Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Big Payday: The best-paid financial-services CEO in 2012 was not Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon but Richard Handler, of the lesser-known investment bank Jefferies Group. He took home $45 million (or $58 million if you count shares he received) after making a deal to sell Jefferies to the industrial smorgasbord Leucadia National, which he'll run. The Journal's story is meaty, highlighting the board's use of peer comparisons in determining Handler's compensation after scrapping that practice the year before. The papers note that Jefferies, bucking the industry trend, pays its bonuses all-cash, up front, rather than deferring them or paying in stock — though according to the FT, "some said the cash bonuses were paltry compared with pay at other banks. Employees must pay the cash back if they leave for one of Jefferies' competitors." Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
When the economy strengthens and interest rates rise in a few years, the Fed may take losses on its bond portfolio and pay higher interest expenses on reserves held by banks. That would leave the central bank without the profits it's been sending to Treasury. But as our grandparents might have said, we should all be so lucky to have such problems. Comments a Journal reader: "Did you say 'when' the economy is stronger? Don't you really mean 'if'?"
"Banks' debt product skirt liquidity rules" — it's called callable commercial paper, and it has a maturity of "up to 200 days but would be redeemed by the [municipal] issuer before 30 days." Hence, banks can backstop the paper for municipalities while avoiding a Basel III rule requiring them to hold liquid assets to cover commitments that could be tapped within 30 days.
New York Times
It's official now. "Lanny A. Breuer, the federal prosecutor who led the Justice Department's response to corporate crime in the wake of the financial crisis, will announce on Wednesday that he is stepping down." (Recall the Post was alone in reporting this last week.) Can he take Carmen Ortiz with him?
Wow. "The push to make MF Global customers nearly whole, a goal now surprisingly within reach, is a remarkable turnaround for the brokerage firm."
"HSBC Adds to Oversight Effort With Board Committee"
"In report to Congress, TARP special inspector general pushes for a plan for Ally to repay taxpayers." The former GMAC is the last big company that still owes the government for the bailout.