eFC Briefing: Rebirth of the Treasury BSD

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At least one fixed-income market is seeing surging issuance. Combined with wider spreads for dealers and the government's efforts to attract more dealer firms, that might help Treasury market traders and analysts regain some of the luster they've lost since the 1980s.

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Could Treasury market experience become a hot ticket again among traders and research analysts? Broken credit markets, the explosion in Treasury debt, and wider bid-offer spreads have the potential to bring Treasury expertise back to the forefront after two long decades.

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If you're in the fortunate position of being able to choose which bank you'll work for, you'll be interested to learn which global institutions have taken the least harsh approach toward bonus reform in recent weeks. eFinancialCareers News ranked the largest U.S. and Europe-based banks as follows (from most to least favorable): JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, French banks, Barclays Capital, Bank of America, Citigroup, Dresdner Kleinwort Commerzbank, UBS, RBS, Credit Suisse.

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For Wall Streeters, anxiety about the size and security of future paychecks overshadows any concern that public officials might follow through on threats to

claw back last year's bonus payments. Many pros fear losing current jobs or never seeing a substantial bonus again. However, the possibility of getting tapped on the shoulder to return incentive pay already earned is not on anyone's radar screen.

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The $3.6 billion in bonuses Merrill Lynch paid out before its acquisition by Bank of America was, not surprisingly, top-heavy. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo told Congress $121 million of it went to four people, among them Thomas Montag, now head of BofA's global markets business. About 700 people received $1 million or more.

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Morgan Stanley and Citigroup saw it coming, and now it's here: brokers at the firms' soon-to-be joint venture are opting out, many to rival firms. The New York Post says competitors like UBS are poaching top performers with stratospheric bonuses, some of them as much as three times annual commissions.

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Laid-off Wall Street workers are increasingly looking for opportunities in Philadelphia, located less than 100 miles from New York. Although its financial footprint is dwarfed by Manhattan's, Philadelphia boasts its share of money management firms, such as the Vanguard Group, based in suburban Valley Forge, Pa.

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In case anyone was worried the heat on the SEC was going to ease a bit before it gets its act together in enforcement, the news of Stanford Financial's Madoff-like fraud strategy is sure to keep things toasty in Washington. As FinancialWeek says, "No industry oversight. Unknown accounting firm. Undocumented ROI claims." You can bet financial companies are going to be looking for people to handle the oversight burden that's bound to come.

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