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Bye Bye Bear

Jim Cayne Painting

Bear Stearns will be consigned to history later today, as shareholders vote for the bank to become part of JPMorgan Chase. 85 years of a generally proud past, then, has ended with a wimper, with both shareholders and many employees losing much of their net worth and jobs.

Bank Boss Booed & Accused Of Running A 'Casino'

Societe Generale's annual meeting, which took place earlier this week in Paris, was always going to be difficult for Chairman Daniel Bouton. And he certainly felt the heat, as shareholders expressed their anger at that $7.7bn rogue trading scandal. Over 1,500 attended the meeting, and many were dismayed that disgraced trader Jerome Kerviel was able to expose the bank to $78bn in derivatives positions without being detected.

Latest Other News In Brief

Reuters reports that Sanford C. Bernstein has slashed its earnings estimates on Goldman, Lehman and Morgan Stanley. Firm analyst Brad Hintz said in a note to clients this week: 'as long as these firms have these troubled assets on their balance sheets, their earnings results will be affected by the fluctuations in the fixed income market and the basis and roll risk of their hedging strategies'. The three firms also had their profit estimates cut by Bank of America earlier in the week.

Jailed Hedge Fund Manager Commits Suicide

The Boston Herald reports that 37-year-old Kirk Wright, the hedge fund manager who only last week was found guilty of money laundering and fraud in a $150m scheme to defraud his investors, hanged himself in his Georgia prison cell Saturday night.

Top Firm Imposes Pay Cuts

Angry IT

Angry IT recruitment firms have been inundating HereIsTheCity with the news that Merrill Lynch is imposing 11% pay cuts for technology contract workers. The firm has confirmed that the demand is part of a firmwide cost-cutting initiative.