Citigroup layoffs target declining stock-trading business
One-third of the 150 employees fired in Citigroup ‘s investment bank this week were in the cash equities unit, which had been struggling with an industrywide decline in trading volumes, two people familiar with the layoffs said Friday. Citigroup , already a major force in fixed-income trading, had been building its stock trading efforts in recent years just as volumes began to shrink. The latest round of layoffs affected about 6 percent of the 800 people who work in the cash equities unit – with most of the cuts occurring in the United States. In equities, Citigroup had been “staffed as a top-tier firm globally but consistently put up second-tier revenues,” Nomura Securities analyst Glenn Schorr wrote in a research note on Friday. Those let go included Brennan Warble, a managing director who was head of sales and trading in the Americas, according to two people familiar with the layoffs. …MORE
Bulgari recently unveiled its collection for the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris at a private event in the San Francisco store.
2:20 PM PST 11/30/2012 by Sophie A. Schillaci There may have been fireworks (and not the good kind) between Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato just 24 hours prior, but all seemed forgiven on Thursday as the X Factor judges left the infamous “300 million records” in the past. The duo were spotted whispering in each other’s ears during the show’s opening credits in what appeared to be an endearing exchange between the constantly-sparring judges. But it wasn’t all good news for Lovato, as one of her final two contestants was sent packing in the first few minutes of broadcast. The audience watched in shock and awe as single mom Paige Thomas was sent packing without the opportunity to sing for survival. Later, the consistently top-ranked Vino Alan performed a rousing version of Ray LaMontagne ’s “Trouble” that seemingly fell short with Lovato and Cowell, who cast the deciding vote to send Alan home. PHOTOS: An ‘American Idol’ to ‘X Factor’ Timeline But that, you watched on TV
Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets were expected to do big things in the 2012-2013 NBA season. Trading for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason catapulted L.A. past the Oklahoma City Thunder as the favorites in the West. Denver’s expectations weren’t as high, but they were projected by some to win as many as 60 games.
Joe Lederer “Bates Motel’s” Freddie Highmore Judging from two new clips for A&E’s Bates Motel , guest will be checking in but they won’t quite be enjoying the hospitality. In a pair of new teasers for the cable network’s upcoming Psycho prequel series, a body appears to be hanging on the property — on fire — and another presumed guest is clinging to life and handcuffed to the pipes of a sink. PHOTOS: Meet the Residents of A&E’s ‘Psycho’ Prequel ‘Bates Motel’ Currently filming in Vancouver, Up in the Air Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga will play the tainted mother to Norman ( Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ‘s Freddie Highmore ) in the drama from Lost ‘s Carlton Cuse and Friday Night Lights ‘ Kerry Ehrin . Check out the clips, below, and hit the comments if you’ll be checking into the A&E drama, set to premiere early next year.
KAREEM FAHIM & DAVID D KIRKPATRICK Large groups of protesters streamed toward the central Tahrir Square Friday as opponents of President Mohammed Morsi, galvanized and angered by his unexpected and hurried effort to pass Egypt’s new constitution, sought to marshal numbers of demonstrators for the second time in a week. The protesters, including leftists, liberals and staunch opponents of Morsi and his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have grown into an increasingly assertive opposition bloc in recent days, since Morsi issued an edict granting himself powers above any court. On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of the president’s opponents gathered in Tahrir Square here, denouncing Morsi as a new dictator and the Muslim Brotherhood as a secretive group, narrowly focused on its own survival. “Egypt for all Egyptians!” protesters chanted on Friday.
On Thursday, there was a rare eclipse in science news. For once, Mercury shouldered Mars out of the headlines. While everyone was keeping an eye on the Curiosity rover’s search for signs of an ancient sea on the Red Planet that could have supported life, scientists were collecting hard evidence that the tiny world closest to our Sun has at least one polar ice cap. It’s kind of a no-brainer that Mars has water.
Mark Ashman/Disney/Getty Images With Black Friday behind us, the Holiday Songs chart makes its annual return to Billboard.biz . Like the Billboard Hot 100, but solely for yuletide tracks (of all eras), the 50-position-deep Holiday Songs-chart ranks the most popular seasonal songs, according to all-format audience impressions measured by Nielsen BDS, sales data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and streaming activity data from online music sources tracked by BDS. Mariah Carey ‘s 1994 classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” tops the inaugural chart this season. (The carol led the list for four of the five weeks in which the tally was tabulated a year ago.) “Christmas” logged 20 million in radio audience in the current chart’s tracking week, ranking at No. 6 on the Holiday Airplay ranking. It rules the Holiday Digital Songs chart with 27,000 downloads sold (up 112 percent). While the overall chart points for “Christmas” leave it shy of the Hot 100′s top 50 this week, should the song accrue enough points in upcoming weeks to rank in the Hot 100′s upper half, it, or any holiday title regardless of age that reaches such a points level, would be eligible to rank on the Hot 100
ANDREW E KRAMER For two months, Jordi Sarda Bonvehi negotiated with Ukrainian officials on behalf of a Spanish utility company about participating in a $1.1 billion investment fund to build a liquefied natural gas plant on the Black Sea. On Monday, he took part in a signing ceremony for the deal overseen by the prime minister in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. The only problem is that the utility company, Gas Natural Fenosa, has never heard of him. “Gas Natural has not signed any contract to invest in an LNG plant project in Ukraine, nor is it leading any consortium whatsoever,” the company said in a statement soon after the ceremony.
The country will allow over-the-counter gold trading between banks for the first time on Monday. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Stock Exchange could launch gold exchange-traded funds early next year if it receives government approval by the end of this year, the state-run China Securities Journal said last week, citing an exchange official. The People’s Bank of China hasn’t disclosed any changes to its gold holdings since 2009, when it said they had risen 76 percent to 1,054 metric tons, the world’s sixth-largest such holding, World Gold Council data showed. The introduction of interbank trading is intended to develop China into a liquid market.