Foreign banks came under the spotlight this week as the Federal Reserve released documents showing which banks took bailout money, as part of a court order related to a lawsuit by Bloomberg. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll Banks including Royal Bank of Scotland ( RBS), Barclays ( BCS), Dresdner and Society Generale borrowed heavily from the Fed's Term Auction Facility (TAF) during the initial days of the financial crisis, the report showed.
Both State Street ( STT - Get Report) and Barclays announced layoffs this week, just in time for the holiday season. State Street said that it plans to let go of 1,400 positions, or 5% of its workforce, over the next year as part of a company-wide restructuring plan. Barclays confirmed this week that it plans to fire several hundred employees in the next three months after a decline in investment banking revenue.
Two online brokers saw shares surge early in the week after each announced plans to return capital to shareholders in the form of special dividends. OptionsXpress ( OXPS) said Monday that its board of directors authorized a dividend of $4.50 per share ($259 million in total) payable to shareholders later this month. Interactive Brokers ( IBKR - Get Report) also plans to return of $1 billion to shareholders in the form of a $1.79 per share dividend this month. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact the writer of this article, click here: Laurie Kulikowski. To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.