Lunchtime Links: Goldman and Citi staff's great escape (kind of)

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This might be scant consolation for the thousands of Citi and Goldman staff who have already been shown the door - but it could have been worse. The Financial Times reports that before the government's bailout of the banks, Lloyd Blankfein put in a call to Vikram Pandit to discuss a possible merger. The upside would have been an intimidating combination of the respective strengths of the organisations, but the considerable downside would have been thousands more redundancies in the investment banking divisions.

A further sign of the times is the Telegraph's revelation that the number of people being shunted up to partner position at Goldman will be the lowest since the firm floated back in 1999. Senior bankers are also anticipating the lowest bonus pool since that time.

Three big banks still have a $20bn bonus pot. (Bloomberg)

"We forecast 2009 will be little or no better than 2003 for US and European investment banks. This will require very heavy cost-cutting and headcounts will start to reflect that." (Financial News)

It might take years to wind up Lehman. (Financial Times)

...and Nomura's Lehman acquisition could spell its biggest ever annual loss. (Bloomberg)

The end of the world as we know it. (Alphaville)

Rothschild picks up Lehman bankers for FIG team. (Reuters)

Look for the positives amid the downturn...(Portfolio.com)

BNP Paribas bolsters credit trading team. (Financial News)

Milwaukee is the new New York. (DealBook)

Headhunter hired to find new LSE chief. (Finextra)

Moving from banking to boating. (FT Video)

Morgan Stanley shells out $23bn to shore up money market funds. (Naked Capitalism)

Don't gloat about the hedge fund bloodbath. (Fintag)

Good weekend? Another Black Monday could be on the cards... (The Times)

There's no cause for celebration...or even drowning your sorrows, it seems. (Guardian)

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