The new joint venture of Merrill Lynch & Co. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group opened for business yesterday, targeting Japanese investors with at least $900,000 in assets. Merrill Lynch's private-client business in Japan has already been rolled into the new operation, dubbed Mitsubishi UFJ Merrill Lynch PB Securities Co.
Democratic senators are pushing for approval of an alternative minimum tax relief extension as part of a $70 billion tax cut bill, while Republicans want the proposal to focus on investor tax relief, saying AMT relief could come in a separate provision.
Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $15 million to settle an SEC complaint that the securities firm failed to preserve e-mails. The fine is thought to be the largest SEC fine for failing to preserve e-mails, and stems from allegations by billionaire Ronald Perelman regarding mismanagement at Sunbeam. Spokespeople for Morgan Stanley and the SEC declined comment.
The affiliated sales force of Linsco/Private Ledger Corp. has expanded 37% since 2003 to reach 6,454 registered brokers and advisers. Now other independent-contractor broker-dealers hope to duplicate Linsco's success by hiring regional recruiting staffs.
The annual Council of Economic Advisers report said a decline in personal savings "may not be cause for alarm," claiming most of the rising U.S. trade deficit has instead been caused by other countries that save too much. The report predicted overall economic growth of 3.4% for 2006, with an unemployment rate of 5% and inflation at 2.4%.