They’re not there yet, however; first, they’re going to send James Gorman a strongly worded letter about the issue and make a decision based on his response. They do sound pretty miffed though, so God help the guy if his answer is anything but “I’ve got my tool kit and I’m on the way over.” Read more »
As the results of a recent survey given to Harvard Business School’s Class of 1986 show, holding an MBA does not ensure one a job for life, particularly in these tough economic times (nearly half of all of respondents said they had been laid off or fired at least once). This summer has not been without its share of cuts and according to Meredith Whitney, at least 50,000 more financial services employees will be let go the end of the year. When and if that time comes for you, will your spouse or loved ones be prepared to do whatever it takes to help you land you your next gig, like Holly Stuard’s husband was? [TNN via Gawker]
Ben Bernanke gave another Augustinian give-us-QEn-but-not-yet* speech at Jackson Hole today and you could go read it but honestly why would you, you know what it says, which is “everything is bad, but not as bad as it could be, and we want to make it a bit better, but only once it’s gotten a bit worse.” Moving right along.
To Andrew Haldane’s speech, which is a treat! It is here and its title is “The dog and the frisbee,” so obviously he had Dealbreaker on his side right there. Haldane, the Bank of England’s financial-stability guy, basically argues that while the financial system is complex, it should be regulated simply – “As you do not fight fire with fire, you do not fight complexity with complexity” – just as a dog uses only elementary trigonometry and differential calculus to solve the complex and multivariate problem of catching a frisbee.**
Haldane’s main example of overcomplexity in regulation is risk-based capital regulation, in which the Basel accords have moved from simple leverage tests – common equity divided by total assets – to complicated tests where the numerator is made up of different tiers of capital and the denominator uses risk-weights that are largely driven by the bank’s own models of riskiness. One thing you could do is compare the performance of those measures in the recent crisis, so he did. Here is how Basel risk-based capital did:
That looks bad and also is bad, with no statistically significant difference between banks that blew up and banks that did not. This is just boring leverage: Read more »
Not that the bonds of matrimony ever stopped him before but now that he and his wife, Anne Sinclair, have officially separated, the randiest former IMF chief since Johannes Witteveen is really ready to party. Bellhops, concierges, towel boys, people who hand out AM New York by the subway, ladies who lunch, perfume spritzers at Saks, line cooks at Mas (only the ones who are on break– he has standards), MTA officials, cocktail waitresses at the Olive Garden in Times Square, the Brooklyn Cyclones, ushers at the New York Philharmonic, women at the TKTS window booth, Real Housewives of NYC, NJ, Atlanta, and Beverly Hills, the cast of Mamma Mia!, every Air France employee– you’ve been warned! [WSJ]
JPMorgan Rankled By Risk (WSJ)
JPMorgan is seeking to reduce its risks in a business that provides crucial plumbing for Wall Street’s money flows. The nation’s largest bank by assets, a major player in providing clearing and settlement services to other financial firms, is reviewing its dealings with dozens of brokerages that use the bank to settle trades, according to people familiar with the bank. Clearing and settlement involves standing between buyers and sellers of securities to help manage financial commitments backing hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions daily. J.P. Morgan’s review, which started more than six months ago amid increased regulations, effectively seeks to assess the profits clients generate for the bank versus risks they pose, the people say.
Spain Unveils Financial Reforms (WSJ)
This reform fulfills the commitments made by Spain as part of a €100 billion European Union bailout for Spanish banks agreed in July. As anticipated in the bailout deal, Spain is creating an asset management company, or “bad bank,” that will buy property assets from banks starting later this year at prices below book value.
Euro Faces Judgment Days (WSJ)
The euro zone has seen many pivotal moments since its debt crisis emerged in Greece in early 2010. But there are reasons to think this fall’s events are especially vital. With Spain and Greece on the ropes, European officials face stark choices.
ECB Said To Use Greek Myth For Security On New Euro Banknotes (Bloomberg)
The European Central Bank is using an image from Greek mythology to improve security on new euro banknotes, four people familiar with the design said, even as Greece’s near bankruptcy fuels a debt crisis that’s threatening the future of the common currency. Europa, the Phoenician princess abducted by Zeus who gave the continent its name, will replace architectural images as the watermark on the new notes, which the ECB wants to start rolling out next year, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans aren’t public yet.
Shia LaBeouf ‘Sent Director Sex Tapes To Get New Film Role’ (Entertainment)
When Shia LaBeouf took a role in Lars von Trier’s latest movie ‘Nymphomaniac’ eyebrows were raised due to the director’s previous experimentation with putting real sex on film. Until now it seemed that LaBeouf took an occupational risk in joining the movie, but if the actor’s to be believed then he actively looked out for a sexed up role, and involved girlfriend Karolyn Pho…The ‘Lawless’ actor told Handler: “I sent him [von Trier] videotapes of me and my girlfriend having sex and that’s how I got the job.” Read more »
$$$ Something something something “[Bernanke] must once again address whether there is more the Fed can do to get the economy going and whether it is worth taking chances on controversial new programs” [WSJ]
And wears them! In public! Where people can see him! The previously held assumption that he eats, sleeps, and showers exclusively in suits from Jos A. Bank hath been shattered! (This is almost as disorienting as the time Alan Greenspan was spotted in a tank top and cutoffs while running errands, though not nearly as traumatizing as the time the neighborhood kids got more than they’d bargained for when he came out to yell at them wearing only slipper-socks and his wife’s dressing gown!) Read more »