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Top Firm Says 'No' To 'Hankey-Pankey'

Sexy Show Jumpers

Financial News reports that Barclays Wealth has pulled its branding (although not its sponsorship) from a British Masters Invitational show-jumping event at Chester this weekend, after two 'provocative' pictures of a couple of the UK's leading horsewomen 'brandishing whips and lying in the hay' were released to the press to publicize the event. One of the pictures, complete with the ladies in leather-like boots, is immediately on the right.

Did I Really Say That ?

Merrill Lynch came out this week and announced further asset writedowns and another round of capital raising. And CEO John Thain must be regretting some of the remarks he has made in the last 8 months about his firm and the strength of its balance sheet. Reuters has put together a selection of Thain's comments.

Perhaps The Worst Decision Ever Made At An Investment Bank

Wall Street Bull

As Merrill Lynch announced that it will be taking additional write-downs of at least $5.7bn in the third-quarter (talking the firm's writedown total to a massive $46bn since the credit crisis began last year), management and staff over at Merrill are left to reflect on a decision made by senior officials of their firm last summer which directly affected the viability of two Bear Stearns hedge funds (and ultimately the future of Bear Stearns itself), and, more significantly, caused Merrill itself to sustain huge losses and severe capital adequacy problems. This decision was perhaps the worst ever made by anyone at an investment bank. Here's the story, originally flagged up by Bloomberg earlier this year.

Top Firm Likened To Horror Franchise

The Merrill Horror Picture Show

Merrill Lynch came out and stunned the markets Monday, announcing that it would sell $30.6bn of toxic securities (which it had valued at $11.1bn as recently as 30th June) to an affiliate of private equity firm Lone Star for just $6.7bn. This represents some 22 cents on the dollar on the original book valuation. Merrill will also provide funding for around 75% of the purchase price of the securities.

Top Firm May Need To 'Lop Off Two Limbs'

Joining the mass of speculation on the subject of what Lehman CEO Dick Fuld intends to do to get his firm back on the straight-and-narrow, is The Wall Street Journal. In its 'breakingviews' section the newspaper reflects that Lehman 'may need to lop off two limbs (to survive) - one infected, the other healthy'.

Top Firm In Tribunal Over Race Claim

Bloomberg reports that a former JPMorgan London-based employee has taken the firm to a UK employment tribunal, claiming that she suffered racial bias during her year-long stint with the company.

Goldman Said To Be 'Obsessed'

Reuters reports that Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski recently met with Goldman Sachs executives, including the firm's Chief Financial Officer David Viniar. He has made some interesting observations following the meetings.



Dog Detective

FX Rates Said To Face Global Regulation

Global regulators may start overseeing currency rates in a widening response to benchmark-rate setting scandals that began with revelations on the manipulation of Libor, according to two people familiar with the matter.