Morning Coffee Jun 24 2011

Morgan Keegan Jobs on the Line

By kyle stock

Who needs an investment bank on the shores of the Mississippi River?

That's the big question as Regions Financial Corp. puts Morgan Keegan, its Memphis-based dealmaker, up for sale.

Unfortunately, the goods are tainted by fraud charges, which Regions just settled by agreeing to pay $200 million to state and federal regulators. The sequence of events is reminiscent of AIG where the decisions of a few threatened the careers of many.

At Morgan Keegan, about 4,400 jobs in roughly 20 states hang in the balance. The firm's main asset is its local relationships. Without the balance sheet of a large Wall Street firm, the company was more apt to help a city raise a few million for a new high school than drum up a billion-dollar deal for a global conglomerate.

That won't be lost on potential buyers who may want to bulk up their muni business or Southeast operations. For Morgan Keegan employees recently hired to build new offerings in global M&A and equity underwriting, however, a sale may trigger a job loss.

The Career Effects of the Subprime Crisis (FINS via Dow Jones)

Here's how all the trouble started at the Southern investment bank. Five years ago, James C. Kelsoe, Jr. was a rising star at Morgan Keegan & Co., managing funds whose performances were the envy of bond investors. On Wednesday, he agreed to a lifetime ban from the securities industry.

Dot-fired (Financial News)

UBS said it would axe 500 of its 8,700 tech workers, a 5.5% reduction in that unit. The move is part of a huge cost-cutting effort at the Swiss firm.

Floating on the Floor (Financial News)

At least four banks are giving former research pros a new kind of equity sales job. The special deputies help ensure that both trading ideas and research prevail on the floor and are especially useful during slower period of trading activity, heads of equities say.

Developing Developing Markets (Bloomberg)

Citi is building out a team of emerging-market bond specialists. Most recently, it hired Rodney Thomas from Thames River Capital.

Intern Nation (FT)

Unpaid interns are starting to question whether their gigs are really worth it. One estimate says such workers help U.S. companies duck $2 billion in compensation expenses every year.

Doh! (WSJ)

Initial jobless claims rose by 9,000 to 429,000 last week. Economists had expected them to fall by 1,000.

Nixon for $0.25 an Hour (The Daily Beast)

That's the real minimum wage in the U.S., according to a new study, which measures how little people are willing to be paid for an hour of their time. The highest wage thresholds -- about $5 an hour -- were found in Italy, the Netherlands and Egypt.

Pay to Play (NYDN)

Wall Street may be short on President Obama, but Masters of the Universe still kicked out $35,800 a plate to join him for dinner in Manhattan last night.

Doing Good (NYT)

Some advice on starting a social enterprise. Experts say be wary of growth, but don't be afraid of making a profit.

Buzz Around the Office

Front-Page News (imgur)

Where was the "lamestream" media on this groundbreaking story? Oh yeah, here.

List of the Day: How to Handle Salary Questions in Interviews

1. Quote the total package, including bonuses and other benefits, you have had in the past.

2. Emphasize flexibility if the job you're applying for pays less than you've made in the past.

3. If want more than you have made in the past, say so.

(Source: Glassdoor)

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