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A Sickie Needs To Be A Quickie At Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch hit the news earlier this week when word leaked out that the firm has told US employees that it was slashing their annual sick leave tolerance from 10 periods of 4 days. Anyone absent for 4 days or more, it seems, could now lose pay. And termination could be on the cards after just 9 days. (Can you imagine this being adopted in Europe ? In France and Germany you seem to only have to WORK 9 days a year!)

JPMorgan Up Sh.t Greek

Spare a thought for JPMorgan. According to The Financial Times, the firm has been dragged into a scandal in Greece 'about the way that complex financial instruments have been sold to local pension funds'.

Ex-Banker Jailed For Hit & Run Killing

A former Managing Director at Barclays Wealth Management in San Francisco was sentenced to 3 years in prison last week after a 2005 hit and run accident which resulted in the death of a middle-aged female.

2007 Bonuses, Wealthy Bankers & Hedge Fund Billionaires

Reuters reports that US compensation consultants Johnson Associates released a new study Tuesday which suggested that 2007 bonuses for many traders are likely to rise by up to 15% on last year. Bankers operating in the private equity space can expect to see their wads rise by up to 20%.

Another Billy 'Big Bonus' Behind Bars

Reuters reports that Charles Gile, the former head of sales and trading over at Citigroup's New York commodities desk, got banged up last week for a year and a day for his role in inflating desk profits by as much as $20m in order to bag a bigger bonus.

Bear, Citigroup, Deutsche, HSBC, Merrill, UBS

Bloomberg reports that Bear Stearns, Piper Jaffray and UBS and four other firms, including JPMorgan Chase, have confirmed that they have been subpoenaed by US authorites in connection with an industry-wide probe concerning the sale of investment and derivative contracts to municipal local governments.

The Latest On Gender / Race Lawsuits

As banks continue to fall over themselves to hire / retain women, mothers who want to return to work more flexibility after maternity leave and staff from racial minorities, here's a couple of bits of current news.