BANKTHINK

U.K. Regulator to Libor Panel Banks: You Can Check Out Anytime You Like … But You Can Never Leave

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Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Jack Lew's Confirmation Hearing: According to the Post, "The questions from the Senate Finance Committee, which is vetting Lew, reflected the widening responsibilities of the Treasury secretary, a role that shapes policy on trade, taxes, economic growth — and now banking regulation." Despite pointed questions about his lucrative work at Citigroup, his Cayman Islands hedge fund investment, etc., "Lew handled the confirmation so smoothly that toward the end of the hearing, Republicans on the committee were conceding that he was all but greenlighted for the job." The headline of the latest Journal editorial subtly hints at the writers' assessment of Lew: "The Rookie." The paper also has a straight news story on the hearing that mostly talks about the fiscal policy stuff.

Wall Street Journal

Court rulings in mortgage putback cases keep going against Bank of America, according to the "Heard on the Street" column.

Several banks, including France's BNP Paribas and the Netherlands' Rabobank, wanted to quit the survey that produces Libor, but the U.K. financial regulator warned them not to, so they didn't. "Regulators … worry that if a parade of banks leaves the panels that set Libor, it will further damage the benchmark's credibility. But banks are increasingly wary of being involved in setting Libor. … A dearth of lending between banks in the current tumultuous environment makes it difficult for banks to come up with accurate estimates of their borrowing costs. … And the scandal surrounding banks' attempted rate manipulation means some lenders perceive their continued participation in setting the benchmarks as a potential liability."

New York Times

"Regulator Explains Decision to End Flawed Foreclosure Review" — A "pivotal moment," the paper reports, came in November 2012 when Comptroller Tom Curry says he realized the consultants had raked in $2 billion but "we were still not ready to compensate the first borrower." Just asking: Was that moment on Nov. 1 or Nov. 2 perchance?

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(Image: Bloomberg News)

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