Receiving Wide Coverage ...
A Glut of (Sort of) JPM News: We say sort of because some of this, you may have heard already. For instance, more regulatory scrutiny is on the way, per JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, but, don't worry, the bank is working on it. "We have been asking our senior people to eliminate products and services that are not essential to serving our customers and are not core to our business," Dimon wrote in an internal memo that many news outlets, including American Banker, got ahold of. Among this forthcoming regulatory scrutiny, the Journal reports, is a separate Commodity Futures Trading Commission probe into whether the bank or its traders manipulated trades during the infamous "London Whale" scandal. (Scan readers will recall the bank is nearing a broader settlement with almost every other regulator in the U.S. and U.K. over the $6 billion trading loss.) Anonymice also tell the Journal "the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Manhattan prosecutors ... continue to gather evidence for what could result in criminal charges," related to the trade. (So, nope, the "Whale" still isn't exactly dead.) And, while we're on the subject of criminal charges, Dealbook reports that Julien Grout, one of the two ex-JPM traders already indicted over the incident, per his lawyer, is simply a scapegoat. "The defense will depict Mr. Grout as a low-level employee who was simply following orders," Dealbook writes. "Or, as Mr. Little [his lawyer] put it, Mr. Grout was a 'junior trading assistant acting under the direct instructions of his managers.'" In non-"Whale"-related news, the Journal reports that JPM has "already refunded credit-card customers" for mis-sold add-ons expected to be part of a (you guessed it) settlement with regulators later this week. The fines associated with this settlement, made payable to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are estimated to be around $80 million.
SEC Stays Busy: Twenty-two investment firms, including D. E. Shaw and Company and Deerfield Management, have agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission a total of $14.4 million to settle market manipulation charges, reports the Times. The settlements do not include the Mary Jo White-patented admission of wrongdoing. The Times also separately reports that agency is broadening its reach by examining hedge funds in London. And the Washington Post reports that the SEC is getting ready to unveil a pay-ratio proposal that would require firms to disclose how much more their chief executives are paid than other staff. "The proposal will be one of three high-profile initiatives that had stalled at the agency before Mary Jo White came on board as chairman in April," the paper notes.
Wall Street Journal
This week's share sale marks a big comeback for Lloyd's Banking Group and its CEO Ant-nio Horta-Os-rio, who took a two-month hiatus to enter rehab for exhaustion shortly after his start at the helm. "Today, Mr. Horta-Os-rio is a rarity among bankers: a CEO who is the subject of fawning magazine cover stories and is credited with saving, rather than destroying, a major bank," the paper notes.
Five years after the crisis, we're still living in the shadow of Lehman Brothers, argues Martin Wolf, in a column that doubles as an endorsement for Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chairman.
New York Times
More criminal charges could be coming for associates of Bernie Madoff in connection to his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Cue the criticism over whether Standard & Poor's let lower-quality bonds make it to market in order to win business. Per Dealbook, the agency's bond deals rated are on the rise after it relaxed rating criteria in the second half of 2012. "An employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution from the company said that the analysts were not told explicitly to relax their standards to win back business," the news outlet reports. "But he said that the numbers made it clear that if the division wanted to stay afloat, the analysts would have to make changes."