Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Paying with Apple: He may not be egotistical like Steve Jobs was, but Tim Cook at least took a stab at making a huge boastful statement. "We've created an entirely new payment process" Cook, Apple's CEO, said at the launch of the iPhone 6 on Tuesday. This statement was made notwithstanding the fact that many of the iPhone's new payments features have already been introduced by others. The new iPhone will be the launching pad for Apple Pay, which uses a Near Field Communication antenna and a TouchID fingerprint scanner, to conduct transactions. Top bankers (JPMorgan Chase consumer head Gordon Smith) either attended the Silicon Valley launch of the new iPhone or issued statements lining up behind it. ("Everyone wins," said JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.) The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times both reported an interesting nugget. Banks have agreed to pay a "per-transaction fee" to Apple for the privilege of being included on the phone, the Journal said. (The FT described the situation as the banking having to "give up some of their fees for processing transactions to Apple.") Which banks agreed to the arrangement and details of the fees weren't disclosed. Visa's CEO, Charles Scharf, told the Times that Apple Pay will work because "lots of companies have tried this before, but our security and the Apple payment experience will be the two biggest drivers here."
Cracking Down: At a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans alike called for tougher regulations on banks to lessen the risk they pose to the broader financial system. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., concurred with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that individual bank executives should have been punished over their role in the financial crisis. No one in the financial sector or elsewhere should be "able to buy their way out from culpability when it's so strong it defies rationalityI agree with her on that," Shelby said.
Santander Chair Dies: Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botín has died from a heart attack at age 79, the bank announced Wednesday. Santander's board plans to meet later Wednesday to pick a new chairman. His daughter, Ana Patricia, is thought to be the leading contender to succeed him. She currently leads Santander's U.K. Business.
Wall Street Journal
Critics of the Export-Import Bank appear willing to punt on the bank's charter reauthorization. House GOP leaders, including Speaker John Boehner and Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, are going to back a nine-month extension to the Ex-Im Bank's charter. That will give them time to fight other battles, as well as more leverage to shut down the bank, as moving the date to next June won't threaten a wider government shutdown. "It also avoids a messy fight over a relatively obscure federal agency just weeks before the midterm elections," the paper said.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been "shockingly present" in the office and is "involved in everything," despite his July throat cancer diagnosis, CFO Marianne Lake said on Tuesday, the Journal reported. Dimon is said to be feeling well and has kept an extremely limited travel agenda.
The Mortgage Bankers Association was too optimistic in its projections for home sales in 2014, as overall mortgage lending fell by 54% in the first half of the year, Spencer Jakab writes in an "Ahead of the Tape" column. Contributing factors are the massive new layers of regulation piled upon mortgage lenders and penalties from legal settlements.
There are too many close ties between the Fed and the banks it regulates, creating a situation rife with conflicts, Stephen Haber, a Stanford University political science professor, and Ross Levine, a University of California business professor, write in an op-ed column. There is also little transparency into the Fed's role as financial regulator. Reforms should be pursued, they argue.
Barclays poached Richard Casavechia, an investment banker who specializes in deal structures, from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Casavechia will head Barclays' M&A structuring efforts.