Wednesday's Headlines: Law Change Threatens Asset-Backed Deals and Jobs

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U.S. Regulatory Bill May `Flash Freeze' Asset-Backed Market, Industry Says [Bloomberg News]

What remains of banks' securitization desks could be devastated anew as new bond deals lose access to credit ratings as an unintended consequence of the financial reform bill. "A number of transactions that had been planned for the upcoming weeks have been shelved indefinitely," the head of the American Securitization Forum says, because credit rating firms face heightened legal liability if their ratings appear in documents used to sell such deals.

London Recruitment to Hold Steady [WSJ]

A new survey of bank HR and hiring managers in London indicates hiring will gain further over the remainder of 2010. Only a "very small minority" of the 194 survey participants expect retrenchment in the market.

Morgan Stanley Profit Jumps, Tops Forecasts [AP, via Yahoo Finance]

Morgan Stanley's second-quarter trading revenue dropped 11 percent compared with the first quarter to $3.35 billion - a much more modest decline than the other four U.S. bulge-bracket banks. The figure was more than double Morgan Stanley's year-ago figure. Compensation accounted for 49 percent of revenue, the same as in the first quarter.

Goldman Bonus Pool Shrinks [Fortune]

Goldman Sachs's $9.3 billion accrual to pay salaries, benefits and year-end bonuses in this year's first half is down 18 percent from a year ago and means the average worker would take home $272,581 in pay and perks for the first six months of the year. Goldman's profits, meanwhile, declined 22 percent in the first half.

Pay Czar Will Seek Stricter Clawbacks From TARP Firms [CNBC]

However, the final report from Treasury Department paymaster Kenneth Feinberg will not demand any firms recover or repay the government for bonuses they paid employees, an unnamed source says. CNBC's report contradicts prior stories from Fox News that said Feinberg would seek to force clawback of some banks' 2009 bonus payments before he leaves office on Aug. 1 to manage the BP spill compensation fund.

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