Holiday notice: Morning Scan will return on Monday, Nov. 28. Have a happy Thanksgiving.
Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Sherwood leaves Goldman: Michael Sherwood, co-head of Goldman Sachs's European operations and often named as a potential successor to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, is leaving after a 30-year career at the bank. Since joining Goldman at age 20 in 1986, Sherwood played a key role in pushing the bank's growth in Europe and emerging markets. "The departure removes one of Goldman's longest serving European executives at a time when the bank is grappling with the uncertainty arising from the UK's exit from the EU, triggering rumors that it may move activities out of London," the Financial Times said. Sherwood's departure means Richard Gnodde will take full control of Goldman's European operation. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
Over: The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan failed to appeal its so-called Hustle case against Bank of America, effectively ending the matter. The case involved Rebecca Mairone, now Rebecca Steele, a former Countrywide banker who was accused of creating fraudulent documents behind mortgage-backed securities that the company, which BofA acquired during the financial crisis, created and sold to investors. The case was dismissed by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last May, and the attorney's office had until Monday to file an appeal with the Supreme Court but apparently decided not to.
Cleaning up laundering: With more than $1 trillion moving through the financial system each year and only 0.2% of it seized by authorities, money laundering "is the largest and most profitable financial crime in the world," says David Fein, group general counsel at Standard Chartered Bank, writing in the FT. But it will take a coordinated effort to stamp it out that will involve more parties than just banks. "It is essential for banks to improve their detection and reporting of suspicious activity to law enforcement," he says. "Such efforts are under way but they require broad public and private support to transform the financial system into a hostile environment for criminals and terrorists."
New York Times
Reasonable solution: There may be "some cause for optimism" about the Trump Administration's plans to overhaul Dodd-Frank, at least when it comes to big banks and the concept of too big to fail, says Steven Davidoff Solomon, a professor at the University of California's Berkeley School of Law. Writing in the Times' Deal Professor column, Solomon notes that the Financial Choice Act proposed by House Republicans would substantially change the way banks are regulated under Dodd-Frank. Importantly, he says, the House bill would do away with the Financial Stability Oversight Board, which oversees "systemically important" financial institutions and subjects them to "heightened regulation." "Instead, there is a Chapter 14 inserted into the bankruptcy code to allow these entities [that fail] to be reorganized in bankruptcy. The Volcker Rule is repealed. Well-capitalized banks have options to avoid the Dodd-Frank restrictions. These are not unreasonable changes."
Easy tweak: Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have jumped sharply over the last two weeks on hopes that the Trump administration might end government receivership of the two agencies, but resolving their situation faces many hurdles. "There is one relatively easy tweak, though, that could please most sides: allowing Fannie and Freddie to keep their earnings," says the Times. "That would allow them to rebuild their capital."
"We won. It's over. Justice is done." Marc Mukasey, the lawyer representing Rebecca Steele in the Bank of America "Hustle" case.