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Morning Coffee: Wall Street Lawsuits: Just or Blood Lust

What if Wall Street had a different name? Heck, what if it was located in a different state? The finance industry would be much better off, at least according to Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove, who is encouraging big banks to leave behind the harsh lights of New York for a warmer locale. And he’s not talking about the weather.

Bove’s contention, prompted by Monday’s lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General’s Office against J.P. Morgan, is that the state is waging war against an industry that it should have an interest in protecting.

Besides playing host to the nation’s largest banks, New York is home to a crew of highly aggressive prosecutors and regulatory agencies that are very clearly targeting Wall Street in, what some believe, are attempts to satisfy the public’s blood lust along with their own ambitions.

The merit of any particular lawsuit isn’t Bove’s strife; he simply believes that Wall Street should be supported by a government that wants its business.

“I am constantly struck by the fact that Michigan does not sue the auto industry; Texas is not suing the oil industry; California is not suing the entertainment industry; and Florida is not suing the tourism industry," Bove wrote in a note obtained by CNBC. “What do these other states understand that New York does not?”

The billions of dollars at risk in various civil suits have forced banks to slash costs and cut jobs, says Bove, and the legal costs should eventually convince large New York banks to head to greener pastures.

An interesting argument, one that would hold more water if banks didn’t commit some many darn crimes.

Fresh Blood Needed (Economic Times)

Standard Chartered, recently accused of hiding $250 billion worth of transactions with the Iranians, continues to irk its largest shareholder, Singapore-based Temasek Holdings, which is reportedly pressuring the U.K. bank into appointing more independent directors.

I-Banking Overhaul (Bloomberg)

Barclays plans to combine its fixed income and equities businesses as part of a major restructuring effort that will see Skip McGee, a major dealmaker at the U.K. bank, promoted to chief executive of corporate and investment banking in the Americas.

No More Free Rides (WSJ)

With the Facebook IPO debacle fresh in their minds, bank execs have reportedly asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to reexamine the powers and safeguards afforded to U.S. stock exchanges.

Mortgage Hires (Biz Journals)

SunTrust Bank’s Charlotte sales center is set to hire roughly 60 mortgage originators and underwriters between now and the end of the year.

New Majority Owner (Washington Post)

Private equity firm Carlyle Group has purchased a 55% stake in commodities trader Vermillion Asset Management, and will use the New York-based firm as its exclusive commodities trading platform. Vermillion founders Drew Gilbert and Chris Nygaard will remain as co-chief investment officers.

The Playground is Closed (Financial Times)

Regulatory constraints, capital requirements and lower bonuses have stifled growth potential on trading floors, forcing some of the industry’s best to move into asset management.

New Trading Head (Daily Finance)

Former HSBC exec Christopher Lewis has been named the new head of global trade services at Wells Fargo's International Group.

Buzz Around the Office

Talk About a Win/Lose Situation (USA Today)

Here’s an interesting new promotion. Looking to take advantage of the vitriol aimed at each presidential candidate, Jet Blue is giving away more than 1,000 flights to Americans who wish to follow through on their pledge to leave the country if "the other guy" gets the nod.

List of the Day: Keeping the Job

Companies expect more out of their employees in today’s economy. Here’s how to keep the job after getting it.

  1. Speak up and be assertive.
  2. Promote your own work.
  3. Learn new technologies as soon as possible.

(Source: AOL Jobs)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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