Wall Street firms cut 2,000 jobs last month. James Brown, a labor market analyst at the New York state Department of Labor, said it was the largest employee reduction since summer interns were released.
The New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio have reached a seven-year labor contract. The city has now made deals with four of the five police unions.
After easing to 8.8% at the end of 2010, New York City's jobless rate edged back up to 9% in the last month of 2011. The city's unemployment rate is now above the national rate of 8.5%, the state Labor Department reported. The city's restaurant industry laid off 2,400 workers in December, making it the hardest-hit industry that month.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his proposal for development of America's biggest convention center at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens won't cost New York state a thing, even if it fails. The developer, the Malaysian gambling company Genting, will cover all expenses and won't get any tax-free bonds to help finance the project, he said.
Japan's main banking organization followed the lead of the country's Financial Services Agency and central bank in questioning possible consequences of the U.S. Volcker rule. "We'll express our similar concerns as public comments" to U.S. officials, said Katsunori Nagayasu, chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association. Stanford University professor Darrell Duffie recently released a study on the impact the proposed Volcker rule would have on market-making.
Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Ted Kaufman, D-Del., had proposed an amendment that would force some of the biggest banks on Wall Street to shrink, but the Senate rejected the proposal. The Senate approved an amendment that would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more power to root out manipulation of the derivatives and commodity markets. The Senate also closed in on a proposal that would require the Federal Reserve to disclose recipients of its emergency loans made during the financial crisis. A vote on the measure was delayed until next week.