Are you Using Twitter?

Twitter is a basic social media tool that I think is the most under-utilized technology that is available for free to the public. I am still very surprised that the vast majority of people do not use Twitter as one of their primary news sources. I want to go over some of the ways that Twitter helps me in my daily life as an MBA student and hopefully will persuade you to start using Twitter.

The best part about Twitter is that it is completely customizable to the individual. While your fifteen year old sister might use Twitter to follow her favorite clothing line and see what Kim Kardashian's opinion of cheesecake is, there are many people and groups that are out there that can benefit someone in the finance industry, anyone from a generalist who is learning about the industry to someone who concentrates on a very niche sector.

HappyPantsMcgee the Interview.

I've been fortunate enough to meet HPM two years ago at the first Energy Rodeo in Houston and recently had the opportunity to ask him some questions which the WSO audience could find useful. HPM works in strategy at a top 5 bank. Primarily his group concentrates on product and regulatory strategy with a focus on credit and balance generation.

Monkeys are always looking for advice, what do you have to offer?
To undergrads:

Facebook Earnings Call

After the market closes today, Facebook will conduct its first ever earnings conference. With the share price hovering in the high twenties down from the IPO price of 38$, investors are looking forward to hearing what the plans going forward are for Facebook and most importantly their strategy for creating revenue.

As Facebook was hammered during the weeks following the IPO with conversation regarding the doubts about its future revenue growth, Mark Zuckerberg and his staff know that this is the primary point of discussion that they will have to address during their earnings call. The street is projecting that FB will see an increase of earnings compared with last years' second quarter, however, the growth rate of new users has been steadily declining.

Is Media Portrayal of Executive Pay Fair?

Last Thursday Yahoo announced that they will hire Google's Marissa Mayer as their fifth CEO in as many years (The Kings article here). It is estimated that Mayer's total package will be $60 million over the next several years.

There has been a lot of conversation surrounding the move with regards to whether the media equally portrays a social media executive vs. a similarly paid Wall Street executive. Imagine one of the BB CEOs being offered a similar package when the company they are hired to run is underperforming and the stock is consistently going lower. Watching and reading coverage about Mayer, the spin was for the most part is very positive regarding her past at Google, her accomplishments, etc.

Banks are Outsourcing Jobs....To Temps

One of the things that I noticed while working at a BB during 2011-2012 is that although there were still full time hires from campus recruiting, their numbers were gradually diminishing while the amount of temporary contract workers was increasing.

There has been media coverage regarding this trend. But it mostly mentioned BO/MO staff as well as some FO positions that were more of a support role. My experience is also from a BO/MO perspective so unfortunately I cannot comment on what was going on within the business side.

Are Ethics Taught at Top MBA Programs?

Bloomberg had an interesting article up today
discussing whether our top business schools are properly teaching ethics to their students. In summary, the article uses some of the recent examples of top execs that were convicted on insider trading charges who were Wharton and HBS grads to argue that business schools are not putting enough emphasis on teaching ethics and applying them to a real world setting.

Never having been "rich", it puzzles me why someone with such an incredible resume and what is probably a very large net worth such as Rajat Gupta would stoop to insider trading. We have all heard the saying "there is no such thing as being too rich" but from Gupta's perspective, the risk/reward of his actions do not make sense to me.

Clawbacks at JP Morgan

JP Morgan could potentially issue clawbacks against some of the senior staff at the Chief Investment Office for their role in the recent losses on Euro corporate index CDS trading. Jim Cramer's website reports that during JPM's Friday earnings call JPM could announce that top execs from the CIO, including Ina Drew (Eddie's article has Drew pay details here) could potentially be forced to give back some of their earnings.

During his senate banking committee hearing, Jamie Dimon mentioned that if any clawbacks are issued, they will be the first in JPM history. And although he most likely thinks that a verbal apology is sufficient, on Fast Money the traders brought up the idea that Dimon should be penalized internally to officially take responsibility for the executive oversight of the CIO losses. Earlier this week Bob Diamond forfeited 31 million of deferred stock upon his resignation stemming from the LIBOR price manipulation scandal at Barclays.

Where to Live in the Tri-State Area

Everyone who works in the finance industry in New York from Analyst to Managing Partner has to decide where to live and what method of transportation to use to get to work every day. In the NYC area there are many options that you have when deciding your transportation and location of residence, but as we all know, the job is a major factor in the decision.

As an analyst in the banking division the trend is to live as close as possible to the office so that you can walk to work and do not have to bother with the trains when it is 2AM and you are wiped out from the long day. An asset management or a PWM analyst however usually lives in East Village, Chelsea, or any other area where you are close to a more exciting nightlife as in these divisions you get off between 6 and 8pm and it is not as important to live very close to work.

Moving on Up

Recently, I have been seeing a number of posts on undergrads starting out with back office type jobs and seeing what you can do to advance yourself to the client facing side of the business. What follows below is strictly for those who have been able to score only BO/MO roles at BBs who eventually want to be in FO positions.

Having worked five years at a BB in a BO/MO role, I have seen several ways that people break into front office roles. Networking within the unit that you support. It is quite possible to break into a front office role of the unit that you are directly supporting. There have been people that I have seen break through to work on the business side after working in the BO. Although this is rare, it is possible, it requires being a top support analyst who has a good relationship with the desk, is usually able to break in after spending at least two years in the support role. Most people with this approach will most likely fail during any interview process, but I have seen enough successful cases to say that with the proper preparation, it is possible.

Moscow to Join the WTO

In about three weeks, on July 23rd, is the deadline for the Russian President, the government, and the parliament to ratify all required documents to become a full member of the World Trade Organization.

This is a significant event for the Russian economy as the WTO, who prides itself on giving their members confidence that there will be no sudden changes in policy. This provides members rules and laws that are transparent and predictable. When I talk to people about the Russian economy the subject of corruption and lack of free business standards is almost always certain to come up. Entering the WTO will reduce the sovereign risk for Russia and should jump-start what I hope to be a constant acceleration for Russia's move towards being a major world economy.


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