DealZone

Bank dealmaking circus=recruiting bait?

Some in the financial industry apparently smell opportunity in the latest round of mergers and blood-letting among top banks.

Referring to the Wells Fargo takeover of Wachovia as the WWF and placing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis atop a bucking Merrill Lynch bull are just a couple of the attention-getting devices financial sector recruiting firm RJ & Makay uses in its latest promotional You Tube video.

Branching out from a previous video aimed at Merrill Lynch brokers, the new “Billion Dollar Video” (the company claims assets from advisers brought to them via these viral recruiting tools represent billions of dollars) targets all financial advisers but specifically appeals to those currently at Merrill Lynch and Wachovia.

Those brokers are grappling with with the question of whether to accept a retention/transition package, move to another firm or go independent. RJ & Mackay is clearly hoping they’ll opt to walk and chose the firm to advise them on where to go next.

The just over four-minute short could help at least get their attention. It’s an equal opportunity stick poker, targeting all the big hits of this financial season. JP Morgan Chase, Bear Stearns, Fannie and Freddie are all in there along with Lehman, Buffett, Goldman, AIG, Morgan Stanley, Bernanke, Paulson, the government bailout, executive greed, executive kool-aide dispensers and dealing with those pesky gnats, known as recruiters.

The Big Picture asks the Big Questions of Paulson, Bernanke

Paulson and Bernanke arrive to testify at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee hearing in WashingtonFinancial blogger Barry Ritzholtz of The Big Picture has some questions for Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ahead of their appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, starting with a biggie:

You two gentlemen have been wrong about the Housing crisis, missed the leverage problem, and understated the derivative issue. Recall the overuse of the word “Contained.” Indeed, you two have been wrong about nearly everything financially related since this crisis began years ago. Question: Why should we trust your judgment on the largest bailout in American history?

There are 13 more in that vein, plus a “bonus comedy question” — or at least what would have been comedic if the leading lights of American capitalism were not carrying out an unprecedented governmental intervention in the free market: