The News: Did Merrill Pay for... Performance?

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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.

Cuomo Finds Big Bonuses for Many at Merrill [NY Times]

Of course, if you want to maintain - or dare I say, build - an investment business, you'd better be paying attention to compensation no matter what the buzz is today. The biggest reason for switching firms remains compensation, reports InvestmentNews. Next come "more independence or freedom" and "better career opportunity."

Compensation rises as No. 1 job satisfaction criterion for brokers: Study [InvestmentNews]

So, it's no wonder more banks are thinking of returning government money as soon as they can. [Dealbook]

Meanwhile:

Putnam will cut 260 people, most from distribution and operations [Pensions & Investments]

RBS plans to eliminate 2,300 jobs in the UK [Reuters via NY Times]

Need a job? Predicting the end of the world is hot [Daily Beast]

The solution isn't about lending. It's about IPOs. [DealJournal]

Apparently, people don't want to listen to symphonic versions of KISS [The Guardian]

Michael Moore wants to do for Wall Street what he did for healthcare [Dealbreaker]

People:

Robert A. Kindler to head mergers and acquisitions for Morgan Stanley. [Dealbook]

Ex-Wachovian Paula Johnson to head Baird's new San Francisco office. [InvestmentNews]

Bickmore Risk Services & Consulting opens an office in Portland, Ore.

Roger Hoit joins Moelis & Company as a New York managing director

Dean Witter III becomes vice president for Brenner's Interim Finance & Accounting Group.

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