Reuters reports that the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel in Oregon have joined a shareholder resolution which urges Goldman Sachs to pay reasonable (but not excessive) bonuses this year-end.
The Wall Street firm has set aside $16.7bn in the first three quarters for staff compensation, compared to $11.4bn for the same period last year.
And JPMorgan Chase's investment banking business has set aside $8.79bn so far this year for staff compensation, up from $6.54bn in the same period in 2008. Group CEO Jamie Dimon has reconfirmed that he will pay the kind of bonuses he needs to in order to retain staff and protect the unit's franchise.
In the meantime, Reuters reports that UK Treasury Minister Lord Myners said Wednesday that he had 'amicably' secured the agreement of eleven major investment banks that operate in London to adhere to the G20 rules on compensation. Although the Financial Times reports that some bankers described the meeting as 'heated', and accused Myners of 'bullying' tactics. According to the newspaper, several of the banks were faced with the threat that they wouldn't get any more UK government work unless they signed up to the pay accord.
And Fox Business News reports that Neil Bartofsky, the special inspector general of the US government's TARP program, has lashed out at the Treasury Department, accusing it of 'outsourcing its oversight' in respect to the compensation signed-off over at bailed-out AIG.
Reuters reports that Commerzbank has been ordered by a German labour court to pay $2.2m in severance to Jens-Peter Neumann, the former head of capital markets over at Dresdner Kleinwort (taken over by Commerzbank earlier this year). The bank had hoped to avoid the payout due to the huge losses sustained last year at Dresdner Kleinwort, but the labour court ruled that a deal was a deal, and Commerzbank will need to live up to its contractual obligations. The bank has the right of appeal.
And The Wall Street Journal reports that the death of Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein is to trigger the vesting of restricted stock currently valued at some $188m. The assets will be added to the (already substantial) Wasserstein estate.
Finally, Bloomberg reports that UK financier Guy Hands has said that LBO executives are likely to see an 80% compensation drop this year, while Reuters reports that Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman has said that he feels that the worst is over for the industry.
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