Money managers under the microscope
Citigroup's agreement to sell Phibro, its profitable but controversial commodity trading business, to Occidental Petroleum today puts the finishing touches on a slow erosion of a once-dominant bond trading and investment banking firm.
When Sandy Weill (pictured left) staged his 1998 coup -- combining Citicorp and Travelers, Salomon Brothers was a strong albeit humbled investment banking and trading force. Yet little by little, a succession of financial crises, Wall Street fashion and regulatory intervention has whittled away at the once-dominant firm.
Not long after the Citigroup was formed, proprietary fixed income trading -- once the domain of John Meriwether, was shut down after the Asian debt crisis fueled losses that Weill could not stomach.
The Salomon name disappeared long ago as investment bankers and underwriters were rebranded Citigroup Global Markets.
from Summit Notebook:
By Neil Chatterjee
The U.S. has promised it will hunt down tax evaders.
And it seems tax evaders are on the run.
DBS bank, based in the growing offshore financial centre of
Singapore, told Reuters it had been approached by U.S. citizens
asking for its private banking services. But when told they would
have to sign U.S. tax declaration forms, the potential clients
Swiss banks also approached DBS on the hope they could
offload troublesome U.S. clients to a location that so far has
not been reached by the strong arms of Washington or Brussels.
DBS said no thanks. In fact many private banks and boutique
advisors now seem to be avoiding U.S. clients.
Will this spread to other nationalities, as governments
invest in tax spies and tax havens invest in white paint?
Is this the end of offshore private private banking?
from Summit Notebook:
Even for an American who's not wealthy, Geneva has a reputation as a global centre for wealth management - the place the world's rich come to stash their money and (they hope) make it grow.
But you don't necessarily expect it to be so aggressive -- after all, the rich tend to be demure when it comes to their banking.
Executives in London’s Mayfair, home of the UK’s multi-billion dollar hedge fund community, could be forgiven for a few raised eyebrows after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s call yesterday to outlaw shadow banking systems and offshore tax havens.
“You are also restructuring your banks. So are we.” he told U.S. Congress. ”But how much safer would everybody’s savings be if the whole world came together to outlaw shadown banking systems and offshore tax havens.”