Wall Street Journal
It's hard to let go of a juicy bonus even if your former employer famously went down in the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. The paper reports former hotshot Lehman Brothers trader Jonathan Hoffman is demanding $83 million in unpaid bonuses from the Lehman bankruptcy trustee. The estate, on the other hand, says Hoffman already got his cash courtesy of Barclays, which bought some Lehman assets and hired him after the company's collapse. The comments section isn't too sympathetic to Hoffman's plight, but one reader has a practical suggestion: "Pay him in Lehman shares."
With the fate of the Export-Import Bank once again in question, aerospace company Boeing is threatening to leave the U.S. The company's head of regulatory strategy says it will start manufacturing overseas if Congress eliminates the bank, which finances purchases of American equipment by foreign buyers. "Boeing is not going to let itself be hurt by the lack of an Ex-Im Bank," Boeing's Scott Scherer tells the FT. "If it means sourcing ... to other countries who will support us we may have to look at that."
New York Times
Shareholders may have a bigger say on pay thanks to Dodd-Frank, but it's not doing much to curb ballooning executive compensation, according to a column by Gretchen Morgenson. She points out CEO pay has risen an average 12% each year since the law giving shareholders a chance to weigh in was enacted. While shareholders seem to feel all right about doling out generous pay packages for now, Morgenson suggests their beneficence may have more to do with the healthy stock market than with individual companies' stellar performance.
Inc.: Big banks and institutional lenders are ramping up small-business lending, but Inc.'s Jeremy Quittner warns this news has a downside. The more big fish dominate lending, the fewer sources of credit small businesses have, according to Biz2Credit's April survey especially when it comes to finding loans in $20,000-$50,000 range. Meanwhile, lending from small banks and credit unions was down slightly in Biz2Credit's survey, as were loans from the alternative lending sphere.
Amarillo Globe-News: A Texas paper takes a look at local community banks managing to buck the consolidation trend and thrive. All the bankers interviewed by the Amarillo Globe-News say regulation in general, and the Dodd-Frank Act in particular, is putting the squeeze on business, although the Independent Bankers Association of Texas's Stephen Scurlock points out small banks' ranks have been winnowing for decades.
Handelsblatt: European banks may want to brace themselves for some bad news: the German newspaper Handelsblatt says ratings agency Fitch will downgrade dozens of lenders as soon as the start of this week. The report comes from anonymice, so take it with a grain of salt; sources say the move would be spurred by the perception that European governments are less likely to come to banks' rescue in the event of a crisis.
Newsday: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce an agreement with almost a dozen banks and mortgage lenders Monday over the upkeep of foreclosed properties, according to Newsday.
CNBC: Conservative economist Larry Kudlow predicts bank-bashing will be a popular sport in the run-up to the 2016 elections, but warns politicians should learn from the example of the Labour party's defeat in the U.K.