Tragically, we appear to have had the first high-profile financial markets suicide of the current turmoil. The Mail-on-Sunday has reported that 47-year-old Kirk Stephenson, chief operating officer with activist investor Olivant Advisers, is believed to have taken his own life Thursday, by throwing himself in front of a 100mph express train at a railroad station in Berkshire. He is said to have finally succumbed 'to mounting personal pressures as the world's financial markets went into meltdown'.
With the failure of talks between BNP Paribas to acquire some units from Fortis, the governments of Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg moved quickly to rescue the banking / insurance group.
CNBC reports that Citi's board is said to be considering the possible acquistion of troubled bank Wachovia. The news agency has said that the two companies are in advanced discussions about a deal, although Citi is understandably concerned about the $122bn portfolio of payment-option adjustable-rate mortgages on Wachovia's balance sheet (much of which it inherited with the 2006 acquisition of California's Golden West Financial Corp., and which the smart money says will result in losses of at least $14bn).
'I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their hard work over a very short time period to craft strong legislation that will enable us to strengthen our financial markets and promote the flow of credit to businesses and consumers that is so vital to our economic growth and prosperity.
Here are a selection of your views on some the events that have recently made the news.
It was only a few days ago that Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was viewed as a hero, saving his firm from the same fate that befell Lehman Brothers by merging it with Bank of America. In the midst of the panic swirling the markets last week, Merrill employees saw Thain as the firm's saviour. Now that calm has been restored by the prospect of a $700bn US government bailout, however, there are complaints that Thain may have moved too quickly, and that he may have been too hasty in giving up his firm's independence.
We've been looking for a line manager, in any area or location, who:
Here's an open letter to the US lawmakers, co-signed by Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, former Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State George Shultz, and Robert Hall, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and architect of the Flat Tax.
Bloomberg reports that CEOs at Wall Street's top five securities house earned a staggering $3bn between them from 2003 and 2007, during the time when the subprime and toxic securities timebomb was ticking away in the background. Goldman Sachs CEOs were paid the most in this period ($859m), followed by Bear Stearns ($609m).
Reuters reports that HSBC is to cut 1,100 jobs in its global banking and markets business. The cull represents 4% of the unit's total workforce.