Friday's Headlines: Wells Fargo Likes Investment Banking Again

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Wells Fargo is hiring in sales and trading as it revives its investment banking practice. The growing headcount includes both new hires and former Wachovia bankers. The bank believes it can deliver more growth through its investment bank than more traditional consumer banking activities. [Reuters]

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley report an increase in M&A advisory this month. But the surge in deal flow for U.S. investment banks may not be enough to offset weak trading. Normal low trading volumes and economic uncertainty have left a lot of cash on the sidelines. [WSJ]

Fallout from the financial crisis has forced many hedge funds to close, yet the reality of new regulations and higher taxes present new threats to those who survived. A growing number of managers are contemplating closing their funds rather than face greater uncertainty and potentially lower profits. [Reuters]

MBA applications fell 2 percent for the current fall term, says the Graduate Management Admission Council. After rising the past few years, part-time applications slipped 7 percent. The biggest declines were at Asia-Pacific schools, where applications fell 16 percent. Numbers rose in Europe and Canada (up 4 percent). Fifty nine percent of executive MBA. programs saw an increase. [WSJ]

Channeling Hank Paulson, William Hurt will play the former Goldman Sachs and Treasury chief in HBO's upcoming movie, Too Big to Fail. Casting of other leads hasn't been completed, but we'd like to recommend Jason Bateman as Timothy Geithner, Anthony Hopkins as Ben Bernanke, and Christopher Walken as Richard Fuld. [Deadline New York]