Tuesday's Headlines: Evidence of Brighter Bonuses in New York

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Wall Street is doling out big bonuses and shed fewer jobs than expected in July, breathing fire into New York's economy. Financial firms have also begun hiring again, despite the stock market's uneven performance. [NY Times]

The UK's Financial Services Authority has more earners making over 100,000, the result of recruitment of more experienced professionals. As of March, the FSA had 241 employees on staff with six figure incomes, compared with 81 four years ago. [FT]

Commerzbank hopes to stabilize and create a behemoth that could rival Germany's Deutsche Bank. But despite a government bailout, the firm must still shore up its capital position and fulfill Basel III regulations before it can tap markets for fresh capital. [WSJ]

Bank of America Merrill Lynch's pretax profits more than doubled those of Morgan Stanley in the first half of the year. Merrill's brokerage business generated $315 million more in profits than Morgan Stanley's did, despite a sizable disadvantage in the number of financial advisers. [Bloomberg]

The largest hedge funds moved away from high-risk equities and into more defensive plays such as energy and dividend-yielding investments. The findings are based on disclosures by 30 of the largest fundamentally-oriented funds. [Reuters]