Breaking News This Morning ...
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Herb Allison Dies: Herbert Allison Jr., one-time Merrill Lynch president, former Fannie Mae and, later, Troubled Asset Relief Program chief, died on Sunday in his home in Westport, Conn. His son, Andrew, said the probable cause of death was a heart attack. He was 69. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg
More Libor Charges Filed: The U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office has filed criminal charges against Terry Farr and James Gilmour, two former London brokers who had worked at R.P. Martin Holdings Ltd, for allegedly attempting to manipulate global benchmark interest rates, including Libor. The two brokers apparently worked with former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, who was hit with similar charges last month. The new charges "underscore the expanding breadth of rate-rigging investigations," notes the Journal. "Authorities also have been homing in on the alleged roles of interdealer brokers such as R.P. Martin, which serve as middlemen between financial institutions looking to buy or sell various products." Meanwhile, Dealbook points out "British authorities had previously taken a back seat to U.S. authorities in the Libor investigation, but the recent charges signal a shift in momentum."
Second Take on Citi Earnings: The Washington Post gives kudos or, perhaps, quotes analysts who give kudos to Citi CEO Michael Corbat for "steering the bank in the right direction," as suggested by its much-better-than-expected second quarter earnings. "After years of not doing enough to impress shareholders the bank finally seems to be on the right track," echoes Forbes blogger Halah Touryalai. The Journal's Heard on the Street column gives Citi applause (mostly) for coming closer to the newly proposed leverage ratio requirements than JPMorgan Chase. "The irony is that Citi, given its near-death experience in the financial crisis, has had to build capital at a quicker clip," columnist David Reilly explains. Meanwhile, American Banker notes Citi's trading profit highlights the stakes in the recently reinvigorated Glass-Steagall debate. The bank "still relies on a complex mixture of banking and trading activities to drive profits," National Editor Maria Aspan writes.
Goldman Trader Trial, Day One: Sick of former Goldman trader Fabrice Tourre's civil trial yet? Major news outlets certainly aren't. The Washington Post got into the mix by echoing an earlier sentiment posed by the Times: "The civil case could be the [Securities and Exchange Commission's] last big shot at holding Wall Street and its executives accountable for their role in sinking the global economy." And Dealbook went with this headline on its trial coverage: "Jury Is Seated at Trader's Trial, Then Is Showered With Jargon." It also profiled both legal teams involved in the case. The Journal, which mentioned industry jargon in its Day One play-by-play, also profiled the jury: "Their preference for fashion magazines or television shows emerged as the judge asked a series of questions in hopes of learning more about potential jurors and their potential biases."
Wall Street Journal
The Senate failed to reach a compromise over President Obama's executive nominations, which include Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. Stay tuned to see if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does, indeed, go "nuclear" on the issue, possibly later today.
Could this be the future model of banking? A report finds the U.K.'s peer-to-peer lending market has tripled in just three years "as online funding platforms exploit the gap left by banks retreating from lending." In a separate article, one P-to-P investor offers this reason why: "It's banking as it used to be a hundred or a thousand years ago I know some people think it's too risky but actually, the modern framework of banking has less control in some ways. And so far, it hasn't let me down."
U.S. banking editor Tom Braithwaite posits that big U.S. banks have a new problem: They "have issued so many warnings about regulation that they cannot now admit that they are thriving."
New York Times
Barclays has hired Tushar Morzaria, chief financial officer of corporate and investment banking at JPMorgan Chase, as its chief financial officer. He will join Barclays in the fall and formally take over for the retiring Christopher Lucas in February.
Dealbook's Andrew Ross Sorkin reflects on a report that indicates Wall Street may still have a bit of an ethical problem: "The numbers presented in the report reflect an unsettling reality that there may be more than just a few bad apples in the industry, too. It should be considered a red flag when insiders say this: '28% of respondents felt that the financial services industry does not put the interests of clients first.'"