Morgan Stanley tackling final profits puzzle piece

December 1, 2015

CEO James Gorman may lay off a quarter of fixed-income traders. The unit’s wild quarterly swings usually decide whether the firm hits or misses financial-return targets. While cuts will help, what the bank does with the division’s product mix and capital would be more telling.

Irrational U.S. waiter tips under healthy attack

By Edward Hadas
October 16, 2015

Everything is wrong with America’s practice of giving gratuities. It’s unjust to waiters, more unjust to other staff, bad for the enterprise, hard on customers and an invitation to cheat on taxes. Maybe Shake Shack impresario Danny Meyer can help end an irrational tradition.

HSBC continues to wind back the clock

June 9, 2015

Four years since he started pruning the bank, CEO Stuart Gulliver is cutting risk-weighted assets by a quarter and shedding 50,000 employees. HSBC is returning to its roots as an Asia-focussed trade lender, though investors will have to wait almost three years to feel the effect.

German job miracle keeps defying gloom-mongers

May 29, 2015

Most experts predicted that January’s imposition of a national minimum wage would lead to heavy job losses. But employment in Germany keeps rising and economists are confused. The fears may yet be vindicated, although it could take a recession to show they were right.

EU migration policy is economically short-sighted

By Edward Hadas
April 20, 2015

For many desperate and poor people, Europe is the nearest safe place to go to make a living. A sensible migration policy would recognise the region’s international appeal and manage the reality. But inward-looking politics make for bad economics and heighten the risks to life.

America: land of phantom job openings

By Stephanie Rogan
November 7, 2014

At 4.8 mln, it’s the most positions free since January 2001. Yet the hiring rate keeps falling. The largest gap is in low-wage roles. Comparatively high unemployment for less-educated workers suggests a skills deficit isn’t the problem. Companies just aren’t adding personnel.

Wal-Mart can win leading the way on minimum wage

May 22, 2014

The mega-retailer’s labor costs would rise by $2 bln with a higher U.S. pay floor. But it also has more low-wage customers than employees, thus translating into a net gain in earnings, a Breakingviews analysis shows. Taking a stand on the issue could pay off for Wal-Mart.

Where the investment banking jobs may be in 2012

December 27, 2011

The industry is shrinking globally, but opportunities abound for enterprising financiers. Sovereign debt crises are forcing companies to hedge risk. Regional banks need consolidating. Private equity is awash in cash. And forex traders may have some new currencies to play with.

Investment banking dreams may die in 2012

January 3, 2012

Many firms cut jobs and slashed pay in 2011. But they’ll have to do more in the coming year to have any hope of boosting returns in the face of regulatory pressure and market headwinds. Smaller players like RBS, SocGen and Nomura may even conclude they’re better off quitting.

U.S. recovery now not jobless, only homeless

January 6, 2012

Despite the 200,000 new jobs last month and another drop in unemployment, job creation is still slower than in recent recoveries and looks a bit like the early 1960s. That’s partly because the weak housing market means few new construction jobs. Still, Obama can breathe easier.