Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Advice for Mary Jo White: "Making Them Pay (and Confess)" is what the Times' Gretchen Morgenson would like to see from White, President Obama's nominee to head the SEC. In other words, the columnist wants White to kick the SEC's habit of allowing companies to settle charges by paying fines without admitting fault. The Post notes that the agency lacks some of the awesome powers of White's former employer, the Department of Justice. The SEC can't brandish threats of jail time, wiretaps, search warrants, undercover operations or grand jury probes. But it has other strong enforcement tools at its disposal, such as issuing damning reports on individuals and barring them from serving as corporate directors and officers. "Even if White wanted to devote all her energies to enforcement, there will be other and perhaps more pressing regulatory matters before the agency, including putting in place the sweeping regulations heaped on the agency by the Dodd-Frank Act," the article says. It also notes that unlike at the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, White will be overseeing unionized attorneys and answering to a five-person commission.
JPM Risk Chief Takes a Break: John Hogan, JPMorgan Chase's chief risk officer, is taking a four-month leave of absence to spend more time with his family, the bank said Friday. The finite term of the sabbatical strongly suggests that "spending time with family" is sincere in this case, rather than the corporate euphemism for dismissal it often is. Hogan has wanted to take time off since his father died in November, the papers say, citing anonymous sources. He took the CRO job early last year, shortly before the "London Whale" trading losses came to light, and the bank's recently released internal reports on that incident largely spared him from criticism. Deputy risk chief Ashley Bacon will fill Hogan's duties during his leave of absence. Wall Street Journal, New York Times
FOMC Previews: The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to keep short-term rates near zero and maintain its bond-buying program during its two-day policy meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, given the soggy economy. (Wall Street Journal, New York Times) The Journal's "Heard on the Street" column warns that by keeping rates so low, the Fed and other central banks "may have created a ticking time-bomb for investors in the bond market." Once the economy is back on its feet, market yields should rise, prices of existing, lower-yielding bonds may plummet and investors that have loaded up on such paper (including banks) could suffer sizable losses.