The News: Spectator Sports

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Is it just me, or is Andrew Cuomo's eternal probe of the Merrill Lynch bonuses more of a distraction than it's ultimately going to be worth to anyone? (Except, perhaps, Mr. Cuomo.) John Thain found a loophole in his deal with Bank of America and drove a truck through it to make sure his guys got paid. To be sure, the main beneficiaries were a small group, but that kind of crassness isn't yet illegal - and wasn't even all that unseemly late last year, when Wall Street still had some breathing room. Then again, more sessions between Thain and Cuomo could be just the kind of spectator sport New York's financial community needs right now. It certainly has the potential to be more bruising than anything in the NHL, and opening day for the Yankees and the Mets is still six weeks away.

Thain Ordered Back for Questioning [WSJ]

And...

Senior bankers are leaving Merrill Lynch Europe rather than face continued uncertainty [FT]

Morgan Stanley cuts back prime brokerage in Chicago [InvestmentNews]

In case you missed it, the recession's causing financial people to lose their jobs [Reuters]

Next year, we'll look back on all this and laugh [Reuters]

Okay, maybe not. But we're falling more slowly [MarketWatch]

People

Steve Rattner leaves Quadrangle to become Obama's auto guy [NY Times]

So Michael Huber and Joshua Steiner will be Quadrangle's co-presidents [Quadrangle via PRN]

David Edlin leaves AllianceBernstein to head sales at Cohen & Steers [InvestmentNews]

Sharon Roth becomes a principal at Walker, Truesdell [Walker via BW]

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