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Best of the Web, North American financials edition


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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

Goldman Sachs turns to personality exams to tap new sources of talent, an ADP executive likens Bill Ackman to a high school brat, and the surge in short selling of beleaguered movie theater chains.

Goldman to use 'personality test' for hiring decisions

Hiring managers on Wall Street are starting to look beyond resumes and GPAs when making hiring decisions. Beginning in 2018, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to administer personality tests for potential summer intern candidates being considered for finance, banking and trading positions, Reuters reported. The investment bank started reviewing its hiring process in 2015 and has made other moves to help it find good candidates who do not attend top schools.

Traders are making huge bets that millennials are destroying movie theaters

As fewer Americans head to the movies to catch the latest summer blockbuster, short selling of the largest movie theater chains in North America has reached its highest level in years, according to data from IHS Markit Ltd. A primary factor driving the exodus, Business Insider reported, might stem from declining interest among millennials. For five consecutive years until 2015, attendance among the 18- to 39-year-old demographic moved lower before ticking up slightly last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Regulators' penalties against Wall Street are down sharply in 2017

Through the first half of 2017, fines imposed by three regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, fell by almost two-thirds year over year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The sharp decline can be attributed primarily to expectations for widespread deregulation of the financial industry under President Donald Trump and large staff turnovers between the agencies.

Ten years on from the start of the financial crisis, how the mighty have fallen

More than a decade has passed since BNP Paribas SA suspended three funds on Aug. 9, 2007, in an event many experts view as the tipping point of the financial crisis. In 2007, the French bank held more than $2.47 trillion in assets, ranking third worldwide, according to S&P Global. The crisis may have disproportionately affected major banks in Europe, as Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas have all fallen out of the top 3, Quartz reported. Royal Bank of Scotland, which topped the 2007 rankings with $3.77 trillion in assets, now barely cracks the top 25.

Peter Thiel, Trump adviser, has a backup country: New Zealand

A report from The New Zealand Herald revealed that PayPal Holdings Inc. co-founder Peter Thiel became a citizen of the South Pacific island nation in 2011. Thiel's interest in New Zealand seems to clash with the "America first" policy championed by President Trump, which is interesting given that Thiel spent time on Trump's transition team.

ADP CEO unleashes on Bill Ackman: Reminds me of a 'spoiled brat'

Automatic Data Processing Inc. President and CEO Carlos Rodriguez fired the latest salvo in the company's spat with the hedge funder. In an Aug. 10 interview, Rodriguez told CNBC that dealing with the activist investor reminded him of negotiating with someone on a used car purchase. On Aug. 4, Pershing Square Capital Management LP nominated Ackman and two others to ADP's board.