October is the Bloodiest Month

by Derek Loosvelt | October 28, 2008

This morning, Morgan Stanley’s shares plummetted more than 25 percent, and fellow investment bank holding company Goldman Sachs’ shares fell more than 10 percent on rumors of its involvement with a potentially shady trade in the German automaker Volkswaken (now the world’s biggest company by market cap). The two banks' stocks have rebounded somewhat from their respective falls, but even so, the dives are not good news, especially Morgan’s, which wasn’t tied to anything in particular, meaning investors are still fearful of banks, even after the Fed has begun to outlay billions in its big bailout package.

The job front doesn’t look much better today. Some Merrill Lynch brokers are apparently “insulted” with BofA CEO Kenny Lewis’ recently announced retention package and are perhaps looking to jump ship en masse (the package sounds like a plan out of a Senator named McCain's playbook: good for the big earners, but less lucrative for lower ones). Meanwhile, Lehman/Barclays is about to slaughter its IT staff with the job-cutting axe (for a break from the horror, check out this comedic take of dealing with life after Lehman), Fidelity Investments is about to bring down the hatchet on about 4,000 insiders (spelling bad news across the investment management industry), and hedge fund insiders are, if they’re not already, busy spell-checking their CVs after reports revealed that October will be the bloodiest month for hedge funds in a long time—in fact, October’s on track to be the worst 30 day period in 10 years for the industry. Scary times indeed.

Filed Under: Finance


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