Opening Bell: 05.05.09

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Citigroup Eyes New Ways to Pay Employees (Reuters)
"Three people familiar with the matter said the bank has examined a series of possible moves, including special stock-based bonuses, or offering employees a percentage of their group's revenue."
UBS Reports $1.76B Loss (NYT)
The Swiss bank chalked the loss up to "yet more writedowns, as client withdrawals continued." I don't see client withdrawals stemming, any time soon.
"UBS said its core wealth management and Swiss bank business saw net new money outflows of 23.4 billion francs in the quarter, while its wealth management Americas business saw net new money inflows of 16.2 billion."
RBS Finance Chief To Step Down (WSJ)
"The CFO, Guy Whittaker, is staying on to allow time to undertake an orderly search for a successor, RBS said. In the meantime, his role and responsibilities are unchanged. A spokesman for RBS said that Mr. Whittaker wasn't available for comment.
He was preceded in his departure by, among others, former CEO Fred Goodwin, who has been sharply criticized for a taking generous pension package that the bank is now attempting to claw back."
Program To Unfreeze Credit Receives $10B Boost (WSJ)
People are starting to push credit card loans/student loans into bonds again under TALF; there's been about $10B in movement in the past two months. The most deal was put together by JP Morgan recently was the largest to date, $5B, and sold at LIBOR + 1.55.
"The $5 billion deal put together by J.P. Morgan is one of six deals, including General Electric Co.'s $1 billion credit-card-backed deal, due to be sold Tuesday, the deadline for the Fed's nonrecourse loans under TALF. J.P. Morgan, which is underwriting the deal, didn't return calls seeking comment."
Much The Same After Credit Crunch (Bloomberg)
Cohen (of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP) is of the opinion that Wall Street will be much the same after the recent credit crunch; that is, that firms won't be remarkably different in their structuring or operating practices. Between he and Lazard's Par, and Carlyle's Rubenstein they seem to think we'll end up with 5 to 7 larger institutions, 3 to 4 of which are going to be top notch.
Fed Sees Loosening Of Bank Standards For Loan Origination (WSJ)
Ongoing surveys by the Federal Reserve are showing that banks are starting to loosen credit requirements for loan origination, most notably in the commercial sector.
"When banks tighten standards, they make it harder to get a loan by toughening certain criteria, such as for income, cash flow or indebtedness. Banks were also a little less aggressive about demanding more for the loans they actually made. Some 80% said they toughened terms on loans -- for instance, increasing the interest rate -- when compared with some benchmark. That was down from the 95% that said in January they demanded a higher rate."
Georgia Accuses Russia Of Mutinous Plot (BBC)
"Tanks and armoured personnel carriers are being sent to quell the rebellion at the Mukhrovani base, reports say.
The authorities say the mutiny is part of an attempted coup - linked to Russia and aimed at assassinating President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Russia's envoy to Nato described the charges as "mad". The trouble comes a day before Nato exercises in Georgia."

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