Lunchtime Links: Blankfein says everything will be ok

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Stung into action by Goldman's falling share price, chief executive Lloyd Blankfein has come out fighting. According to Blankfein, Goldman's transformation into a bank holding company will not stop it from "doing anything we have done as an investment bank". For the record, he also points out that, "Some of the biggest opportunities this firm has had came from times of stress," promises that he won't be provoked into "doing anything rash or anything", and says that 2009 will be defined by risk management. Banking analyst Dick Bove isn't convinced: he's lowered Goldman's price target from $80 to $70 per share and points out that Blankfein avoided discussing the near term. "It suggested that all one can

do to deal with unknown events is set up risk management

procedures," says Bove.

Morgan Stanley rumoured to lay off 10% of staff from Thursday (NY Post).

Russian investment banks slash staff (Guardian).

UniCredit cutting investment banking jobs (Bloomberg).

Another big trading loss at a French bank? (Bloomberg).

Thain says things will be as bad as 1929 (FT).

Barton Biggs says hedge funds are FINE

(CNN).

Julius Baer has hired 60 new private bankers this year

(FT).

Watson Wyatt has hired three people (Financial News).

4,000 jobs lost in one day (not just in banking) (The Times).

... or was it 5,000? (Independent).

Life on the dole in Henley on Thames (Telegraph).

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