BofA Posts Quarterly Loss (MarketWatch)
The bank reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.2 billion, or 16 cents a share, including a previously announced goodwill impairment charge of $2 billion related to its home loans and insurance business. Excluding the charge, the company saw profit of $756 million, or 4 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet Research had forecast quarterly net income of 18 cents a share, on average. In the year-ago quarter, Bank of America posted a loss of $194 million, or 60 cents a share.
Goldman Pay Still Tops JPMorgan's as Bonus Season Begins (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan’s investment bank set aside enough money to pay an average of $369,651 to each employee for 2010, or 2.4 percent less than in 2009, according to the company’s year-end financial statements. Goldman Sachs’s pool equates to an average of $430,700, a reduction of 14 percent.
Buffett Stock Picker Simpson Opens Florida Firm After Retiring From Geico (Bloomberg)
Louis Simpson, the investor who picked stocks on behalf of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for more than a decade before stepping down, is going into business for himself. The 74-year-old Illinois native is starting an investment- advisory firm with his wife Kimberly Querrey in Naples, Florida, according to documents filed Dec. 20 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, SQ Advisors LLC, is preparing to manage money later this year for Simpson’s family and friends, as well as outside charities, he said in an interview.
RBS In Talks To Quit State Protection Plan (FT)
Executives at Royal Bank of Scotland and officials at the Treasury are examining ways in which the part-nationalised bank could secure an early exit from the costly Asset Protection Scheme – an insurance structure designed to provide a government backstop for an original portfolio of £280bn ($445bn) of bad or risky assets.
California Declares Fiscal Emergency (CNBC)
Jerry Brown, California’s governor, declared a state of fiscal emergency on Thursday for the government of the most populous US state to press lawmakers to tackle its $25.4 billion budget gap.
Morgan Stanley Shows Life (WSJ)
Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the firm still needs to "close the gap" in interest-rate and currency trading. The company is just halfway into a two-year recovery plan for the trading unit, she added. It has hired more traders whose expertise is dealing with clients that like to buy large amounts of relatively simple products.
Immelt To Head New White House Jobs Board (WSJ)
The board will replace an existing panel called the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, led by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. The name of the new panel stresses competitiveness and job creation, which are expected to be themes of Mr. Obama's State of the Union Address next week. It will be called the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Lovebite partially paralyses woman (National)
A Christchurch doctor had to treat a woman after she was partially paralysed by a lovebite from her amorous partner. Dr Teddy Wu, who is currently working in the neurology department at Christchurch Hospital, said he believed it was the first time someone had been hospitalised by a "hickey". An article on the case has appeared in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Wu said he saw the woman over a year ago while he was working in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland. The 44-year-old Maori woman went to the emergency department after experiencing loss of movement in her left arm. It happened while she was sitting watching television. The only injury was a lovebite on the right of her neck near an artery. "Because it was a lovebite there would be a lot of suction. Because of the physical trauma it had made a bit of bruising inside the vessel," said Wu.