Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Put It on the Tab: Bank of America is in talks to pay $12 billion to settle Department of Justice and various state probes over legacy mortgage stuff, the papers report, citing the usual anonymice. Of that, $5 billion would be "soft money" in the form of consumer relief such as mortgage writedowns. Combined with a previous $6 billion settlement with FHFA, this deal would bring B of A's total tab for precrisis mortgage mischief to somewhere between $18 billion and well over $25 billion, depending which paper you read. (Presumably, the sum grows if you count Merrill Lynch-related fines along with Countrywide-related penalties.) While the tallies vary, the papers all say B of A's total bill exceeds JPMorgan's. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post
Au Revoir: BNP Paribas is considering pushing out one of its three chief operating officers as part of a settlement with New York regulator Benjamin Lawsky over sanctions violations, the papers report. (Yes, three; one imagines the French bank refers to them internally as les co-COOs.) Meanwhile, the case is creating international intrigue. President Obama said he wouldn't meddle in the Department of Justice's prosecution of the bank, despite French President François Hollande's concern that a big penalty against BNP could destabilize the European economy. Time to coin some new acronyms: TBDTJ (too big and domestic to jail); or, if one considers Eric Holder's comments last year in the wake of HSBC's settlement, TBESJ (too big and English-speaking to jail). Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times
Taking on the 'Flash Boys': Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White proposed sweeping new rules for high-frequency trading and dark pools. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
"Credit Unions Ramp Up Risk Loosen Lending Standards, Increase Exposure to Longer-Term Assets" To be fair, the story notes that smaller banks are also taking on interest rate risk.
"The board of Citigroup has enlisted its outside law firm to help it oversee the bank's investigation into what went wrong with loans at the bank's Mexico unit, Banamex." It's Wilkie, Farr & Gallagher, which has a long relationship with Citi.
The "Lex" column ponders the relative merits and drawbacks of price/earnings ratios and price/book in valuing bank stocks.
New York Times
"Wall Street firms" (including diversified megabanks like Citi and JPMorgan) may regret selling off much of their bond holdings this year, given the subsequent Treasury rally, columnist Peter Eavis writes.
While JPMorgan commits to invest $100 million in Detroit, hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel is making a different sort of contribution to the troubled city: Goats. He brought 20 of them "to graze among abandoned homes and general detritus in Brightmoor, one of Detroit's most blighted neighborhoods." Speaking of Spitznagel, here's a deep philosophical chat he had with Nassim Taleb about financial crises, government intervention, and Piketty, which makes us want to read his (Spitznagel's) book. (And speaking of books: today is the deadline to submit recommendations for BankThink's annual summer reading list for bankers. If you have a suggestion, please email the title of the book and a few sentences about why you're nominating it to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
"An index fund that bets on women" Started by Sallie Krawcheck.