Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Oh, JPM: JPMorgan Chase has officially cancelled its terrible idea/Twitter takeover with vice chairman Jimmy Lee after the open invitation to #AskJPM questions on the social media site backfired. Profusely. ("Right when the engagement numbers were through the roof?!" tweeted Forbes' Alex Konrad in response to the cancellation.) "The original idea which had been kicked around the firm over the last few weeks was to come up with an out-of-the-box way to use social media," anonymice tell Dealbook. "The target audience was students, with Mr. Lee expected to focus on career advice." Instead, the bank was bombarded with questions about foreclosures, religion and Jamie Dimon's pet preferences, among other, oft-NSFW things on Wednesday. "JPMorgan's misstep is the latest example of how marketing on social media can go wrong," the FT explains in what is, perhaps, an understatement. "As companies from banks to supermarkets embrace the medium as an effective way of building strong relationships with customers, many are finding it tricky to keep control of the conversation." Dealbook notes that no one is expected to lose their job over the kerfuffle. The failed Twitter experiment isn't the only negative press for JPM this morning, demonstrating exactly how bad of an idea it really was. The Journal updates the status of JPM's now possibly defunct billion-dollar settlement with the DOJ over mortgage-backed securities. "No announcement yet," executive Michael Cavanagh said during a banking conference, though the bank does have "a desire to move forward." (Does Eric Holder take one lump or two? #AskJPM," tweeted financial columnist James Saft.) And Dealbook's got some new details on JPM's "fruitful ties" to China's elite (the subject of another government probe into the bank) after reviewing confidential documents and interviewing anonymice. The article reveals that JPM contracted Wen Ruchun, "the only daughter of Wen Jiabao, who at the time was China's prime minister, with oversight of the economy and its financial institutions" for $75,000 a month. (Are you involved in a massive corruption scandal in China? #AskJPM," tweeted Slate blogger Matt Yglesias with a link to the Dealbook article.)
Yellen Hearing Preview: Fed chairman nominee Janet Yellen is set to appear before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday, but her prepared testimony is already available online. In it, Yellen backs the Fed's stimulus efforts and pledges to reduce the risk of the next crisis. The speech sets up "several points she might use to defend the Fed's $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program, which is likely to draw criticism from Republicans during the hearing," reports the Journal. But don't expect too many hints on how long QE will continue. "Any hint could both hurt [Yellen's] chances of confirmation and unnecessarily rattle financial markets," one analyst tells the Washington Post. Yellen, however, is widely expected to be confirmed for the position.
Personnel Update: Barclays compliance chief Hector Sants will not be returning to his post, following the leave of absence for stress and exhaustion he took last month. Shaygan Kheradpir, chief operations and technology officer, also resigned, taking a position as chief executive at tech company Juniper Networks. Analysts tell the FT "while [Sants'] exit is a blow to [CEO Antony] Jenkins' efforts to clean up legacy issues, it is the departure of Kheradpir that undermines the bank's turnaround attempts." Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs promoted 280 executives to managing director on Tuesday. Promotions are up 5% over last year. The average tenure for senior employees is also growing at the investment firm, reports the Journal, as "across Wall Street, bankers, traders and other employees are finding fewer reasons or opportunities to leave."
Wall Street Journal
Fairholme Capital Management LLC would like to buy parts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the government. "The proposal faces very long odds," the paper notes. "But it could raise the profile of the needed mortgage-market overhaul that has only recently begun to attract attention from Congress."
The cost of settling crisis-related mortgage allegations varies by government agency. "The wide divergence stems from the different aims and strategies underpinning the suits, from seeking to punish the perceived worst behavior to trying simply to get the most money back," the article explains.
Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp are warning of another grim quarter in the mortgage business. "We expect mortgage originations to decline from the third-quarter levels, both reflecting lower refinance volume and normal fourth-quarter seasonality in the purchase market," Wells CFO Tim Sloan said at an investors conference on Tuesday.