Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Targeting Barclays: The U.K. Treasury is expected to give the "cash-strapped' Serious Fraud Office £2 million in special "blockbuster" funding so that it can continue a probe into Barclays' fundraising efforts five years ago, the FT reports. "The SFO's director, David Green, negotiated a similar arrangement for the agency's sprawling investigation into Libor manipulation, in which Barclays is also a target," the paper notes. Regulators have been looking into "certain commercial arrangements" the bank made with Qatar Holdings back in 2008, but the funding seems to indicate the probe is "escalating". Barclays declined to comment on the investigation. Meanwhile, the bank did say that it would "update the market" as to how it plans to fill a capital gap during its earnings call on Tuesday. Anonymice previously told the Journal and the FT that the bank was considering issuing fresh equity and selling convertible bonds, among other things, to meet its estimated £7 billion shortfall.
Doves Top Hawks at Fed: An analysis in the Journal finds that Federal Reserve "doves" have been better at prognosticating the direction of the U.S. economy than its "hawks." The most accurate forecaster? Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, who, Scan readers will recall, is currently considered to be in a tight race with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to take over as Fed chairman should Ben Bernanke, as expected, exit in January. Elsewhere, a Journal "Review & Outlook" op-ed appears to take issue with both leading candidates: "The real problem is that neither Ms. Yellen nor Mr. Summers seems likely to do what should be the next chairman's priorityrestoring the Fed's independence by ending its post-crisis political interventions and focusing above all on maintaining price stability."
Wall Street Journal
The value of U.K. home loans is on the rise. "The latest evidence of rising demand for houses, at a time when few new homes are being built, is likely to unsettle some U.K. lawmakers who worry that a government program aimed at helping people secure mortgages will cause a bubble in house prices," the paper notes.
A survey from Deloitte found banks have been making very little progress on the risk management front. "The slow progress comes despite the fact that nearly half the institutions have increased their risk management budgets in the past year, and 58% expect to spend more over the next three years," the paper notes.
Glass-Steagall 2 may be DOA, but this op-ed by John Authers argues the move to restore the legislation is worth the discussion: "Those who make loans or investments must be kept in touch with the consequences of their actions. It would have been better if Glass-Steagall had never been repealed. Bringing it back would not bring back the financial system as it existed in 1999, unfortunately, but it is most helpful that such an option is back in the debate."
New York Times
Tech reporter Jenna Wortham takes a look at why mobile wallets have yet to catch on. Among the reasons offered, "paying with a phone today is rarely easier than paying with a credit card," she writes. "Paying via phone often involves a series of awkward swipes and taps to start the transaction, and the process can be disrupted by spotty wireless connections, low batteries or other electronic hiccups."