Morning Coffee: It’s Bonus Time, and Not Everyone Will Be Smiling

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With 2013 just weeks away, banks are beginning to talk bonuses. The news is good for some, but rather depressing for others.

JPMorgan Chase plans to cut its bonus pool for corporate and investment bankers by as much as 2%, according to Bloomberg. That’s a fairly small number considering recent trends and the difficulties the bank has endured in 2012.

Citigroup, meanwhile, is expected to cut bonuses by as much as 10% in its trading and investment-banking division for those who aren’t considered top performers. That’s the depressing part.

Even wealth management is experiencing a sea change. Morgan Stanley last week announced that it will reorganize its bonus structure for financial advisors next year, shaving 2 percentage-points off bonuses paid to brokers who generate at least $750,000, according to Bloomberg. In exchange, advisors who bring in new assets will see a bump in their year-end bonus.

In other brokerage news, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is considering a proposal that would require advisors who jump to new firms to admit to clients if they took a signing bonus. That could make for some awkward conversations.

Inching South (WSJ)

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% in November, the lowest level in nearly four years.

Huge Loss (Business Insider)

Goldman Sachs has been fined $1.5 million for failing to properly supervise an employee who hid an $8.3 billion trading position in 2007, causing the bank to lose more than $100 million.

It’s Baaaack (Bloomberg)

The type of credit-derivatives bet that heavily contributed to a $6 billion loss for JP Morgan appears to be back in vogue.

Playing it Cool (NY Times)

Former SAC portfolio manager Mathew Martoma, arrested last month on insider trading charges, reportedly passed out on his front lawn last year when a federal agent notified him of the investigation.

Picking up the Pieces (Bloomberg)

Brokerage firm Janney Montgomery Scott has hired two investment bankers and three research analysts from ThinkEquity, the San Francisco-based investment bank that filed for bankruptcy last month.

Top Five MBAs for Financial Services (eFinancialCareers)

The names might not surprise, but the order of ranking may.

Suisse Cheese (Financial News)

Credit Suisse is cutting roughly 30 staffers from its equities sales and trading business in Europe, with several big names expected to exit. The sales trading team in London appears safe.

There Will be Blood (FIN Alternatives)

The insider trading trial involving Level Global Investors co-founder Anthony Chiasson just got a lot messier. Chiasson’s co-founder, David Ganek, and SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Michael Steinberg were named as co-conspirators. Neither is being charged, but the ruling allows prosecutors to present evidence involving the pair.

Buzz Around the Office

No Photoshop Needed (Buzzfeed)

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to accidental comedy.

List of the Day: What Not to Say

Having a personal relationship with your boss is fine, but leave these details out of any conversation.

  1. The real reason you left your last job.
  2. Detailed information about a doctor’s visit.
  3. Your side business.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

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