The News: Culture Wars

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The shenanigans among Bank of America's leaders could take its toll among the workforce, one observer tells The Wall Street Journal, predicting BofA "will continue to lose top talent" if its leaders continue to "act like children." But if the "he-said, he-said" going on between Ken Lewis and John Thain is a distraction for the rank and file, it should only last until Thursday, when bonuses will be announced. Says the Journal:

- The overall bonus pool will be cut by at least half, with some "high-ranking employees" told to expect as a 90 percent drop from last year

- Merrill's discretionary bonus pool in 2008 was 41 percent smaller than it was on 2007, according to Thain's farewell e-mail

- In 2008, the average Merrill staffer earned compensation of $247,423. BofA employees got an average of $75,577. An apples to oranges comparison, to be sure, but still an interesting corporate-cultural note.

Thain Fires Back at Bank of America [WSJ]

The Titans Take It on the Chin [Dealbook]

In the department of We'll Take Any Good News We Can Get...

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index rose 0.3 percent in December, mainly due to the continued and very large contribution from real money supply.

Here are the details.


Want to know where to get the biggest bonus? [FinancialNews]

Distressed Debt Is the Place to Be [WSJ]

Virtualization movement heats up [<a href=FierceFinanceIT]

Meet the bankruptcy barons who turn bust into boom [The Guardian]

Busy but Wary, Turnaround Pros Gather in Vegas [Dealbook]

UBS wealth unit snags high-earning teams [InvestmentNews]

Hedge Fund Firm Lasair Hires John Suglia as CFO [HedgeWorld]

M&O Announces Appointment of New President [Miningham & Oellerich]

ELX Announces Three Appointments to Management Team [ELX via PR Newswire]

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