Sunday, January 31, 2010

Harsh Criticism from Watchdog Monitoring $700 Billion Bailout

The watchdog charged with monitoring $700 billion government bailout unleashed one of his harshest criticisms of the program to date, questioning its overall effectiveness.

In his latest quarterly report to Congress, special inspector general Neil Barofsky said that the TARP failed to boost bank lending as well as halt the spread of foreclosures -- two key aims of the sprawling program. More at CNN Money.

Monday, January 25, 2010

FINRA Guidance for Brokers' Social Networking

FINRA Regulatory Notice 10-06 clarifies responsibilities to supervise the use of social networking sites to ensure suitabliliy of recommendations and that customers are not misled. The Notice also addresses recordkeeping and other responsibilities. Each firm must develop its own policies and procedures — in the context of its own particular business model and compliance and supervisory programs.

Helping to form the guidance was a Task Force of Compliance Officers and others from 14 FINRA member firms. Click for Press release and Notice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Option Symbology Changes Scheduled for 2/12 - Are You Ready?

Option symbols have been confusing for many. Option symbols will soon be new & improved. Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) joined with industry representatives to devise the Options Symbology Initiative (OSI).
Industry expects to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure and software alterations. The Options Pricing Regulatory Authority (OPRA) mandated a simpler method for reporting factors like options symbols, prices, and dates, though many Options firms are concerned about costs and adaptation to the new standards.

Your Options Technology staff should be set, but now is a good time to review the new symbology. On 2/9 at 12-1:00 PM Central, you or your clients can join an Instructor with The Options Institute, the CBOE educational arm, as he discusses what these changes will look like and what this means for options investors. Operations-wise you can view a PowerPoint from the 2009 SIFMA Operations Conference Options Symbolgy Panel.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Citi '09 Cash Bonus Cap below $100K; JPM I-Bank $379K ea.; Goldman Delay

Goldman Delays Release of Bonus Details. Had been expected to give staff the outline of their bonuses today (1/19)- before full-year results are released.
Article from Reuters via ABC News

UPDATE: JP Morgan's 24,654 investment bankers, including nearly 5,000 in London, will get an average of $379,000 each. Guardian UK: JPM "surfed a wave of recovery in global markets to notch up" year-end profits of $11.7bn, more than double its earnings of $5.6bn during crisis-stricken 2008. "These obscene bonuses paid so soon after the world's taxpayers had to rescue the banking system show that there is something fundamentally wrong in the relationship between banking and the rest of society."

NYT summary: Citi hopes the move will help deflect bonuse outrage, FT noted. However, it could also make it harder for the struggling behemoth to retain its top talent, The Financial Times said. Like its rivals, Citi will pay a large part of banker and trader bonuses in stock that could not be sold for a number of years. The bonus pool for 2009 is likely to be on par with that of 2008, the report said. Current Investment Bank, Accounting and Legal Opportunities click here and Subscribe to RSS Feed here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

CCO for Retail Broker-Dealer and Attorney needed for Institutional Brokerage

New York-based Broker-Dealer Opportunities.

FINRA Member Broker-Dealer is looking for a Chief Compliance Officer. Must have minimum of 5 years of experience. Should have been a CCO or reported to directly to the CCO in a retail environment, that offers Research and Underwriting activities. Municipal and Options Securities preferred. See more and APPLY.

Regulatory Compliance Attorney needed to service legal and regulatory matters for a wide array of products and services. The Company deals in equities, derivatives, US Treasuries, various fixed income desks, futures and foreign stocks. It offers electronic trading and asset management services.

-Must have in-house experience preferably with a large-to-mid-size Investment Bank supporting Institutional Brokerage activities covering Fixed Income and Equity markets.
Please read more about this Opportunity and APPLY.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Radio, Radio - Rare Opportunity

This is a rare opportunity to play a key leadership role in public broadcasting and to build a powerful NY radio station and brand known for excellence and innovation.
Submission Deadline: January 22, 2010
See More or contact Stuart Rosenthal.

Radio Gaga and four other Rock genre selections.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bright Spot in Disappointing Jobs Report: Financial-Activities sector

If you only read the general media reports such as U.S. Job Losses in December Dim Hopes for Quick Upswing - it sure doesn't seem to include bright news.

As reported in the Investment News, one bright spot in the disappointing jobs report was the fact that the financial-activities sector of the economy added jobs for the first time since July 2007. Financial activities showed a net gain of 4,000 jobs in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. According to Bloomberg, that’s the first gain since the summer of 2007.

Excluding real-estate jobs, the number was even better. Finance and insurance alone added 9,900 jobs last month, also the first increase since July 2007. “The general idea is that the economy is turning, the financial sector is turning, and this is unequivocally a positive,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak. The broader question, Greenhaus said, is how fast other sectors can turn around and boost the economy. Based on the overall middling numbers, “It doesn’t look like we’re set up for an explosion of job growth” like that U.S. economy has experienced following other recessions, Tabak said.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wilco: Will Comply...Weekend Musical Diversion

In an interview, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy answered the question: Why is the band called Wilco? Tweedy said "it means 'will comply'in radio signaling and struck me as an ironic name for a rock band, which is historically responsible for not complying."

See and hear Wilco's Jeff Tweedy - perform "I'll Fight" (Live at Farm Aid 25)or the full Band Live in Concert on October 8th 2009.

Full Interview Published: July 2009. This week Wilco announced East Coast dates for its 2010 tour.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Employment Search Review for You and a Financial Star

THE beginning of the year offers a good opportunity to review every element of an employment search, from résumés to thank-you notes. Take a good look. Mishandling just one piece of the process could keep you from getting a job. Here is a checklist that covers some of the major links in the job search chain.

Read on about one of the few 'stars' to emerge from the financial crisis and his path to a new job: Neel Kashkari, the former Bush administration bailout chief. In December, he went to work as head of new investment initiatives at Pimco. Pimco said in a statement that Kashkari’s first task would be to recruit new employees and help build a new division to invest in stocks.

The people with knowledge of his employment search said that Kashkari met Pimco Founder William Gross while touring the country with the Treasury secretary in December 2007 to assess the country’s troubled housing market. Neither Pimco nor Kashkari would discuss how he ended up at the company or how he would be compensated. But people familiar with his job search said he wanted to work for a company where he could start a new business — just as he had with the relief fund for the federal government. More from the NY Times on "Neel Kashkari’s Quiet Path to Pimco".

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