Bloomberg estimates that employees / executives at Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley will share around $36bn in bonus payouts this time around - a 30% increase on last year's record high.
It's not unusual this time of year for firms to take their feet off the recruitment pedal. As year end approaches (and firms like Goldman, Lehman, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns close their final fiscal quarter one month sooner than the rest), the focus is usually on profits and bonuses, rather than recruitment. This year it's different. Recruiters will tell you that there has been no discernable slowdown in recruitment activity - across the board.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Barclays Bank has settled its legal spat with Enron's bankruptcy estate. The UK bank will pay $144m to settle (but denied wrongdoing), 'as it was prefereable to the time expense and unpredicability of litigation'. Barclays will still be able to pursue $310m of its own claims against Enron in the bankruptcy proceedings.
If life in the financial markets is getting you down, you can always take matters into your own hands - like this analyst did!
The Toronto Sun reports that former investment banker David Kenton Reid appeared in court earlier this week, charged in the death of 72-year-old Harley Walker, a man he allegedly met through a gay website.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that two senior UBS Investment Bank bond traders have left the firm amid a probe by US regulator The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into alleged manipulation of the Treasury markets.
The Financial Times reports that Vietnamese prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dun, has told the country's central bank officials and police authorities to get their fingers out. The investigations into alleged illegal foreign exchange trading by ABN Amro has dragged on, and two local ABN employees have been banged up in jail for 16 months, pending the outcome of the probe.
The 1987 film 'Wall Street' starring Michael Douglas and directed by Oliver Stone, was a reflection of a 'greed is good' 'yuppie' era when earning 'loads of money' was the goal - no matter what the cost.
Dr Robert Kuhn has an interesting feature in chiefexecutive.net. Here's his list of CEO 'diseases':
The New York Post reports that Bank of America Specialist, the third-largest market maker on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange has not been trading in the new hybrid market yet - despite 18 months work and spending $13m on technology to enable it to do so. According to the newspaper, the firm has also canned the 'technology executive' in charge of this project.
'I'm 43 now, but when I was 22 I too walked away from banking to pursue my dream - which was to be a stand up comedian. After about a year, however, the 'reality' of my new life started to dawn on me...
UBS was aware of a $3.6bn discrepancy in the trading accounts of alleged rogue trader Kweku Adoboli six weeks before he told the bank about his trading losses, a London court heard Tuesday.
Amid all the noise from Barclays and others about changing the culture of banking – and the way staff are paid – there is one bank that has not handed out bonuses for 40 years.