Morning Coffee: Special news for Morgan Stanley bonuses. Don't work here at Credit Suisse

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Morgan Stanley is becoming more American. As we pointed out a few months ago, Morgan Stanley may be a US investment bank but for the past few years it's paid more like a European.  Now it's getting in touch with its ethnic roots.

[efc_twitter text="For 2014, Morgan Stanley will defer less of its bonuses and for less time"]. The Wall Street Journal reports that only 50% of Morgan Stanley's overall bonus pool will be deferred for 2014 and that deferred bonuses at the bank will be vest sooner than in previous years.

Ostensibly, this looks like a step forward. Back in the dark days of 2012, 100% of Morgan Stanley's bonuses for senior staff were deferred. “The period of fragility Morgan Stanley faced from 2008 to 2012 has, thankfully, ended,” trumpeted Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman in reference to the newly expedited pay. The reality, however, is a little more nuanced. - Last year, a high proportion of Morgan Stanley's bonuses were deferred, but over months rather than years, with the result that the deferrals at the bank weren't actually that punitive anyway. They were, however, more punitive than at rival US banks like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, each of which paid a high proportion of bonuses in cash that was accessible immediately. Morgan Stanley is trying to join that cash club. Banks like RBS can only watch and weep.

Separately, you don't to work in prime brokerage for a bank like Credit Suisse, which is trying to cut its leverage ratio. The Financial Times reports that the Swiss bank is shrinking its prime brokerage unit following investor pressure to reduce the leverage in its investment bank. Credit Suisse is also said to be contemplating a further shift to electronic trading in its macro unit, which incorporates FX, rates and government bond trading. It's not clear how many jobs will be lost.


Credit Suisse is targeting a 15% return on equity. In the first nine months of 2014, it was...3.7%. (Financial Times)

Swiss government wants stricter capital rules for Swiss banks. (SwissInfo)

Rohan Ramchandani, a former senior currencies trader at Citigroup, who got a new job at London Capital Group in September, is leaving three months later. (Wall Street Journal) 

Ex-Goldman trader Deeb Salem still wants his extra $5m in bonus monies. (Bloomberg) 

Jamie Dimon is free of cancer. (WSJ)

Temporary contracts are bad for your cognitive health. (Vox) 

The later you go to bed at night, the more likely you are to be haunted by persistent, negative thoughts throughout the day. (NY Mag)

Maybe you need a chin implant. (NYTimes)

Ex-bond trader makes new living taking photos of people for his viral blog. (CNBC) 

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