The U.S. unemployment rate crossed a crucial threshold last week, dropping from 8.1% to 7.8%, marking the first time in nearly four years it has stood below 8%.
It’s good news for the economy in general, and great news for one President Obama (unless of course you share Jack Welch’s viewpoint), but what does it say about the world of finance?
Well, the news is pretty good there, too, just not in all sectors. Overall, the unemployment rate for financial activities dropped from 5.5% in September 2011 to 4.8% last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The industry added 13,000 jobs in September, but most all of the gains were in credit intermediation and real estate. Mortgage brokers are dying for loan originators, underwriting and other folks who can help them exploit the refinancing boom.
The only cloud to darken the hiring landscape? You guessed it: Wall Street. Firms specializing in securities, commodity contracts and investments shed roughly 3,800 jobs in September, with funds, trusts and other financial vehicles also seeing modest job losses. The other sour news is that these numbers don’t account for already-announced plans for further layoffs set to be completed by the end of the year.
The Cash is Coming, Eventually (Bloomberg)
Bankrupt Lehman Brothers and its European arm, Lehman Brothers International, have settled claims totaling $38 billion. The deal will enable the bank to distribute funds owed to customers and creditors, pending approval from a U.S. bankruptcy judge.
All For One (Bloomberg)
The 41 lawsuits related to Facebook’s IPO debacle will be consolidated and heard by a New York federal judge. The move is something that Nasdaq, the exchange that hosted the public offering, has opposed.
Regulatory Head Out (WSJ)
Barry Zubrow, J.P. Morgan’s head of corporate and regulatory affairs, will reportedly exit his role before the end of the year. Perhaps the bank’s multi-billion dollar trading loss has something to do with it.
And the Loser Goes to…(Financial News)
This year’s Banker's Innovation in Investment Banking awards ceremony had a little more sizzle this time around. A group of protestors calling themselves “The Intruders” crashed the gala and presented Barclays with their own award: “Innovation in Interest Rate Manipulation.”
Sorry Junior (Financial Times)
Unlike Goldman, Morgan Stanley has no plans to slash its two-year junior analyst program. But those in the program may see their pay reduced significantly, says Chief Executive James Gorman, who thinks that compensation at the firm is already too high.
Coming into Focus (Financial News)
Barclays confirmed plans to combine its fixed income and equities businesses, and announced that Eric Bommensath, former head of Fixed Income Clearing Corporation FICC, will lead the group.
Buzz Around the Office
Cops Calling the Daises Pot (MSN)
When Lethbridge, Alberta police publicly claimed to have found the biggest outdoor marijuana growing operation in the city’s history, they probably should have brought in an expert first. The 1,624 confiscated plants turned out to be daisies.
List of the Day: Fall Reminders
Summer’s over. It’s now time to weather-proof your career for the winter months. Here’s how.
- Update your resume, even if you aren’t actively looking for work, so you don’t forget your accomplishments.
- Ask for holiday vacation time now.
- Check to see if your benefits will be changing.
(Source: The Daily Muse)