BANKTHINK

Morning Scan: ECB Holds Rates Steady; Rackoff Decision Reversed

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Same Old: The Bank of England decided once again to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5%, even as the British economy appears to be gaining steam. The British central bank under the stewardship of Governor Mark Carney also left its stimulus program unchanged continuing to hold about $628 billion in government bonds it has purchased over the past five years.

While the central bank didn't revise its growth forecast or inflation targets, it did signal it was nearing the point where it would gradually begin to lift rates. Analysts anticipate the bank to raise the key interest rate during the first half of next year. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

Reversing Rackoff: Wall Street and the regulators who oversee financial institutions secured a victory yesterday after a federal appeals court overturned a 2011 decision by Jed Rakoff. Rakoff had rejected a settlement deal between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup believing that the bank got off with a little more than a slap on the wrist. But a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit thought otherwise, concluding that Rakoff "abused" his discretion and applied an "incorrect legal standard to the case. New York Times, Wall Street Journal

Goldman Seeks M&A Gold in Asia: Amid a surge in deal volume, Goldman Sachs is ramping up its mergers and acquisitions team in Asia, starting with appointing a new vice chairman of investment banking, Richard Campbell-Breeden. New York Times Financial Times

Wall Street Journal

It's about to get a little bit tougher for Wall Street traders. Trading businesses at some of the biggest global investment banks are expected to suffer losses that could run up into the thousands of layoffs, according to the Journal, citing people at the firms and recruiters in financial services positions.

U.S. regulators are planning to take a second look at current bank regulations to determine if any are outdated or overly burdensome to the industry. The study is required every 10 years as part of a 1996 law.

New York Times

The Dutch financial services company ING Group is moving ahead with a long-anticipated initial public offering for the NN Group, its European and Japanese insurance and investment arm. It's the final step the company must take to transform its business after a government bailout in 2008. ING has said it would repay the Dutch government by 2015.

Following a string of public losses, Britain's Serious Fraud Office has been struggling to restore its tattered reputation, but that could all be starting to turn around. Credit Suisse agreed to plead guilty and pay $2.6 billion for conspiring to help Americans avoid paying taxes.

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Big Winners and Losers for Banks on Election Night

Republicans won a sizable victory late Tuesday, retaking the Senate after losing it eight years ago. Banks, too, largely benefited, as an ally of the industry captured a Senate seat in West Virginia, two credit union allies fell and a key Democratic senator squeaked past. Here's how election night played out for banks.

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