in Goldman, Lehman, Merrill and Morgan Stanley all fell after JPMorgan Chase cut its earnings estimate for each firm. Citi has also cut its fourth-quarter estimates for Goldman, Lehman and Merrill (pointing to challeges in fixed income), although the company has keep its forecast for Morgan Stanley unchanged.

Another Top Boss Said To Have Turned Down Citi Soundings

The Financial Times reports that Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann is said to have been approached about the possibility of taking the reins over at Citi, but confirmed that he was not available. The difficulty of filling the top job at Citi mirrors the problems the FA is having finding someone for the also vacant England football team manager position - a well paid job, working for a decent brand, which no-one wants because you're on a hiding-to-nothing (now Merrill CEO John Thain is also thought to have spurned Citi's advances, as is US Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman CEO) Hank Paulson).

Report Of Bonus Revolt Threat At Top Firm

Money Down the Toilet

Thomson Financial reports that, according to a recent article in Dutch daily newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, bankers at ABN AMRO are worried that they may not get paid out some $1.11bn in 'loyalty' bonuses that apparently form part of a retention package agreed awhile back. The bankers are said to want the bonuses, which become due 3 years after the scheme was put in place, paid out as soon as possible given that most are moving to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) following the recent ABN takeover led by the Scottish firm.