Opening Bell: 02.02.10

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Banks Gear Up For A Battle (WSJ)
Some analysts think banks are overreacting to Mr. Obama's tough talk. "It doesn't appear the proposal is designed to kill the capital markets," said Brad Hintz, the senior analyst covering banks for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "It appears that what the proposal is designed to do is to reduce the risk-taking."
Royal Bank of Scotland to pay top talent 'cash bonuses' (Telegraph)
RBS wrote to investors yesterday detailing the bank's complicated pay deal under which bankers will receive their bonuses entirely in shares - but are able to convert a large portion into cash within just 12 weeks. In the letter RBS admits that the pay deal is "unlikely to please everyone" but pleads for understanding from shareholders that it is a "well-intentioned attempt to reach an acceptable position for most parties".
Swiss Banks Find Achilles Heel of Secrecy Is Workers Selling Stolen Data (Bloomberg)
The call is coming from inside the house!
Volcker: Big banks' risky trading should be curbed (Reuters)
"I am not so naive as to think that all potential conflicts can or should be expunged from banking or other businesses," Volcker said in prepared remarks. "But neither am I so naive as to think that, even with the best efforts of boards and management, so-called Chinese walls can remain impermeable against the pressures to seek maximum profit and personal remuneration," he said.
Madoff Ex-Right-Hand Man Forced to Forfeit House (CNBC)
Who wants a Bridgewater, New Jersey house filled with Ponzemories?
Obama Seeks 12 Percent Budget Increase for SEC (AP)
The request to Congress for nearly $1.3 billion for the SEC in the budget year starting Oct. 1 would boost total staff to 4,190 from the current 3,800 and would help them maybe catch some people like you know who.
AQR deal to bring big new trading firm to downtown Greenwich (GT)
AQR is in the process of signing a sublease to off-load an expensive piece of downtown Greenwich office space that they've been weighed down with for over a year.
Macquarie Bank adviser caught assessing Kerr's assets [TA via BI]

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