Lauren's Feed
May 15, 2012

Anti-Wall St protesters upstage Morgan Stanley meet

, May 15 (Reuters) – Anti-Wall Street
protesters upstaged Morgan Stanley’s annual meeting on
Tuesday, lobbing tough questions at Chairman and Chief Executive
James Gorman and shouting negative comments over a bank official
who was attempting to read a tally of shareholder votes.

The 53-year-old CEO kept his cool through the meeting, but
took protesters to task after one accused him and the board of
directors of “immoral” and “unethical” practices. Among
protesters’ complaints were the bank’s high pay packages, job
cuts and financial reform lobbying efforts.

May 10, 2012

Goldman increases Italian debt exposure–filing

May 10 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc bought
$2.3 billion worth of Italian sovereign debt during the first
quarter, increasing its overall market exposure to troubled
European countries, even as it reduced exposure to other risky
nations, including Greece.

The Wall Street bank had $2.7 billion worth of bonds,
equities, credit derivatives and other securities pegged to
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain as of March 31,
according to Goldman’s quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

May 3, 2012

Best face forward: chin implants surge in popularity

BOSTON (Reuters) – Over the last year Dr. Darrick Antell has performed up to three or four chin implants a day, reflecting a national trend that has seen chin augmentations emerge as the fastest growing plastic surgery trend of 2011.

After about a 45-minute outpatient procedure and a bill ranging from $3,500 to $7,500, New York-based Antell’s patients emerge with what he said is a confidence boost: an athletic, youthful look from a more prominent chin.

May 2, 2012
via MacroScope

Ferguson’s fury: Harvard historian decries female welfare recipients

Another panel, another group of rich guys talking about income inequality in America.

That seemed to be a running theme of the Milken Global Conference by the time Tuesday afternoon rolled around in Los Angeles – particularly when the well-known and notably tart Harvard historian Niall Ferguson took to the stage to decry single welfare moms as lazy drags on society.

May 1, 2012
via MacroScope

Is that a bailout in your pocket?

There was an awkward moment of tension at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles, when a buysider on one panel asked a Wall Street banker whether he had pocketed taxpayers’ bailout cash.

The tit-for-tat began when several panelists at the “Outlook for M&A” session began griping about the U.S. government’s tax policy, which they said dissuades corporations from bringing overseas profits back home because of punitive taxes.

Apr 27, 2012

Nomura hires ex-Diamondback, SAC Capital trader

April 27 (Reuters) – Nomura Holdings has hired
Michael Rome, a former trader at the hedge f unds SAC Capital and
Diamondback Capital Management, for its U.S. equities trading
business, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The hire is Nomura’s latest as it builds its North American
operation. The Japanese bank has staffed up and cut down its
U.S. investment banking and capital markets business multiple
times. The latest round of expansion began in 2009 after Nomura
acquired Lehman Brothers’ Asian and European businesses and
sought to fill in gaps.

Apr 27, 2012

Lazard profit drops on costs, but still beats Street

April 27 (Reuters) – Lazard Ltd’s first-quarter
earnings dropped sharply because of higher costs, but the
boutique investment bank beat analyst expectations by a wide
margin when excluding a previously announced charge related to
severance packages.

Lazard has had a harder time than some bigger Wall Street
rivals in cutting compensation expenses, partly because of
contractual obligations but also because it has historically
paid a bigger portion of revenue to its investment bankers.

Apr 26, 2012

Investment banks likely to cut more staff: report

April 26 (Reuters) – Investment banks globally will likely
have to reduce staff levels by at least another 10 percent to
achieve profitability targets, and the next round of layoffs may
ax senior executives, a report said.

Pay levels may get cut as well, particularly for senior
employees who tend to be the most expensive for a bank,
according to a report by Boston Consulting Group.

Apr 19, 2012

Goldman M&A head Sykes joins management committee

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Gene Sykes, global head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) mergers and acquisitions business, has been named to the investment bank’s management committee, according to an internal memo.

The 54-year-old investment banker joins 28 other executives on the powerful committee, which includes Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn, and influences decisions about Goldman’s business strategy and operations.

Apr 19, 2012

Morgan Stanley bond trading unexpectedly strong

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) won market share in bond trading in the first quarter after years of investments in the business, allowing the investment bank to post results that beat many analysts’ expectations.

The investment bank and brokerage said its adjusted bond trading revenue rose compared with last year’s first quarter, even as competitors posted declines. Morgan Stanley shares were up 3.3 percent to $18.24 in Thursday morning trading.