Morning Coffee Aug 17 2009

Bank of America and Barclays Are Looking for Hot Commodities

By kyle stock

Want to be a hot commodity?

Learn something about corn, aluminum or sweet-light crude oil.

BofA is looking to expand its metals and energy teams by 25% in the next two years. That's about 200 jobs.

Meanwhile, Barclays Plc is reportedly looking to snatch five commodities traders from JPMorgan Chase. It plans to boost its commodity squad by 20 in the next year.

The talent-grab is fueled by relative strength in those sectors.

Banking Blues
Friday marked the sixth-largest bank failure in U.S. history, as Colonial Bank was subsumed by BB&T. The announcement was decidedly bad news, not just for Colonial employees, but any and all workers at embattled regionals. (WSJ) Four other banks went down on the same day, bringing the U.S. tally to 77. (WSJ) At the same time, the Bank of New York Mellon laid off 29 workers. It's listed reason: outsourcing. (NYSDOL)

Sallie's Spending Spree
BofA/Merrill, just days after landing Sallie Krawcheck, is buying brokers of all shapes and sizes, according to a conference call hosted by its chief headhunter last week. And its offers aren't shabby -- starting at 140% of a candidate fees and commissions in the previous year. (Workforce)

EU Bonus Beatdown
The UK is weighing legislation to curb bonuses in an effort to quell risk-taking. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said such a proposal would "toughen things up." (Bloomberg) Meanwhile, German financial watchdog Bafin is pushing for more aggressive claw-back provisions on bonuses. (Reuters)

Playing With Poison
There's another boutique bud in the finance garden and this one is taking a contrarian bent: real estate. The shop, a brainchild of two former UBS hot-shots, is called PrinceRidge. (FT)

Elsewhere in the Startup World
Meredith Whitney, the contrarian analyst who made her name in the crisis, has snapped up a brokerage, Seegal Benson Leucadia Securities. Looks like her new, self-named shop is going full-service. (BusinessInsider)

Hedging Your Paycheck
Worried about your place on the corporate ladder? Have we got something for you: pay-cut insurance. No kidding. (FT)

To the Ivory Tower
Michael Crehan, formerly a VP at Lehman Brothers, discusses his new job, a career-development position at his alma mater, Notre Dame. "Life is full of cycles," he writes. (WSJ)

Chin Up
Career coaches urge the jobless to project confidence on the hunt. If you're crying in your beer, at least notice how full the glass is. (NYT)

Chief Financial Overlap
There was a lot of turnover in CFO offices last week, including the job at NASDAQ. (CFO)

HR Happy Pills
About one quarter of HR pros regularly consume "a substance" to cope with handing out pink slips and other nasty business, according to a new survey. (


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