The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article a couple of weeks back about the demise of the investment banker. Once an all-powerful player in the financial markets arena, all but a very few top players, it seems, have now been relegated to bit-part status.
Bloomberg reports that JPMorgan Chase & Co is to set aside $1bn to expand its investment bank in Europe and Asia this year. The dosh will be used in the main to build out the unit's energy trading capability, and acquire 'niche' businesses for the investment bank in the likes of Brazil and Russia.
A couple of years back Morgan Stanley's then CEO Philip Purcell came under fire from former executives for the way he was running 'his' firm. He soon exited stage left, paving the way for the return of John Mack. The murmurs of discontent were first heard from Citigroup investors a few months back, and Chuck Prince, the company CEO, is looking mighty uncomfortable. Bets are already being taken about how long he will remain in the hot seat. And then there is ABN AMRO......
The clampdown on insider trading on both sides of the Atlantic is gathering momentum. And bankers and traders who chance their arm for fairly modest returns had better beware - the stakes are higher now as the chances of getting caught are much greater.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Bear Stearns is opening its doors to the main Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. CEO Jim Cayne said that 'people here are besieged by friends and uncles and brothers to give money'. Cayne believes that seeing the contenders up close and personal will 'take a load off everyone' and enable senior bankers and executives to make an informed decision as to who to throw their lot in with. Bear will invite its senior managing directors to attend separate 90-minute sessions with the political big-wigs.
The Sunday Times has just published its latest 'Best Place to Work' league tables - based on employee and company input. Detailed below are the Top 20 companies with operations with over 5,000 staff in Britain. Four investment banks made the Top 20 - and Gala Bingo.
Here's Fortune magazine's Top 20 of the world's billionaires:
As part of a series of fund-raising events which will culminate in Penna's George Griffin running the 150 mile 'Marathon des Sables' to raise money for the charity 'Facing Africa', a celebrity team clay shooting competition has been arranged for Thursday, 7th June.
Many thanks to all of you who sent in explanations of what is meant by the term 'yen carry trade' - we didn't understand any of them!