Receiving Wide Coverage ...


Preparing charges: Federal prosecutors believe that North Korea may have been behind last year's theft of $81 million from Bangladesh's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, "one of the biggest bank robberies of modern times," according to the Wall Street Journal. The attorneys are said to be preparing charges against "alleged Chinese middlemen" who helped the rogue state orchestrate the theft. The Justice Department believe "there is merit" to the claim that the Fed robbery was linked to the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures, which the FBI blamed on North Korea. Wall Street Journal, New York Times

Wall Street Journal


Next in line?: The Journal profiles Deutsche Bank's chief financial officer, Marcus Schenck, who, it says, "may be next to run" Germany's biggest bank. Earlier this month, Schenck was named deputy CEO along with Christian Sewing, who oversees retail and private banking at DB. Both are seen as potential successors to the current CEO, John Cryan, but "of the two deputies, Mr. Schenck has the more global and higher-profile stage."

Deutsche Bank CFO Marcus Schenk.
Deutsche Bank CFO Marcus Schenk. Bloomberg News

No free lunch: The Fed's recent interest rate increases are putting the squeeze on retailers who offer long-term zero-percent financing for customers.

Too much information: Blame "information overload" for the recent allegations against four European banks in a $20 billion Russian money laundering operation. The banks say they were duped. "Spotting the transactions of money launderers, terrorists and rogue states has become more complex in the digital age where data are greater in volume and travel further and faster and to more obscure places," the Journal notes. "More cooperation on sharing and analysis of banking information is required."

Financial Times


Gaining ground: JPMorgan Chase has moved ahead of Goldman Sachs in the prime brokerage market, placing second behind Morgan Stanley, according to industry monitor Coalition's 2016 ranking of banking advisers to hedge funds by revenue. Goldman fell to third place.

New York Times


Battle brewing: Big banks and fintech start-ups like Mint and Betterment are "waging an escalating battle" over consumer financial data. The banks "are making a concerted push to set new restrictions on how technology companies can get access to this personal financial data, in some cases refusing to pass along information like the fees and interest rates they charge," the Times reports. The banks want new rules in how the fintech companies handle the information. The tech companies say they're being prevented from offering better deals to consumers.

Weak argument: The Times Editorial Board argues that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray has "been doing what President Trump pledged to do in the campaign: protecting Americans from a system that has 'robbed our working class.' So why would he want to fire Mr. Cordray?" The editors sense a more sinister motive, namely weakening "the independence of agencies across the government."

"The arguments against the bureau and Mr. Cordray are weak," the editors conclude. "But the political forces aligned against them are not."

Elsewhere


Empowering: Blockchain technology "is key for an inclusive, transparent and accountable digital economy," a new report from the Centre for International Governance Innovation says, reported by CoinDesk. "Blockchain usage tends toward a more decentralized and democratic order which empowers individuals to participate in the global economy directly through systemically embedded transparency, accountability and inclusiveness mechanisms," says the report, written by CIGI senior fellow Julie Maupin.

Quotable


"If that linkage is true, that means a nation-state is robbing banks. That is a big deal."

— Richard Ledgett, the deputy director of the National Security Agency, on allegations that North Korea is involved in cybercrimes.

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