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Dodgy E-Mails Cost Firms Dearly

Well, the global settlement which will end the regulator's probes into the investment banking industry's stock research practices has finally been signed off by most of the banks. Detailed below are the settlement costs for each firm and examples of e-mail evidence uncovered by investigators as quoted in The Times and The New York Post.

Bank Bans Far East Trips Due To Killer Bug

The Times reports that Standard Chartered has banned staff from travelling to or from the Far East due to the so-called 'killer' flu bug which is believed to have been responsible for 75 deaths worldwide.

SocGen Boss Says 75 Missed Trading Alerts 'Not Unusual'

FT Alphaville reports that SocGen CEO Daniel Bouton has said that none of the 75 trading alerts flagged up to bank officials about rogue trader Jerome Kerviel were, in themselves, 'unusual' (Ed's note - perhaps the fact that there were 75 of 'em was, Daniel).

Stress & Burnout

We now live in the so-called information age which has introduced rapidly evolving new technology and more competition. These have brought about very rapid changes in the workplace and increased expectations of those who work there. Sending e-mail messages is instant, putting on more pressure to deal with an ever burgeoning level of information, which leaves us little time for reflection before we are obliged to move swiftly on to the next task.

Firm Posts Record Loss

Bloomberg reports that French bank Societe Generale has posted a record fourth-quarter loss of some $4.9bn, following that $7.1bn rogue trading scandal. Despite the scandal, the bank will still post a $1.3bn profit for 2007. The bank's corporate and investment banking unit took subprime lending related write downs of $3.8bn last year, and SocGen warned that further write downs were possible in the current quarter.

Q4 Profits - The Winners & Losers

The fourth-quarter was a really tough one for most of the firms operating in the financial marlets. Here's a note of who won (and who didn't) in the last trading period:



Prison Window

Bankers face jail term for 'reckless misconduct'

Senior bankers will face up to seven years in jail if they are found to have committed a new offence of reckless misconduct being proposed by the government as part of a series of measures to clean up the City in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis.