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Opening Bell: 10.12.10

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Wall Street Pay: A Record $144 Billion (WSJ)
Wall Street is expected to pay 32.1% of its revenue to employees, the same as last year, but below the 36% in 2007. Profits, which were depressed by losses in the past two years, have bounced back from the 2008 crisis. But the estimated 2010 profit of $61.3 billion for the firms surveyed still falls about 20% short from the record $82 billion in 2006. Over that same period, compensation across the firms in the survey increased 23%.

Optimists On Wall Street: Half See Bigger Bonuses This Year (eF)
Half of the financial services staffers in the U.S. expect a higher bonus this year because the business fared better than in 2009...Higher bonuses are anticipated with greater frequency by those toiling at bulge-bracket banks, long-only asset managers and boutique banks, compared to professionals at hedge funds, commercial banks, independent trading or research and professional services firms.

Dick Bové: Expect Bank Earnings To Be Lower This Quarter (CNBC)
“What you’ll see is a lot of gimmickry and a major effort to lower compensation cost to offset the fact that revenues just are not going to be there,” Bove said this morning.

Pandit Recruits Citigroup Army as Costs Erode Bank Margins (Bloomberg)
Pandit is adding 7,500 staff in China over the next three years. He also plans to recruit 100 commodities traders and double private bankers in North America to almost 260.

Hedge Fund Activists Plot A Comeback (Dow Jones)
"In the past, we would show up and take a large position in a company and the first thing they would do was sue us," Rosenstein said. "Then they would call the Justice Department and put in staggered boards and poison pills." He says that's all in the past.

Who's Sleeping With The Boss? (CNBC)
One out of 14 of you and your co-workers, according to HR.

BlackRock Sees Capital Controls On Hot Money (Reuters)
Any controls, however, would have little impact on stocks and real estate markets, because fund inflows are seen as a positive factor for investment returns and are likely to extend the recent rally in stocks, said Chang Lin-yun, the Asia ex-Japan retail head and Taiwan country chief of BlackRock. "There is simply too much hot money coming in Asia. Many countries will impose capital controls, but the impact could be limited based on what had happened in the past," he said at a media event marking BlackRock's acquisition of a small Taiwan fund firm PrimAsia.

Calpers Will Cut Ties With An Adviser (WSJ)
Calpers said Monday it is "severing its ties" with Pacific Corporate Group as part of its "ongoing strategic review" of its private-equity program and investment partners, amid criticism of the giant public pension fund for poor returns and conflict-of-interest questions.

Soros: I Can’t Stop a Republican ‘Avalanche’ (NYT)
“I made an exception getting involved in 2004,” Mr. Soros said in a brief interview...“And since I didn’t succeed in 2004, I remained engaged in 2006 and 2008. But I’m basically not a party man. I’d just been forced into that situation by what I considered the excesses of the Bush administration.” Soros, a champion of liberal causes, has been directing his money to groups that work on health care and the environment, rather than electoral politics. Asked if the prospect of Republican control of one or both houses of Congress concerned him, he said: “It does, because I think they are pushing the wrong policies, but I’m not in a position to stop it. I don’t believe in standing in the way of an avalanche.”


"Christ, Janet!" Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via Wikimedia Commons

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