Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Barclays' Baggage: Things just aren't getting better this month for Libor-gate poster child Barclays, which this morning reported a 76% year-over-year drop in profit for the first six months of 2012 and revealed that nope, it's not leaving the harsh spotlight at the center of the bank-scandal stage anytime soon.
The bank set aside £450 million to cover the "misselling" of interest rate hedges to small businesses and, even better, revealed that it's now facing several lawsuits in both its home country and the United States over its manipulation of the London interbank offered rate. Most troubling of all, in what the Wall Street Journal says could be "a new black eye for the bank," Barclays said the U.K. financial regulator is investigating four current and former senior employees, including finance director Chris Lucas, over its disclosures related to crucial capital-raising activities in 2008. Happy Olympics, guys! Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times
Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Floyd Norris argues that fallout from the Libor scandal and JPMorgan Chase's massive trading losses, among other recent scandals, could cost banks and bankers their current clout with regulators and lawmakers. "Bank lobbyists may have to play defense, not offense, in coming months," and could see themselves losing an advantage in some of the ongoing fights over Dodd-Frank rule-making and other regulations, he argues.
Weill Card: Citigroup creator Sandy Weill still knows how to stay in the headlines. A day after his jaw-dropping reversal — and implicit mea culpa? — about splitting up commercial and investment banking activities, the NYT editorial page compares Weill to China tourist Nixon, and offers a mea culpa of its own for supporting the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. The FT editorial writers, not to be outdone, go biblical and compare Weill to Damascus traveler St. Paul. Financial Times, New York Times
Military Justice: As our new colleague Jeanine Skowronski pointed out on Twitter yesterday, Capital One is also not having a good month. (But hey, at least it's not Barclays.) Eight days after becoming the target of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's inaugural enforcement action — which came with a $210 million price tag — Capital One has agreed to pay another $12 million to military customers, as part of a settlement with the Justice Department and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Turns out the bank might have wrongfully foreclosed on or seized the cars of active-duty customers who were out defending our country. Financial Times, Washington Post, American Banker
New York Times
Finally, are you bored with hearing Mitt Romney's fundraising speeches and Dodd-Frank criticisms at rubber-chicken dinners? What about trying some fish and chips, or "the most expensive halibut in town"? The Republican presidential candidate held a fundraiser and dinner in London on Thursday night, attended by American bankers and other financial executives, at what the paper calls "a precarious time to visit London's financial community."