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Feb 6, 2013

Analysis – U.S. lawsuit casts a pall over S&P

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) – Lawyers for Standard and Poor’s, responding to a U.S. government probe, have tried for months to show it did nothing wrong in rating exotic securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

In one meeting, the McGraw-Hill Cos Inc (MHP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) unit, which owns Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, made a two-hour presentation in front of about 50 lawyers from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Feb 6, 2013

U.S. lawsuit casts a pall over S&P

Feb 5 (Reuters) – Lawyers for Standard and Poor’s,
responding to a U.S. government probe, have tried for months to
show it did nothing wrong in rating exotic securities in the
run-up to the financial crisis.

In one meeting, the McGraw-Hill Cos Inc unit, which
owns Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, made a two-hour
presentation in front of about 50 lawyers from the Department of
Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, a source
familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Feb 5, 2013

U.S. government hits S&P with $5 bln fraud lawsuit

Feb 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. government is seeking $5 billion
in its civil lawsuit accusing Standard & Poor’s of a flagrant
scheme to defraud investors, in one of the Justice Department’s
most ambitious cases tied to the financial crisis.

The lawsuit is the first by the U.S. government against a
ratings agency, and if successful in its use of a little-used
law with a lower burden of proof, the Justice Department could
use the strategy in other cases.

Feb 5, 2013

Goldman Sachs’ O’Neill, aka Mr. BRIC, to retire

Feb 5 (Reuters) – Jim O’Neill, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc
executive who coined the term “BRIC” to refer to four
fast-growing emerging markets, will retire later this year,
according to an internal memo sent out on Tuesday.

O’Neill, chairman of Goldman’s asset management division, is
an economist by training who joined the company in 1995 as a
partner in the roles of co-head of Global Economics Research and
chief currency economist, said the memo, which was signed by
Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein.

Feb 5, 2013

Goldman Sachs Asset Management chief O’Neill to retire

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Jennifer Ablan

(Reuters) – Jim O’Neill, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive who coined the term “BRIC” to refer to four fast-growing emerging markets, will retire later this year, according to an internal memo sent out on Tuesday.

O’Neill, chairman of Goldman’s asset management division, is an economist by training who joined the company in 1995 as a partner in the roles of co-head of Global Economics Research and chief currency economist, said the memo, which was signed by Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein.

Feb 5, 2013

U.S. government slams S&P with $5 billion fraud lawsuit

By Aruna Viswanatha and Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – The government is seeking $5 billion in its civil lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s, accusing the ratings service of defrauding investors, in one of the most ambitious cases yet from the Justice Department over conduct tied to the financial crisis.

The United States said S&P inflated ratings and understated risks associated with mortgage securities, driven by a desire to gain more business from the investment banks that issued those securities. S&P committed fraud by falsely claiming its ratings were objective, the lawsuit said.

Feb 1, 2013

Morgan Stanley boosts CEO salary, eyes higher returns

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it is nearly doubling Chief Executive James Gorman’s salary to $1.5 million a year, to bring it more in line with other big bank chiefs.

Gorman’s total pay for 2012 fell 7 percent to $9.75 million, the bank said in a regulatory filing Thursday, putting him on the lower end of the range for big banks that have reported figures so far.

Jan 27, 2013

Wall Street executives fret about talent drain

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 27 (Reuters) – As the titans of Wall
Street banks gathered to network, gossip and consider the future
of their beleaguered industry in Davos over the past week, one
common worry emerged: who is going to take over when we leave?

Some of the most ambitious minds in finance are leaving the
industry after years of losses, scandals, bad press – and
perhaps most importantly new regulations that have curbed some
previously free-wheeling ways.

Jan 18, 2013

Morgan Stanley upbeat about future profits, performance

Jan 18 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley Chief Executive
James Gorman said the bank has turned itself around and can meet
its goals for profitability, his boldest pronouncements yet
about the near-term potential for a company that has long lagged
its peers.

The investment bank and wealth manager on Friday posted
fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ average estimate by
a wide margin, helped by a big jump in trading revenue and
stronger performance in its wealth management group.

Jan 18, 2013

Morgan Stanley profit lifted by trading, lower pay cost

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s quarterly earnings beat analysts’ expectations by a wide margin on Friday, helped by a big jump in trading revenue, and the bank said it was ready to deliver better returns to shareholders.

The Wall Street bank also said its wealth-management division delivered a 17 percent pretax profit margin, meeting an internal target months ahead of schedule.