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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Slashing Wall Street

It looks like the "Too Big To Fail" banks are going to become like public utilities and will be heavily regulated. So it should be no surprise that after having their wings clipped they might be a little upset. Lower profits and layoffs are the end result of more government intervention. "Too Big To Fail" has now become "Too Big To Prosper."

The NY Post reports today that Wall Street firms might soon be laying off thousands of workers in a fresh round of job cuts.

NY Post:
Slasher street: The closing bell tolls for thousands of jobs --
On Wall Street the hatchet man cometh.

Deep-pocketed bankers and traders are bracing for what could be a fresh round of job cuts on the Street, concentrated in equities trading and investment banking, where firms are considering eliminating thousands of jobs in the coming weeks, The Post has learned.

Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley currently are among those financial institutions either weighing staff cuts or actually paring payroll as they struggle to rein in costs and eke out profits in a choppy market, sources told The Post.

The exact size of the layoffs across the industry could not be learned, but it's possible total jobs cuts could run into the thousands as firms assess the impact on their bottom lines of sweeping regulatory reform and a balky economic recovery...
Wall Street Journal:
Morgan Stanley: The Canary in Wall Street’s Coal Mine --
in a people-intensive business like Wall Street, the only way to make up for less money coming in the door is to cut people (or year-end bonuses). The second quarter earnings reports are just weeks away. Brace yourselves...
Jim Carney / CNBC:
Here's What Jamie Dimon Is Really Worried About -- Jamie Dimon’s confrontation with Ben Bernanke was notable because we rarely see corporate chiefs so publicly confront their primary regulators...

it seems that what provoked Dimon were recent signals from a Fed governor that the largest banks might face an additional capital surcharge, above and beyond the new capital and liquidity requirements agreed to last year in Basel.

At Basel, regulators agreed to more than double the minimum common equity requirement for banks to 4.5 percent from 2 percent, with an added liquidity buffer of 2.5 percent. That means banks will have to have total risk reserves of 7% of weighted assets. Regulators did not reach a consensus on proposals for an additional buffer—or "surcharge"— for "systemically important financial institutions"—which is regulator speak for Too Big To Fail...
USA Today:
Senate lets the Fed slash debit card fees paid to banks -- 
The Senate has voted to let the Federal Reserve limit fees that stores pay banks each time a shopper swipes a debit card.

It's a victory for merchants in a long-running lobbying fight with banks.
At issue is a Fed proposal that's set to take effect next month and would cap the fees at 12 cents per transaction, compared with the current average of 44 cents per swipe...
More on the employment situation. Not good.

Economics Policies for the 21st Century:
Revisiting Unemployment Predictions  —  Back in January 2009, Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein produced a report estimating future unemployment rates with and without a stimulus plan.  Their estimates, which were widely circulated, projected that unemployment would approach 9% without a stimulus …

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