Wall Street Journal
When bankers leave Wall Street to chase their own startup dreams, they're bound to face a lifestyle adjustment. The paper interviews several "Wall Street exiles" about the transition "from a relatively coddled life of chauffeured town cars and teams of junior staffers to days filled managing the books and picking the office furniture." One anonymous interviewee admits to mourning the loss of his old firm's shoe-shine service, while another says taking the subway and giving up his Hamptons vacation pad "was like going back to being 26." But most former bankers interviewed for the article seem okay with trading scruffier footwear and MetroCards for more autonomy, particularly since working in the post-crisis securities industry isn't necessarily a stable gig. (The paper notes that employment remains 11% below pre-crisis levels.)
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. needs to do more to ensure that banks' cybersecurity practices are up to snuff, according to a report from the agency's acting inspector general Fred Gibson. FDIC examiners "rely too heavily on bank managers' statements about the security of their computer systems," according to the report, which also notes that the agency lacks IT experts. The FDIC says it's taking steps to address the inspector general's concerns.
As big banks back away from the repo market in the face of stricter regulations, nonbank brokers are swooping in to take their place. But some interviewees tell the paper that since market participants remain wary of new nonbank brokers, they "won't be able to fill the void left behind by the major banks."
"Audit the Fed" has become a popular rallying cry for Sen. Rand Paul and some other Republican lawmakers. But big banks are whispering, "Better not." Wall Street banks don't support the effort to give Congress more power over the central bank because they want monetary policy to be independent of political influence, according to executives interviewed by the paper. But they've been hesitant to openly criticize the campaign for fear of upsetting Republican allies. Presumably that's why the bankers quoted in the article are all anonymous, although Marty Regalia of the business lobby U.S. Chamber of Commerce comes forward to say "the degree of autonomy that [the Fed] currently enjoy[s] works well for the country."
New York Times
Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley wants the U.S. government to explain why in 2012 it changed the terms of its original bailout agreement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, opting to sweep the housing finance giants' profits into the Treasury. The government has thus far kept the documents concerning that decision from the public eye, citing executive privilege.
A new alternative lender called Vouch Financial is taking the concept of character references to new heights. Vouch asks borrowers to build "online trust networks" of friends and family who have so much confidence in the borrower that they're willing to kick in some cash to repay the loan if it goes bad.
The paper features Anthony Hsieh, head of nonbank mortgage lender loanDepot, in its "30-Minute Interview" series. Hsieh says consumer demand is up in general and his company will be expanding into personal loans of up to $35,000 at the end of the month.