Bank of America (BofA) CEO Ken Lewis told analysts on a conference call last week that he had had just about as much fun as he could stand in investment banking at the moment, after investment banking write-downs led to a 93% decline in unit earnings to just $100m in the third-quarter. Well, several staff who work in the investment bank won't be having much fun themselves soon - BofA has just announced 3,000 job cuts, and the majority will come from the investment banking division.
With Merrill Lynch posting the biggest quarterly loss in its 93 year history Wednesday, the spotlight is very much on firm CEO Stan O'Neal. Some feel that his days are numbered.
$7.9bn in write-downs and a $2.3bn loss will almost certainly mean that staff bonus pools are down at Merrill this year end. But by how much ?
Goldman has just announced that it has appointed a record 299 employees to Managing Director, effective 1st December.
Rumours were flying Wednesday that Lehman Brothers was to announce a $7bn write-down, prompting a drop in the firm's share price at one stage of over $4 a share. Lehman, however, quickly came out and denied the rumour that any write-down anouncement would be made. But someone, it seems, has made a killing on November puts. Speculation is mounting that this might all be a reserve pump and dump play.
Here's more details of Merrill's third-quarter results.
ABN AMRO CEO Rijkman Groenink was rushed to hospital last month and had to undergo an emergency operation following a perforated appendix. Since then he has lost his job - he's stepping down on November 1st, when the bank he restructured to death changes hands with the appointment of a new board full of representatives from acquirers Fortis, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander.
The Times reports that Dresdner Bank is one of a number of European firms considering joining up to the $80bn fund set up by Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan Chase to purchase assets which have lost value following the recent US subprime lending crisis and subsequent credit crunch.
Here's an item one of our readers found on YouTube.
Both Trader Daily and The New York Post have reports that rumours coming out of Merrill Lynch suggest that there are likely to be 'substantial' additional losses announced by the firm Wednesday, when it unveils its third-quarter numbers. Merrill came out a couple of weeks back and acknowledged that, because of the recent market turmoil, it will write-down around $5.5bn in the period and will post its first quarterly trading loss for some six years.