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morning scan

Morning Scan: Dems Go Postal; Banks Embrace Faster P2P Payments

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Signed, sealed ... maybe not delivered: Bernie Sanders fans, take heart. The Democrats released their party platform late last week and it includes a proposal for the U.S. Postal Service to offer basic banking services, like cashing checks. The concept has previously been backed by labor unions, Sen. Elizabeth Warren – and yes, Sanders – though the banking industry has tended to resist the effort. …

Morning Scan: JPM to Settle Hiring Probe; PayPal, Visa Make Nice

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Strategic hiring: What's a few jobs among friends? JPMorgan Chase is expected to settle a probe in coming months over alleged efforts to hire the children of powerful Chinese officials and executives in state-owned firms to drum up new business. The bank is expected to pay as much as $200 million and may admit wrongdoing, though it is unlikely to be criminally charged. Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg …

Morning Scan: HSBC Banker Arrested in Forex Case

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Crackdown: A top banker was arrested on criminal charges Wednesday, but those looking for prosecutions resulting from the financial crisis are still going to be disappointed. Mark Johnson, a top foreign-exchange executive at HSBC is accused of "front running" a currency trade for a client in 2011, which was worth about $3.5 billion. The deal won the bank about $8 million at the time, albeit to the detriment of the company involved.…

Morning Scan: Fallout from Republican Shot at Big Banks

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Catching fire: For a Depression-era law, the Glass-Stegall Act has certainly gone prime time in 2016. Observers spent much of Tuesday scratching their heads over the GOP's decision to include in its party platform bringing back the provision. The law, which separated commercial and investment banking activities, was repealed under President Bill Clinton. The New York Times calls the proposal, which has also been backed by many on the left, "almost a…

Morning Scan: New Support for Glass-Steagall; Brexit Maneuvers

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Strange bedfellows: Somehow, this year's presidential race just got even more baffling. Republicans have included a provision to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act in their platform, putting the party in line with those on the left, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort highlighted the issue during a press conference on Monday, noting that Hillary Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, oversaw the repeal of the…

Morning Scan: More Bank Earnings; Trouble Brews Abroad

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Mixed bag: Bank of America's second-quarter results are better than analysts predicted, but still spell a big drop from last year. The bank's profit fell to $4.23 billion from $5.13 billion a year earlier, while adjusted revenue slid to $20.6 billion from $21.96 billion, B of A reported on Monday morning. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times>, American banker …

Morning Scan: Mixed Bag for Citi, Wells Q2 Earnings

Hot off the presses: Citigroup and Wells Fargo reported Friday morning that they saw second-quarter profits fall from a year earlier, though both either met or exceeded analyst expectations. Citigroup reported $4 billion in profit on $17.55 billion of revenue. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, American Banker, Financial Times …

Morning Scan: JPM Earnings Outpace Expectations

Breaking News This Morning ... Earnings kickoff: JPMorgan Chase surprised investors with fairly strong second-quarter results Thursday morning. The company posted a profit of $6.2 billion and managed revenue of $25.21 billion, beating analyst projections. Trading revenue surged 23% to $5.56 billion. The Financial Times published a rundown of issues to watch – including any executive comments about the Brexit – as banks roll out their earnings this month. Meanwhile, the Journal will be live-blogging details…

Morning Scan: SoFi Mulls Utah Bank Charter

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Future of banking: In fintech, as in life, it all comes full circle. While banks are rushing to disrupt themselves through new offerings and partnerships with Silicon Valley, the startups are beginning to look more like banks. The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy profile Tuesday of online lender Social Finance, which has made $10 billion in loans, including student loans, since 2011. The company has reportedly been in discussions with Utah…

Morning Scan: Wall Street Braces for Q2 Earnings Reports

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Headache du jour: This earnings season is all about lowering expectations. When JPMorgan kicks off the process on Thursday, the "big question" isn't about whether firms will meet or exceed projections. Instead, second-quarter results will help determine "whether bank stocks will be dead in the water for another year or two," according to the Wall Street Journal. …

Morning Scan: Bitcoin Miner Reward Slashed in 'Halving'

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Holding steady: "Halving" sounds like it should be straight out of Lord of the Rings or The Hunger Games, but it's not. Bitcoin survived its quadrennial event on Saturday, with the reward for mining new bitcoins slashed in half for a second time in the virtual currency's history. The change could thin the herd of bitcoin miners, armed with powerful computer processors, that have popped up around the world. …

Morning Scan: Calls to Fix 'Bro Talk' Culture, Executive Pay

Receiving Wide Coverage ... A new wrinkle: Reuters reports that a Swiss banking association is seeking to build a post-Brexit coalition with Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore to form a so-called "F4 alliance" that would look to set international standards and possibly strike a deal with the European Union. The Financial Times notes, "The Swiss bankers' association first suggested launching a 'F4' financial centres group in 2012." Wall Street Journal …

Morning Scan: Banks Take a Beating in the Markets

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Buy low, sell high: If you're heavily invested in bank stocks, best to shut down your browser, step away from the computer and perhaps apply a cool compress to your forehead. It's ugly out there. Twenty of the world's biggest banks have lost a quarter of their combined market value since the beginning of the year, amounting to nearly half a trillion dollars, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Turns out…

Morning Scan: Bank of England Taps Capital Buffer to Spur Loans

Big step: The Bank of England said Tuesday that it was relaxing capital requirements on the country's biggest banks in an effort to spur £150 billion ($199 billion) in lending. The decision, which came as part of the central bank's financial stability report, follows Britain's shocking vote last month to leave the European Union. "It's important to ensure that there is no question about the availability of credit. It is the one thing we want…

Morning Scan: Barclays Bankers Found Guilty in U.K. Libor Case

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Justice, delayed: Several bankers are paying the price for misdeeds – albeit roughly a decade after their crimes reportedly took place. Three former Barclays bankers – two Brits (Jonathan Mathew and Jay Merchant) and an American (Alex Pabon) – have been convicted of conspiracy to defraud in connection with efforts to manipulate Libor interest rates between June 2005 and September 2007. The London jury ultimately failed to issue a verdict for two…

Morning Scan: Swipe Fees Battle Renewed; Soured Mortgages Remain

Editor's note: Morning Scan will not publish on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We'll be back on Tuesday, July 5. Receiving Wide Coverage ... At odds: Just in time for July 4th the fireworks over swipe fees have been reignited. An appeals court in Manhattan has overturned a landmark settlement between the country's merchants and Visa and MasterCard. The court found that retailers were "inadequately" represented, because the same lawyers spoke for two groups…

Morning Scan: Stress Tests Round Two; GE Capital No Longer a SIFI

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Everybody breathe: That could have gone a whole lot worse. The Federal Reserve unveiled the results of the second part of its annual stress tests on Wednesday and just two banks failed – the U.S. units of Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander had their capital plans rejected. Both are repeat offenders that have had trouble with the exams in the past. …

Morning Scan: More Stress Ahead ... From the Fed and Brexit

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Big day: Banks could use some good news this week, but it remains to be seen whether there's any in sight. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release the second part of its annual stress tests, which could prove a bright spot for some banks. The exams will determine how much capital they can return to shareholders through buybacks or dividends. …

Morning Scan: Supreme Court Punts on Debt Collector Lawsuit

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Application Denied: Monday's verdict from the high court? Thanks, but no thanks. The Supreme Court declined to review an appeals court decision over whether debt collectors must follow state usury laws, making way for a class-action suit to proceed back in district court. For now, the industry remains in limbo. …

Morning Scan: Private Equity Deep Dive; Brexit Fallout Continues

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Profiteering: For as much heat as the big banks get, some financial firms continue to operate with very little oversight at all. That's one takeaway from a New York Times series unveiled this weekend, Bottom Line Nation, which looks at the role private equity companies are playing in all facets of American life – from the emergency services industry to the mortgage business. …

Morning Scan: Brits Prep for EU Split; Banks Pass Stress Tests

Receiving Wide Coverage This is not a drill: Britain has voted to leave the European Union in a stunning outcome to Thursday's referendum. The decision is already shaking the markets and will reshape the country's place in the world for years, if not decades to come. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post …

Morning Scan: Tough Talk from Lawsky's Successor

Receiving Wide Coverage ... No boots: She might not be "Clint Eastwood," but she's about to get pretty familiar with the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to banking. Maria Vullo, the top financial regulator in New York, warned the banking industry Wednesday that she has no intention of going "easy on serious misconduct." The comments were part of her first public remarks since assuming the role, after being confirmed by the state Senate…

Morning Scan: Yellen's Not Out of the Hot Seat Yet

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Shaky at best: If you're looking for definitive answers on the state of the economy, best consult your local fortuneteller. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave current economic conditions a mixed review before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, citing "considerable uncertainty." Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post …

Morning Scan: Fed's Big 'Stress Test' Reveal Ahead

Receiving Wide Coverage ... The Federal Reserve has a way of injecting "stress" back into the term "stress tests" — at least for Bank of American and Citigroup, which have both stumbled during the examinations in recent years. An analysis by the Wall Street Journal finds that the two banks could have returned as much as $24 billion more to shareholders if the level of dividends and share buybacks they offered had matched those of competitor Wells…

Morning Scan: DAO Attack Aftermath; IEX Approved

Receiving Wide Coverage... DAO-saster: If there's a simple rule for bank robbing, it's "follow the money." As investors and consumers put their funds online and adopt new technologies — like cryptocurrency — so go the outlaws. That appears to be one takeaway from Friday morning's theft of more than $50 million of the digital currency Ether. The hackers targeted the Decentralized Autonomous Organization, a fund built around the currency, which could spell the project's demise. …

Morning Scan: FSOC: We Played by Rules in MetLife Designation

Receiving Wide Coverage… Round 2: Right now, the score is MetLife: 1, FSOC: 0. But the government is looking to even the odds. MetLife won a major victory in federal district court this spring when a judge threw out its "systemically important" label, ruling that the Financial Stability Oversight Council fell short in proving that the insurer deserved the designation. …

Morning Scan: Home Depot Plays Chip Card in Suit vs. Card Networks

Receiving Wide Coverage… No Rate Hike. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post. Eternal Feud: It's the banking sector's version of the Hatfields and the McCoys: the merchants and the card companies are at it again. And this time, there's a tech twist. Home Depot has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard, charging that retailers pay too much on transactions from debit and credit cards and that the card issuers are in cahoots…

Morning Scan: Synchrony Rattles Markets; Flash Boys Redux

Receiving Wide Coverage… Credit-quality alert: How are the consumer credit markets doing? To quote the Magic 8-Ball: "outlook not so good." Synchrony Financial, the largest U.S. issuer of private-label credit cards, said Tuesday that its chargeoff rate is likely to rise by 20 to 30 basis points over the next year, as some borrowers struggle to get on top of overdue payments. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times …

Morning Scan: New Finra Chief; More Basel Hand-Wringing

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Finra's New Boss: Former Securities and Exchange Commission official Robert Cook will take the helm as chief executive of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority later this year. The move comes as the self-policing body expands its oversight of stock market trading activities and rogue employees. Though it's historically been criticized by some for levying meager fines against the financial industry, Finra has been flexing its muscle lately, according to the Wall Street Journal.…

Morning Scan: CFPB's Pricey Ad Campaign; a Basel Gambit?

Wall Street Journal Election season is heating up, but the presidential candidates aren't the only ones shelling out for advertising. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is launching its own campaign to educate the public about its online tools and resources. As such, the agency is now devoting a larger portion of its budget to advertising compared with nearly every other federal agency, according to a review of government records by the Wall Street Journal. …

'Capital Doesn't Matter. Confidence Is What Matters'
Christopher Whalen, senior managing director and head of research at Kroll Bond Rating Agency, discusses the sorry state of European banks, the missteps by European Union regulators and the potential ramifications for financial institutions in the U.S.
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