Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Barclays Restructuring: After six months on the job, CEO Antony Jenkins will announce a restructuring on Tuesday that "is expected to leave the bank's strategy largely intact," according to the Journal. The British giant's investment bank will slash 2,000 jobs, or 10% of the unit's workforce, and activities that aren't "socially useful" may get the ax, such as "transactions that have no business purpose other than reducing taxes." (Nevertheless, Barclays "will continue to offer tax-minimizing advice. People familiar with the matter say the business has been hiring employees recently.") Best tidbit of all: "Late last year, 125 top managers were taken to a venue in West London to discuss the bank's culture. They looked at case studies of other troubled organizations. The Roman Empire was used to highlight the risk of hubris, says one person who attended. Executives examined a presentation detailing how public zoos evolved from entertainment with animals into centers of learning." Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Telegraph (op-ed by Jenkins in U.K. newspaper)
Sound Familiar? "Bank rules favour the big players." "Smaller banks say rules hit their lending." After seeing these headlines, community bankers from sea to shining sea are probably saying, "yeah, what else is new?" But as the "u" in "favour" hinted, these stories from the FT are about British banks. "The UK has more than 200 banks. However, only half a dozen control three-quarters of all current accounts and most residential mortgages, and dominate [small and midsize business] lending."
Wall Street Journal
Ahead of FHA Commissioner Carol Galante's scheduled testimony before the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, the Journal offers a solid overview of the debate over that agency's role in the housing market and risk to the taxpayer.
New York Times
"Complex Investments Prove Risky as Savers Chase Bigger Payoff" — "Brokers used to promote bad investments mainly to people trying to get rich quick. But with traditional portfolios falling in value, ordinary retirement savers are being duped in growing numbers." Thanks, ZIRP. Bankers can surely empathize with the temptation to chase yield.
"S.E.C.'s Revolving Door Hurts Its Effectiveness, Report Says." Study is by the Project on Government Oversight, or POGO.
Columnist Gretchen Morgenson interviews two former Moody's analysts who started their own rating shop but have had a hard time gaining NRSRO recognition from the SEC. "Frustrated by what it perceives as roadblocks erected by the S.E.C.," the husband and wife team "are beginning to wonder if the commission really wants increased competition."
Wired: "Beware the Big Errors of 'Big Data,'" warns Nassim Taleb, of "Black Swan" and "Antifragile" fame.