Late Lunchtime Links: Jefferies is rumoured to be paying quite a lot of zero bonuses

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Jefferies has a new word for all who work there. They are not merely, ‘employees:’ they are “employee partners.” In Jefferies’ fourth quarter results, out today, it  reveals that it has 814 more employee partners than this time last year, an increase of 26%.

Today Jefferies also discloses that it’s paying those employee partners a little less than it used to. The average among them have earned $380k in 2011 vs. $454k last year. However, the average may be misleading because the distribution of Jefferies’ compensation doesn’t seem totally even: the director at one recruitment claims a lot of employee partners at Jefferies in London have had no bonuses at all this year.

“Jefferies bonuses seem dire. We’re hearing that 27% of their people have received nothing at all,” he claims. “They were told yesterday,” he suggests. Jefferies didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Jefferies' profits fell 23% in the fourth quarter, but this was less than expected. (Wall Street Journal) 

Last week, RBS made a gloomy presentation to several of its retained headhunters telling them the bank thought it would take seven years for the market to recover. (Financial News) 

George Osborne: “RBS will make further significant reductions in the investment bank, scaling back riskier activities that are heavy users of capital or funding,” he said. (The Times) 

“What they’re going to realise is that without global banking and markets, RBS as a ‘utility bank’ isn’t a very good business. The emperor’s clothes will be stripped off.” (Financial Times) 

In 2009 RBS put equities at the core of the new global banking and markets business in 2009 strategic review. (Financial News) 

Dozens of RBS’s most experienced staff are expected to depart in 2012 after a another year of woeful bonuses.(Financial Times) 

The state owns 84% of RBS. So it can be taken for granted that what the chancellor says in parliament about the bank's future direction will happen. (BBC) 

Germany raised the prospect of reopening negotiations on some form of protection for the City of London, the issue that led to the UK veto last week. (Guardian)

The combined balance sheets of UK-headquartered banks amount to close to 500% ofBritain's GDP, compared to 300% inFranceandGermany, and 100% of US GDP. (Telegraph)

Until the 1970s, banks' assets as a percentage of UK GDP remained steady at approximately 50%. By 2006, they were more than 500%. (The Guardian) 

“The HSBC clause”: Banks need to meet a minimum 17% loss-absorbing capital requirement for theirUKoperations, but there will now be an exemption for non-UK businesses where banks could "demonstrate they pose no threat to theUKtaxpayer". (The Telegraph) 

This clause may save HSBC $1.5bn. (Bloomberg) 

HSBC will make a decision about moving out of London in the next 12-18 months. (The Times) 

Daiwa has sold its synthetic prime broker, which employs around 40 staff in London, to Bank of Novia Scotia. (Reuters) 

There have been no ‘viable bids’ for MF Global’s UK units. (The Telegraph) 

If you want to attend a Christmas party which you are not paying for, you need to be working for a hedge fund. (Dealbook)

Traders are joining hedge funds. (Bloomberg) 

South Africa’s finance and other business services industry, which also includes insurance and real estate, added 53,000 jobs in the third quarter compared with a year earlier. (Bloomberg) 

Per square centimetre, human skin has as many hair follicles as that of other great apes. (Economist)