Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Barclays to Cut Jobs, Raise Bonuses: Barclays plans a massive round of layoffs after suffering a quarterly loss of about $845 million, or 514 million pounds. The British bank will slash up to 12,000 of its 140,000 workers in 2014, as it tries to bring down rising expenses which include a hefty charge for litigation and regulatory penalties and offset weaker revenue from its investment bank. Those who don't lose their jobs might get paid more. While announcing the losses, Barclays said it increased its bonus pool by 10%. The job cuts along with the data breach the company announced over the weekend have taken some of the shine from the halo of "Saint Antony" Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins, for those unfamiliar with the British press' nicknames testing his "steely resolve," according to FT. Jenkins "sounded like an unreconstructed bank boss" while justifying the job cuts, columnist Jonathan Guthrie writes. The company is "down a strategic hole" and may soon need to consider "radical surgery," says the Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times
Suit Challenges JPM's $13B Settlement: A nonprofit group sued the Justice Department Monday, arguing that the $13 billion pact it struck with JPMorgan late last year violated the Constitution and withheld crucial information from the public. Better Markets, a group that often challenges Wall Street in the name of the public interest, said the settlement related to the mortgage securities JPM sold before the crash is unconstitutional, because it was not subject to judicial review. The FT is skeptical about the lawsuit's chances, but says it's a sign of growing opposition to the Justice Department's practice of settling bank misconduct out of court. The New York Times has more or less the same take, but slightly less clarity: the suit's future is "uncertain" but could "muddy" an already complicated case. American Banker
Wall Street Journal
The Treasury Department may not be able to hold on to the money it's made from bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Journal says. About 20 shareholder lawsuits are challenging the government's claim to more than $130 billion in profit from the GSEs under what the Journal calls a "profit-taking structure." Hedge funds have been betting that the suits will be successful, and have been buying up preferred stock in the GSEs at deep discounts.
Technical glitches may pose a larger challenge to Bitcoin's ongoing viability than government regulation, the paper says. A software problem last week halted the withdrawal of bitcoins on Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange, and caused a plunge in the price of the digital currency.
Banks may be undercharging for the risks of C&I loans, FT says. The paper looked at a survey of loan officers the Fed conducted last month and determined that lenders have been lowering rates and loosening the terms of these loans as they compete for one of the few "moderately exciting" sectors during an "otherwise humdrum time for loan growth." And while the volume of C&I loans was up last quarter, banks' margins on the loans shrunk, a sign that the recent C&I boom or mini-boom, at least is running its course, the paper says.
New York Times
Who knew Goldman Sachs had a "nuclear trading desk"? Or that it holds more of the nuclear fuel called "yellowcake" than Iran? It does, but maybe not for long. Mounting scrutiny as well as the diminished international demand for raw uranium following the Fukushima disaster may soon spur Goldman to exit the business of trading nuclear material, Reuters says. The Times ran a story from the newswire taht has a fascinating look at how banks got into the business of trading uranium, a story that involves both the Shah of Iran and the apartheid-era South African government.