Merrill Lynch

What Obama's "Brokers As Fiduciaries" Change Really Means

In Obama‘s new regulatory reform proposal, there is language concerning how brokers are looked at and treated versus investment advisors. From the Wall Street Journal: Currently, brokers are only required to offer investments that are “suitable,” which means they can’t put clients in inappropriate investments, such as a highly risky stock for an 80-year-old grandmother….

The Shareholder Bill of Rights: Better Late than Never

I’ll start off here with a caveat…I know that Chuck Schumer is pushing this bill because of the populist impression it gives, keeping in mind that some of his biggest fundraisers over the years have been pro-corporate entrenchment and traditional Wall Street interests.  I also know that this is the type of after-the-fall legislation that…

Ken Lewis: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYxkvAwIjzQ] With Ken Lewis just voted out as Chairman by Bank of America shareholders, how long will he stick around as CEO? With apologies to the late Joe Strummer, here’s Kenny doing his rendition of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” ____________________________________________ Voters, you gotta let me know Should I stay or…

Market Recap: Survivability

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL0aDXekfyM] The Reformed Broker, AKA Prince Adam, here with today’s Market Recap… Once again, the DJIA shrugged off an overnight triple-digit sell-off in the futures…this must be awfully frustrating for the apocalypse crowd.  I’m trying to stay prepared for the eventual correction of at least some of this rally, but guys who are 100% long right…

Advisors Doing Less Than 300k Are Not Cutting It at UBS

According to an article in Registered Rep last week, advisors producing less than 300k a year are no longer welcome at UBS.  Merrill Lynch also rolled up the welcome mat on producing brokers and advisors below that threshold back in December. Now that the larger, inefficient firms have decided to no longer nurture smaller producers,…

Who Else Got Pushed Around by Hank Paulson?

I just sat down and digested the B of A/Merrill Lynch Merger Investigation letter and I felt like I was reading excerpts from a Godfather IV script treatment. Ken Lewis is no innocent, but Hank Paulson comes off like a f@ckin’ psycho in Andrew Cuomo‘s letter to the SEC and TARP oversight committee.  Cuomo basically…

Ken Lewis: They Made Me Do It

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that B of A CEO Ken Lewis testified to NY AG Andrew Cuomo that he was coerced into going through with the Merrill Lynch acquisition by Bernanke and Paulson, of the Fed and Treasury, respectively. Yeah, OK.  From Reuters: The Journal said Lewis testified that Bernanke and Paulson told…

CEO Dead Pool: Pandit Vs Lewis

            CEO     Vikram Pandit     Kenneth Lewis         Company               Going Against Him Slow to cut costs, snowballing losses, spins all results positively, voracious consumer of taxpayer funds Bad acquisition of Countrywide, worse deal for Merrill, bonus scandal, gorged on i-bankers at peak of market      Going For Him Engineering background, Suaveness. Southern…

The Two Most Important Points From Today's Goldman Call

Goldman Sachs held an earnings conference call early this morning which was live-blogged by the New York Times‘ columnist Floyd Norris.  Good, ’cause I had some Cookie Crisp cereal to eat right around that time.  Congrat’s on your $5 billion capital raise, but I gots to feed the machine. There were two notable things on…

Creating a Bailout Army of Retail Investors

I’m actually OK with this one.  If the taxpayers are going to be on the hook for the losses, they should get a crack at the upside, too (hopefully there will be an upside). And if that opportunity comes in the form of retail funds created by quality organizations like the Pimco‘s and the BlackRock‘s…so…