Lauren's Feed
Oct 31, 2012

U.S. banks report reopening local offices closed by storm

Oct 31 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan
Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co said on Wednesday
they have reopened more than half of the branches and brokerage
offices that were closed as Hurricane Sandy battered the U.S.
East Coast early this week.

At least 134 of the 183 Morgan Stanley brokerage offices
that were closed had reopened by mid-morning, the company said.
The offices that remained closed either lacked electricity or
were inaccessible due to flooding or other damage. Most of the
closed offices were in New Jersey and New York, with some in
Connecticut.

Oct 29, 2012

Eerie calm settles on Wall Street as Hurricane Sandy sweeps in

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and David Henry and Jennifer Ablan

(Reuters) – Hurricane Sandy brought wind and rain to the streets of New York City on Monday, but on Wall Street, it also brought a day of eerie, almost unsettling calm.

With U.S. stock markets closed and bond markets closing early, traders had little to trade. Banks talked to executives about whether they should delay initial public offerings planned for this week, a decision complicated by the U.S. presidential elections next week.

Oct 25, 2012

Lazard sets $125 million cost-cutting program; profit falls

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to cut $125 million in costs each year, mainly through staff reductions, the investment bank said on Thursday, as it works to meet an aggressive profit goal in a weak market for its financial advisory services.

Lazard announced the cost-cutting target – which represents 7.8 percent of its operating expenses last year – as it reported a sharp decline in third-quarter earnings. Its shares rose more than 4 percent.

Oct 24, 2012

Analysis: Citi board fight signals rise of the activist chairman

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In the summer of 2011, Yahoo Inc’s (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) board decided enough was enough. Directors had seen the Internet giant’s stock languish, and the answers they got from Carol Bartz, chief executive at the time, fell short of their expectations.

So, the board held a final meeting in Los Angeles, away from Yahoo’s Silicon Valley headquarters, to review the company’s progress, a source familiar with the matter said.

Oct 24, 2012

Citi board fight signals rise of the activist chairman

NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) – In the summer of 2011, Yahoo
Inc’s (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) board decided enough was enough. Directors had
seen the Internet giant’s stock languish, and the answers they
got from Carol Bartz, chief executive at the time, fell short of
their expectations.

So, the board held a final meeting in Los Angeles, away from
Yahoo’s Silicon Valley headquarters, to review the company’s
progress, a source familiar with the matter said.

Oct 22, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Greg Smith says Goldman’s response confirms his criticisms: Q&A

Greg Smith, the ex-Goldman Sachs salesman who stunned the investment bank with a scathing public resignation in March, is now on the defense.

Smith, whose book, “Why I Left Goldman Sachs” hits bookstores today, has been facing the wrath of Goldman, media critics, and online commenters since last week, when bits and pieces of his book began to leak out and Goldman quickly jumped at the chance to characterize him as an undistinguished ex-employee with an ax to grind.

Oct 22, 2012

Who are the muppets now? Goldman exposé falls short of hype

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The tell-all book that Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) former equity derivatives salesman Greg Smith has delivered may end up being remembered more for the marketing skills he picked up at the Wall Street bank than for any bombshell revelations.

Smith created a furor earlier this year when he resigned from the blue chip Wall Street firm, alleging in a New York Times Op-Ed column that the firm had engendered a “toxic” culture of treating clients as “muppets” – slang in Britain for idiots – and relieving them of their money.

Oct 19, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Wall Street pay: Headed up or down?

It was a good third quarter for Wall Street profits and an even better one for employees: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley set aside another $7.6 billion in compensation during the period, with year-to-date pay for the average employee up 15 percent at Goldman and 3 percent at Morgan Stanley.

Total comp accruals for both firms so far this year are up to $23 billion, 2 percent higher than the amount set aside a year ago. That equates to or 47 percent of adjusted net revenue, down from 50 percent for the first nine months of 2011, but still much higher than the pay levels some shareholders are demanding.

Oct 18, 2012

Morgan Stanley adjusted profit rises on bond trading

Oct 18 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley reported
better-than-expected adjusted quarterly earnings on Thursday as
it boosted revenue from trading bonds, long a sore spot for the
investment bank.

The bank’s debt ratings were downgraded over the summer to
three steps above junk. The cut was smaller than many observers
had feared, and Morgan Stanley’s trading business picked up
steam in the third quarter after sagging ahead of the downgrade,
Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said.

Oct 18, 2012

Morgan Stanley trading clients came back in third quarter: CFO

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s trading business improved more from increased client activity than asset value gains in the third quarter as clients returned after the fallout from the bank’s bond-rating downgrade last summer, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said on Thursday.

“Clients re-engaged and continued to re-engage throughout the quarter,” Porat told Reuters in an interview.