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Rookie Senator Has Wall Streeters Shaking in their Boots

Elizabeth Warren

Remember the first time you saw Jaws, spending half the movie in anticipation, waiting to see the face of the destructor? That’s likely how bankers felt the last two months, eyeing the debut of newly-elected Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a well-known Wall Street agitator recently appointed to the Senate Banking Committee. After her first showing, big banks likely issued a collective sigh: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Warren, who was recently described as the “intellectual godmother of Occupy Wall Street” and “Wall Street’s worst nightmare,” came out swinging on Thursday, chastising regulators for settling civil cases with banks that break rules, rather than taking the firms and their leaders to trial.

“I am really concerned that too-big-to-fail has become too-big-for-trial,” Warren said, while noting that district attorneys seem to have no problem making an example of everyday citizens. With large financial institutions, however, regulators appear “too timid” to do the same, she said in her first hearing.

Warren, who helped launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before being essentially ousted by banks and Republicans who fought her nomination as the permanent head, then delivered a line that sounded as though it came from a movie: “The question I want to ask is how tough you are,” she said. “Anybody?”

If regulators and attorneys become as tough as Elizabeth Warren, Wall Street will have more than one shark circling its boat.

Hiring in Spots (eFinancialCareers)

While slashing jobs in other areas, Royal Bank of Scotland is hiring for compliance, regulatory risk, anti-money laundering and all areas of audit.

Unemployment Claims Fall (AP)

Jobless claims dropped dramatically last week, falling by 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 341,000. As always, take the numbers with a grain of salt. They’re wrong consistently.

Salvaging Libor (WSJ)

Several major banks were poised to withdraw from the panel that helps set Libor interest rates, but balked after receiving letters of warning from the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority. The Wall Street Journal said it best: “The letters show the British regulator going to unusual lengths to try to salvage Libor.” Indeed.

Tough to Ketchup With (Reuters)

Warren Buffett just doesn’t relent. His firm, Berkshire Hathaway, is teaming up with private-equity firm 3G Capital to purchase ketchup-maker Heinz in a massive $23 billion deal.

Charitable Tax Break (Bloomberg)

High-net worth philanthropists heed this warning: The tax man may soon not be nearly as impressed with your charitable donations.

Late to the Mediocre Party (eFinancialCareers)

BNP Paribas wants to hire 1,400 people over the next three years – all of them in the Asia Pacific region. It may be a case of too much, too late.

Verizon Needs Finance Help (PR)

With banks cutting staff, maybe it’s time to join a wireless carrier? Verizon said it will create roughly 750 “high-paying jobs” in its new Seminole County, Florida finance center. Positions will include accountants, payroll specialists and financial analysts.

Swimming in It (Business Insider)

Cantor Fitzgerald, a firm known for hiring in droves, now has a five-time Olympic medalist on its staff. He has a degree in construction management.

Buzz Around the Office

Never in Jeopardy (ABC)

Leonard Cooper has what the kids call “swag.” After pulling off a remarkable comeback in the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament final, Cooper showed his swag to the whole world while giving his final answer.

List of the Day: Recommendation Letter

Writing a recommendation letter is a foreign experience for many. When in doubt, follow this formula.

  1. Explain your relationship.
  2. Evaluate the candidate.
  3. Make a comparison.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

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