Breakout of Optimism Strikes Finance and Accounting Employees

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Only pretending to be cheerful

All of a sudden the job market isn’t looking so gloomy. Overall confidence among U.S. finance and accounting employees spiked during the second quarter as more jobs became available and the outlook on the economy improved, according to a new study commissioned by professional placement firm Mergis Group.

The employee confidence index, which takes into account workers’ views on the economy, job market, job security and in their ability to find a new job, increased to the highest level since the third quarter of 2007, before the crisis hit. Roughly 42% of respondents believe the economy is improving, a 12 percentage-point increase over the previous quarter, while just 16% feel things are worsening.  Nearly one-third of finance and accounting employees believe more jobs are becoming available, up from 20% earlier in the year.

Most of the job growth is likely happening off Wall Street. Mergis said that the hottest areas are in insurance underwriting, financial analysis, accounting, tax and audit.

The news isn’t lost on the minds of tomorrow. This year has seen the highest number of enrollments in undergraduate and graduate accounting programs on record. The number of accounting students graduating with a master’s degree has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

Personality Traits of a Wall Street Trader (eFinancialCareers)

If you want to be a successful trader on Wall Street, you better be highly intelligent and have an inspiring work ethic. You also need to have a certain personality – strong, fearless but also humble.

Whale of a Cover Up (WSJ)

Investigators are looking into whether J.P. Morgan traders knowingly misvalued their positions in order to hide the magnitude of the “London Whale” trading losses. Charges are expected.

Murder-for-Hire (Business Insider)

A former Bank of America executive has been charged with plotting to kill his wife, who he was divorcing. The plot was uncovered before anyone was hurt.

Short Stint (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley pulled an impressive coup in May when it poached Hajime Kitano, Japan’s top equity strategist, from J.P. Morgan. The marriage didn’t last very long though. Kitano walked away after only three months, leaving Morgan Stanley with nobody in the equity-strategy role in Tokyo.

Layoffs Looming (FIN Alternatives)

Investors who didn’t redeem assets from SAC Capital earlier this year are doing so now. With virtually no outside money to manage, SAC is reportedly bracing for layoffs.

Taunting (Business Insider)

Third Point founder Daniel Loeb left a cryptic message on his Bloomberg terminal on Monday: "Never interfere with an enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself." You can bet he was referring to his nemesis, Bill Ackman, who is taking a bath on his J.C. Penney and Herbalife bets.

Huge Incentives (Financial News)

Asset managers looking to recruit and retain rare top talent have begun pulling out all the stops. Rock star employees are starting to get equity in the company.

Love Triangle (NY Daily News)

Bernie Madoff was involved in a “love triangle” with one of the five former employees who are set to go to trial for allegedly helping him run his infamous Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors have not identified which of the defendants – two women and three men – was involved in the tryst.

Buzz Around the Office

No Flash Photography Permitted (SF Gate)

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong led a conference call last week in which he detailed deep job cuts across the company’s Patch.com site. One employee began taking pictures of Armstrong during the call, so he fired him too…with the entire company listening.

List of the Day: Growing Up

Just because you have a job and don’t live with your parents doesn’t mean you are grown up. When you start doing these things, that’s when you know you’ve succumbed to adulthood.

  1. You take really good care of your towels.
  2. You’re thinking about purchasing some nice kitchen knives.
  3. You pay attention to the sodium content in your soup.

(Source: MSN)

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