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Financial Communications

Is Libor-gate Another PR Headache for Chase?

JP Morgan Chase‘s team was supposed to represent the good guys—the Jamie Dimon-led superbank was one of the few financial institutions to emerge from 2008’s economic collapse relatively unscathed in the court of public opinion. But the news hasn’t been good for Dimon lately, and it might get much worse very soon.

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Chase was among seven big banks subpoenaed by the Attorney Generals of New York and Connecticut to testify regarding the ongoing Libor rate-fixing scandal. One thing has become very clear over the past few weeks: The worst offenders in this case are not all based in London. This subpoena strongly implies that the AG’s suspect that top traders at America’s biggest banks were actively involved in the conspiracy.

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Brunswick, Sard Verbinnen Among Those Atop Mergermarket League Table

In terms of value, Brunswick Group topped the latest mergermarket League Table for PR advisors working on global M&A projects with deals worth $122.6 billion for the first half of the year. That’s an increase of more than 26 percent over last year. In terms of volume, the top spot goes to FTI Consulting with 97 deals.

However, the overall M&A market was a sluggish one, with global M&A down more than 18 percent to $968.5 billion for the first half of the year. It was the lowest half year total in the U.S. since 2003.

In the U.S., Sard Verbinnen & Co. took the top spot for value; it worked on deals worth nearly $79 billion. For volume, Kekst & Company was the most active with 62 deals. In Europe, RLM Finsbury worked on deals valued at $95.6 billion, taking the top spot. That firm worked on the biggest deal of the first half — Glencore International and Xstrata — worth about $53.5 billion.

For more on the latest mergermarket League Table, click here.

Add Morgan Stanley to the List of Companies Taking a Facebook IPO Hit

With the third day on the books, Facebook’s stock is down even further than yesterday, to $31.12, well below the $38 IPO price. Friday’s glitches caused massive confusion and has even led to a lawsuit against the Nasdaq, which has seen its reputation tarnished. Now Morgan Stanley is also getting the side-eye because the financial firm, the lead underwriter on the initial public offering, unexpectedly cut Facebook’s revenue forecast.

The way the change was made — so close to the IPO and during the “road show” — is strange, say those in the know.  If that information wasn’t disclosed properly to Morgan Stanley, there could be violations. Now the Securities Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) are nosing around, seeking a review.

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Nasdaq Takes a Hit After Facebook IPO

While Facebook’s stock continues to slip on its third trading day (more on that in a bit), Nasdaq’s reputation is taking a header after mistakes during Friday’s IPO. First there was a delay, then there were problems with the orders. Basically, it looks like the Nasdaq system became overwhelmed by the trading activity in those first hours.

“It took staff approximately 20 minutes to resolve the matter and open the stock, during which time millions of shares worth of trades fell into limbo. Brokers and traders didn’t learn the results of trades made in Facebook shares until nearly two and a half hours later, and some individual investors remained uncertain of their position in the social network’s stock Monday,” Dow Jones reports. Yikes and double yikes.

As a result the company’s chairman, H. Furlong Baldwin (who was destined to become the Monopoly man with a name like that) has had to come out in support of the CEO Bob Greifeld during this morning’s investor call, who openly spoke over the weekend about his desire to stay in his job despite the mishap.

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The Ups and Downs of the Facebook IPO

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After lots, and lots, and lots of talk the Facebook IPO happened today!! Do you feel any different? Yes, no, maybe? We understand… you’re still counting your money. We’ll come back to you.

Just like so many things that get tremendous media build-up, as soon as the story reaches its apex, there’s the huge fall off. Facebook officially went public at 11a.m. and by this afternoon, there’s the “IPO fizzle” video, a roundup of jokes, and the disappointment over the fact that the company is only valued at the $38 per share, or $115 billion, that had been previously discussed. (Apparently, the company got a little help?)

Even Bono couldn’t catch a break: one minute he was a billionaire, the next minute, he wasn’t. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem too bothered by any of it.

Even when the media is hyped up on something, the key for companies, brands, and other people is to remain sane.

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Best Buy, BlackBerry Promise Change, But It Sounds Much the Same

In the face of changing consumer habits and shifts in mobile technology, two business giants — Best Buy and Research in Motion — have announced changes in their business strategies.

After a weak earnings report, Best Buy says it’s going to close 50 stores and cut 400 jobs. The news comes just a couple of months after a Forbes article ran with a headline “Why Best Buy is Going Out of Business… Gradually.” The article pointed to poor and annoying customer service along with some product flops (like 3D TV) and retail’s move online as reasons for Best Buy’s slow demise.

More recently, CNET called Best Buy a showroom for Amazon. Ouch.

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StockTwits and Q4 Partner for Financial Comms Tools

Q4 Web Systems, the social media service company for corporations, has partnered with StockTwits, the comms platform for the financial world to offer a new set of services to help public companies reach their target audiences online.

“IR professionals at public companies are increasingly facing challenges in reaching all their key audiences in the most effective way, with limited resources,” said Howard Lindzon, co-founder and CEO of StockTwits, in a press release statement.

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Kodak CEO Emphasizes the Future During Chapter 11 Process

Not unexpected news came down today: Eastman Kodak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company was unable to sell more than 1,000 digital imaging patents to raise cash, but says it has financing to continue normal operation.

The Kodak website is filled with the usual Chapter 11 information — press release, FAQs, and links to court documents. According to the Associated Press, FTI Consulting is among the advisors helping during the process.

There’s also a video with the company’s CEO Antonio Perez talking about the reorganization. In it, his message is clear. This is a move towards Kodak’s future, not its demise.

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Five Investor Relations Predictions for 2012

You don’t hear much about investor relations until something big happens. An IPO, a chatty CEO, earnings good or bad. Then the IRO is the most popular guy in the room.

With businesses reacting to the continuing tumult in world economies and IPOs in the works, we thought it would be a good time to turn an eye to IR in the year that was and the year that will be. In today’s guest post, Tom Johansmeyer does just that. Johansmeyer is group marketing director at Cross Border USA, which publishes IR MagazineCorporate Secretary, and Inside IPO, and a contributor at PRNewser’s sister site, SocialTimes. Please note: The opinions expressed in this article are entirely his own.

Click through for the predictions and an infographic with results from IR Magazine‘s “Global IR Practice Report.”

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American Airlines’ Bankruptcy Impacts Its Reputation in a Couple Different Ways

News yesterday that American Airlines’ parent company AMR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy prompted lots of questions about frequent flier miles (answered in an email sent to customers; we got one), purchased tickets, and timing. There are also questions about AA’s branding and reputation to consider.

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