Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Citi Fined: Citigroup has agreed to pay a Massachusetts regulator $30 million for allowing an analyst to share unpublished research about Apple with a handful of hedge funds, including SAC Capital. The Journal calls the case "a vivid example of a problem many critics say isn't going away: sloppy controls over the market-sensitive information flowing between analysts and investors." Dealbook suggests the incident says something about SAC Capital, which was indicted on insider trading charges back in July. "The latest details … illuminate the hedge fund's relentless pursuit of an edge in stock trading," the article notes. Charges have yet to be filed against any of the hedge funds that received the heads up, but enforcement actions are apparently under consideration. Anonymice tell the Journal that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is also investigating Citi over the matter. The bank, which did not admit or deny breaking the law as part of the consent order, tells the FT it is "pleased to have this matter resolved" and that it takes "regulatory compliance requirements very seriously."
CFTC Chair to Leave: An anonymouse tells the Wall Street Journal that Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Gary Gensler will leave the agency when his terms ends in December. Gensler's departure has been widely rumored for months, though the Obama administration did ask him to serve a second term back in March. CFTC commissioner Mark Wetjen, former CFTC enforcement chief Geoffrey Aronow, New York Law School professor Ronald Filler and Treasury official Timothy Massad are cited by the papers as possible successors. Massad is also pegged by Dealbook as a potential replacement, though the news outlet says the White House has not yet reached a decision. "If it declines to do so by January, one of the agency's Democratic commissioners could fill the role on an interim basis," the article notes. The CFTC is about to go through a bit of a shake-up: Enforcement chief David Meister announced earlier this week that he plans to leave the agency this month.
Wall Street Prepares for Possible Default: U.S. banks are stocking ATMs and branches with extra cash just in case a panic ensues as Congress remains at an impasse and fails to strike a deal on the debt ceiling. Some big banks are also selling government bonds, "a sign that confidence in Washington has waned," the Times notes.
Barclays' Fundraising Efforts: Barclays' £5.8 billion rights issue was largely successful with 95% of shareholders participating. The bank initiated the fundraising effort back in July as part of a plan to boost capital. The FT notes the rights issue "is the biggest since 2009 and the fourth biggest in British banking history." Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Swiss regulators are investigating several Swiss banks for possible manipulation of foreign-exchange markets. The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority is also said to be gathering information about potential manipulation of benchmark foreign-exchange rates. The article contains this ominous note: "The scandal over the rigging of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, got off to a similar start of assurances from bankers that nothing was amiss."
SEC Chairman Mary Jo White criticized Congress and the courts for inadvertently circumventing her agency's role. White also told Fordham's law school courts need to "defer" to the SEC's "reasoned judgments."
New York Times
Columnist Floyd Norris on TD Bank's decision to pay $52.5 million to settle accusations that it had helped a Florida lawyer commit a Ponzi scheme: "Even if this case does not herald a wider crackdown by authorities, it will persuade other banks thatignoring signs of a Ponzi scheme is no longer a safe thing to do."
An analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's complaint database finds that rich people are more apt to complain about their mortgages.
Top payments processor Meracord was fined $1.3 million by the CFPB for helping debt relief firms charge illegal upfront fees. Meracord and its CEO, Linda Remsberg, are also banned for life from processing payments of any kind for providers of debt relief as part of the enforcement action.