Opening Bell: 02.19.10

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'Who Pays Wins' as Merrill, UBS Lure Bankers With Pay Increases (Bloomberg)
UBS is offering managing directors in its securities unit base pay of as much as 300,000 pounds ($470,000) compared with at least 150,000 pounds last May. Bank of America raised London managing directors' base pay to about 230,000 pounds, from 150,000 pounds in 2009.
RBS to seek investor green light on executive pay (Reuters)
Lest there be some sort of, you know, revolt or outrage.
UBS Defers Bonuses on Compensation Above $250,000 After Unprofitable Year (Bloomberg)
Deferred stock bonuses for senior employees whose total pay for 2009 exceeds $250,000 to limit compensation costs for the unprofitable year. Beyond that level, 60 percent of bonuses will be paid out in so-called equity ownership plan awards and 40 percent in cash.
Manhattan DA Launches Major Economic Crimes Bureau (NYT)
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has created a Major Economic Crimes Bureau as he and other high-profile investigators redouble their efforts to fight financial fraud.
Rocky road to funding for Benihana (NYP)
Coliseum Capital Management, which owns 9.9 percent of Benihana's Class A shares, outlined its complaints in a tersely worded letter mailed yesterday to Benihana President and CEO Richard Stockinger. "Thus far, the company has not provided a compelling rationale to affect such a potentially dilutive fundraising," Coliseum Managing Director Adam Gray said in the letter, which was sent by FedEx to Stockinger.
The Great Goldman Sachs Fire Sale of 2008 (Opinionator)
William Cohan: "One wonders if the president would be a bit more begrudging if he knew that at the height of the financial crisis, many of Goldman Sachs's top deal-makers -- although not Blankfein himself -- moved quickly to unload their own stock in their firm."
America's Top Ten Most Dangerous Drivers By Profession (CNBC)
Nurses (10), dog groomers (6), government workers (3), finance professionals (2).

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