Receiving Wide Coverage ...
The Fed will go on: A massive snowstorm is blanketing the Northeast this morning, causing disruptions, transit delays, and school and flight cancellations. The Federal Open Market Committee, though, will meet as scheduled. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post
Critic's choice: HSBC "looks to have chosen well" in naming Mark Tucker as its next chairman, the Wall Street Journal says. He is the ultimate outsider — not only is he the first HSBC chairman in its more than 150-year history to come from outside the bank, but outside the banking business entirely. The former insurance executive also "has plenty of experience in Asia, the region that dominates HSBC's earnings."
Tucker also promises to be "an engaged and demanding [boss] for HSBC's mostly Hong Kong - and London-based executives," it adds. "The bank needs a tune up and Mr. Tucker has the potential to make some people's lives uncomfortable. That is undoubtedly part of the plan, but a shake-up isn't without risks."
The Financial Times discusses the five biggest challenges facing Europe's biggest bank.
Wall Street Journal
Regulators to blame: The "remorseless" demands for greater and greater bank capital "could kill the economy," warn Tim Congdon and Steve H. Hanke, professors at the University of Buckingham in England and Johns Hopkins, respectively. In an op-ed piece in the Journal, the two academics argue "this bandwagon has taken a wrong turn."
"Capital isn't the problem," they write. "Instead, the blame for the 2008 crisis and the Great Recession rests largely with regulators."
Priceless: Mastercard is bringing back golf legend Arnold Palmer – who died last September at age 87 – to star in a television commercial during this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. Mastercard said the commercial and the company's sponsorship of the tournament is about "honoring Mr. Palmer for the way he lived his life, his values and morals and his tremendous philanthropic efforts." The credit card company recently renewed its relationship with Palmer's estate.
Alarming proposal: Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., endorsed President Trump's tentative plans to reinstate a Glass-Steagall-like separation of commercial and investment banking. In a speech Monday, Hoenig said large global banks should set up stand-alone holding companies if they want to carry out "non-traditional bank activities." But his proposal "is likely to spark alarm on Wall Street, where the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have argued that break-ups of big banking groups would be arduous and unnecessary," the FT noted.
Rollback risks: The FT sifts through the Dodd-Frank Act and describes the "vulnerabilities" of each of its 16 sections. Its overall take: "Wholesale abolition is unlikely but parts of the act are more vulnerable than others."
New York Times
Two tales: Preet Bharara's tenure as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York was marked by two chapters, writes DealBook founder Andrew Ross Sorkin. Immediately after the financial crisis, he was "pilloried for coming down far too lightly on bankers," after which he morphed into the "Sheriff of Wall Street" and "The Man Who Terrifies Wall Street."
"Both narratives, which are at odds with each other, misunderstand Mr. Bharara," Sorkin writes. "He is, at his core, a pragmatist — one with a proclivity for publicity."
Landmark choice: As expected, Raphael W. Bostic, a former HUD official under President Obama, was named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Bostic, currently a professor at USC, will become the first African-American to head one of the Fed's 12 regional banks and the fourth to serve on its policy-making Federal Open Market Committee.
"While this model allows for many of the synergies of commercial and investment bank activities, it also serves to return the safety net to its original purpose — that of protecting the payments system and the depositor — and reduce the associated moral hazard." — Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.