Receiving Wide Coverage ...
No deal — yet: Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he wouldn’t simply “rubber stamp” the Dodd-Frank rollback bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday, calling that vote “an important first step,” but not the only one. That may make it more difficult to get final passage.
“Adding to the Senate plan could upset the deal between Senate Republicans and the group of centrist Democrats who backed it,” the Wall Street Journal notes. “Senate aides have said making changes to the package could delay final passage of the overhaul for weeks or months, or derail it altogether. Centrist Democrats have already said they won’t support negotiations with House lawmakers to make changes to the Senate bill.” Wall Street Journal, New York Times, American Banker
Hensarling “wants to make the bill a vehicle for more aggressive deregulatory measures,” the Financial Times says.
The Senate bill includes a measure that enables consumers to freeze their credit reports for free. But consumer advocates say that “would come at a price,” the New York Times says. “The bill would override stronger state regulations and pre-empt the states from enacting better protections. And it wouldn’t begin to address the much larger issue of safeguarding consumer data.”
Super salesman: Lawrence Kudlow’s background as a television commentator “leaves him particularly well suited” for his new job as chief White House economic adviser. President Trump “was said to be interested in tapping Mr. Kudlow because he thought he would make a good salesman for the administration’s economic agenda,” the Journal says.
That doesn’t mean he has a particularly good track record as a financial prognosticator, according to the Times. “His predictions, which will soon carry new weight as the president’s top economic adviser, have not always been on the mark.”
Breaking the mold: David Solomon, the heir apparent to Lloyd Blankfein as Goldman Sachs CEO, “doesn’t fit the mold of a classic investment banker. Rather, Mr. Solomon is known as a screw-turning operator who can get things done,” the Journal says.
Indeed, his path to the corner office “could hardly be more different from that of Goldman’s two most-recent chief executives. Mr. Blankfein rose through the firm’s trading operation. His predecessor, Henry Paulson, came up as a white-shoe banker, covering industrial companies in the Midwest. Mr. Solomon, in contrast, started out in the mercenary world of high-yield debt.” Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
He’s different in another way. He moonlights as a DJ under the moniker D-Sol.
Slap on the wrist: Coutts & Co., a private bank owned by Royal Bank of Scotland where the British royal family keeps its money, disciplined one of its star bankers, Harry Keogh, in 2015 by giving him a warning, withholding a bonus, and assigning him a coach following an internal investigation into alleged inappropriate sexual behavior. But some at the bank thought the punishment was too lenient and that he should have been fired.
“The investigation and its outcome unfolded before workplace conduct became a front-burner issue,” the Journal reports. “The process at Coutts angered many of the employees involved.” Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
Crime and punishment: A Texas jury ordered a sister company of Quicken Loans to pay $706 million to a real estate technology startup that accused it of stealing its intellectual property. Amrock, which provides title insurance and real estate valuations and was previously known as Title Source, was ordered to pay $235.4 million in damages and $471.4 million in punitive damages to HouseCanary. Quicken and Amrock are both units of Rock Holdings Inc.
Filling the void: A member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission wants the Treasury Department to fill the “regulatory vacuum” over the cryptocurrency industry. “I think they really need to step in, gather all the regulators, take in ideas, talk to stakeholders and then if legislation is needed, propose that to Congress,” Rostin Behnam, the sole Democrat on the CFTC, told the paper. “There is a regulatory vacuum right now in this space.”
Looking for a boost: Goldman Sachs and UBS have joined a U.K. government initiative to increase the number of women in senior positions in the financial services industry. More than 200 companies have signed the Women in Finance Charter.
“I look forward to combining [the Senate bill] with our helpful House bipartisan banking bills and getting that combined bill to the president’s desk.” — Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.