Investment banks face grim quarter, Tay returns and fintech to spur 1.7m job cuts

Technology Eye | March. 31, 2016

Global investment banks have suffered declines in their trading businesses of as much as 56 per cent in the first three months of the year, analysts believe, stoking fears of further lay-offs for staff and lower dividends for shareholders .

Europe’s shrinking investment banks are reorganising and trying to sell assets into a falling market, and have less exposure to the US market which has fared better than Europe and Asia. But Wall Street’s biggest banks are suffering too, with analysts predicting first-quarter falls in trading revenue of up to 48 per cent for Goldman Sachs and 56 per cent for Morgan Stanley. (FT)

In the news

The inglorious return of Tay The artificial intelligence chatbot, which was grounded last week after developing racist tendencies, re-emerged on Wednesday morning, only to go off the rails a second time, repeatedly spouting: “you are too fast, please take a rest”. Microsoft took the AI feed down again, this time blaming its messages on human error . (FT)

Myanmar’s ‘double act’ The country ushered in a new era with a historic transition on Wednesday from a military-backed administration to a mainly civilian government led by Htin Kyaw, the “proxy president” handpicked by Aung San Suu Kyi to be the first civilian leader in 54 years. (NAR)

Pichai ‘critical to Google’s success’ Sundar Pichai, head of Google, was handed a pay package worth $100.5m early last year, even before he was elevated to become chief executive of the world’s biggest internet business. The company said it viewed his retention as critical to its further success. (FT)

Fintech to spur 1.7m job cuts European and US banks will cut another 1.7m staff in the next decade as financial technology companies stalk profitable growth areas such as lending and payments, a new report by Citigroup has predicted. (FT)

The beautiful game turns ugly Qatar’s human rights record has come under renewed scrutiny ahead of its hosting of the 2022 football World Cup, with Amnesty International claiming in a report that workers who are building tournament infrastructure face abuse . (FT)

It's a big day for

Nuclear security World leaders gather in Washington for the nuclear security summit amid increasing fears of terrorist groups such as Isis targeting nuclear plants or developing radioactive “dirty bombs.” (Reuters)

Tesla Motors , which launches the Model 3 electric car. With prices expected to start at $35,000, the vehicle is being touted as the company’s first step into the mass market . (BGR)

Food for thought

The company that bribed the world A vast cache of leaked emails and documents has confirmed what many suspected about the oil industry, and has laid bare the activities of the world’s super-bagman as it has bought off officials and rigged contracts around the world. (The Age)

Three births The day a baby is born in the developing world will be the most dangerous of its life — and can be just as perilous for its mother. In this special report, FT reporters Amy Kazmin, Jude Webber and Andrew Jack follow the fates of women and their babies on three continents . (FT)

European banks: new rules, old problems The wiping out of billions of Novo Banco debt may mark a new era in which bank bondholders are no longer king . (FT)

The world’s most powerful corporation Its power stretched from the UK to China and its influence went further. It owned or developed some of the most important port cities today, including Singapore and Mumbai, and it operated its own armies. It was a colonial endeavour befitting of the time, yet there are certain parallels that can be drawn between the East India Company and the mega corporations of today . (BBC)

Wall Street’s defectors Silicon Valley often feels like it is all about the founders. What they read, what they eat, who they know. But a stream of defections from Wall Street to the Valley has brought attention to an equally important but often overlooked role : the chief financial officer. (FT)

A glimpse into Hitler’s inner circle For nearly 60 years, it was missing. The diary of Alfred Rosenberg, a Nazi theorist whose views on race are thought to have helped incite Hitler’s persecution of Jews, vanished after its author was hanged at Nuremberg in 1946. It would take two men — a former FBI agent and a museum archivist — 12 years to track it down . (NYT)

Video of the day

Why we should pay everyone a basic income Anthony Painter of think-tank the RSA and Lex writer Giles Wilkes debate the idea that governments should pay a universal basic income as they seek to tackle income inequality and technological disruption . FT employment correspondent Sarah O’Connor chairs. (FT)

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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