Thursday’s Headlines: Obama Calls for Tax Breaks to Return Jobs From Abroad

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President Obama says he'll propose tax incentives for companies to bring home jobs they had moved overseas and curtail tax breaks for those that keep relocating jobs abroad, the New York Times reports.

Obama declared that the nation was beginning to see the reversal of a long-term trend toward outsourcing and called the new trend “in-sourcing.”

The Times article states that the President did not offer details of the tax proposals, which presumably would be subject to approval by Congress, though he renewed his call on lawmakers to approve a one-year extension of the payroll tax cut that will expire at the end of February.

“I don’t want America to be a nation that’s primarily known for financial speculation, and racking up debt and buying stuff from other nations,” the President said.

For the financial markets, this call is happening at a fortuitous time since headhunters in Hong Kong predict that the size of the region’s banking sector could shrink by more than 20 percent, according to The Financial Times. The pink lady writes: Asian growth may have held up better than elsewhere in the world since the 2008 global financial crisis but the region has not been exempt from ailing markets or regulatory imperatives and it is also facing increasing competition from the Chinese market which is driving down deal fees.

Société Générale recently announced plans to cut 100 of its Asian corporate and investment banking unit, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch will cut one-fifth of its managing directors in the region. HSBC will cut 3,000 positions from the region over the next three years, and J.P. Morgan is expected to announce global layoffs soon. Even Citigroup, which has enjoyed stellar business in Asia in recent years has slashed staff there by a whopping 100,000 since 2008.


Other News:

RBS will eliminate 4,500 jobs – mostly in its investment banking division – over the next three years. [Reuters]

A report found that hedge fund managers should expect net 2012 comps up slightly over last year. [Hedge Fund Net]

Raymond James will buy Morgan Keegan for $930 million cash to create one of the biggest U.S. brokerage firms. [DealBook]

Big banks may face shareholder confrontation at their annual meetings about pay, even as comps are expected to drop. [WSJ]

Public and private pension funds represented 43 percent of the money invested in private equity firms in 2010. [WSJ]

Bank holding companies earned a record $2.26 billion from the sale of annuities in the first three quarters of 2011. [On Wall Street]

A study finds that BofA, Wells Fargo and Citi did a less than stellar job of resolving customers’ tweeted complaints. [NY Times]

The London Metal Exchange will review initial takeover bids Feb. 23. [DealBook]

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