Treasury Said To Have Seized Firm's Bonus Pool

The Times reports that the UK Treasury is said to have insisted that it is to have the final say on the payment of 2009 bonuses over at 70%-government owned Royal Bank of Scotland - even though only staff who earn less than $64,000 will walk off with cash this year-end.

And, according to the newspaper, the heavy hand of the Treasury looks likely to kick off a row with the bank's institutional shareholders, who are becoming concerned that too much government intervention will result in the bank becoming uncompetitive.

In the meantime, the BBC reports that UK Chancellor Alistair Darling has indicated that he may go further than the Walker Report, which recommends that banks publish the information of employees who earn £1m ($1.66m) a-year. Darling has said that they may look to start with salary packages lower than the recommended threshold.

The Wall Street Journal reports that at least two serious contenders for the soon-to-be vacant CEO position over at Bank of America have been knocked back by the board, after insisting that the bank needs to look carefully at possibly breaking itself up.

The New York Post reports that BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is the new 'King of Wall Street', after closing the deal to buy Barclays Global Investors. BlackRock now becomes the world's largest money manager, with $3.2 trillion in assets.

And Business Insider reports that Sanford C Bernstein analyst Todd Bault released a note this week which suggests that AIG may have $11bn in undisclosed shortfalls in reserves to payout for property-casualty claims.

Bloomberg reports that hedge fund Galleon Group is closing down its Singapore operations at the year-end. Founder Raj Rajaratnam has been charged with insider trading, and will soon face trial in the US.

Finally, Reuters reports that US regulator The Securities and Exchange Commission is said to be conducting an internal probe to establish whether its staff were guilty of negligence when looking at certain insider trading allegations. 

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