Morning Coffee: It’s Good Work, If You Can Keep It

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Retaining a job on Wall Street becomes more difficult with each passing day. But those hanging on to their jobs are still taking home a healthy paycheck.

Wall Street total compensation rose 4% last year to more than $60 billion, a year-end total only exceeded in 2007 and 2008, right before the financial and housing bubbles burst, according to a report released by the New York State comptroller. Those in the securities industry were particularly successful, banking an average annual income of $362,950.

Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said it right: “It’s good work if you can get it.”

As the New York Times points out, the data covers last year, not the first three quarters of 2012. The New York State comptroller’s office believes Wall Street’s cash bonus pool will shrink this year as banks continue trimming costs.

This is where financial firms and their employees seem to have differing expectations. Roughly 48% of Wall Street execs expect to receive larger bonuses in 2012 than they did a year ago, according to a recent eFinancialCareers survey.

Reckless Behavior (NY Times)

Wells Fargo has been sued – yet again – for its “reckless” lending actions. Prosecutors in New York have accused the San Francisco-based bank of taking advantage of and lying to the Federal Housing Administration, which insures loans often made to first-time buyers and low-income families.

Taking it Easy? (WSJ)

Rajat Gupta, the Goldman Sachs’ exec convicted in June of insider trading, may receive a more lenient sentence than others involved in the scheme, despite the fact that he is the most high-profile Wall Street name to be found guilty of leaking confidential information.

Trading Teams Slashed (FIN Alternatives)

Roughly 44% of hedge funds have cut their trading desk budgets this year, compared to just 17% that have increased theirs.

Pretty Please (WSJ)

Goldman Sachs has asked regulators to exempt credit funds from the Volcker rule in an effort to preserve the health of its merchant banking unit.

Other Side of the Pond (Financial News)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has appointed Rupert Hume-Kendall, the chairman of global capital markets, to a newly created role overseeing corporate and investment banking in Europe.

New COO (Financial News)

Morgan Stanley managing director Juliet Estridge has been named the new chief operating officer of the U.S. bank’s European equities business.

What Would You Say That You Do Here? (NPR)

Investment bankers are "obsequious and needy middlemen" who are, essentially, traveling money salesmen, says Dealbreaker’s Matt Levine.

Buzz Around the Office

A Slice of Life (NY Post)

For those interested in learning whether Mitt Romney prefers deep dish or thin crust, tune in to next Tuesday’s town hall-style presidential debate. Pizza Hut is offering anyone a lifetime of free pie if they ask one of the candidates a pizza-related question.

List of the Day: Negotiating Salary

Don’t just walk into the negotiating room blind. Complete these steps first.

  1. Do some homework on what the position pays across the industry.
  2. Have an ideal number, a satisfactory number and a no-go number in mind.
  3. Take into account the entire package, not just the annual salary.

(Source: Glassdoor)

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