Receiving Wide Coverage ...
A new wrinkle: Reuters reports that a Swiss banking association is seeking to build a post-Brexit coalition with Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore to form a so-called "F4 alliance" that would look to set international standards and possibly strike a deal with the European Union. The Financial Times notes, "The Swiss bankers' association first suggested launching a 'F4' financial centres group in 2012."
Wall Street Journal
Homeowners cheer: Average 30-year-mortgage rates fell to 3.34% this week, in line with all-time lows set in 2012. That's a boost for the mortgage business, though banks are still struggling to turn a strong profit in the current economic climate.
Tough slog: Some of the biggest online lenders, including Lending Club, Prosper and Avant, have announced job cuts in recent weeks – essentially "hunkering down for a prolonged period of difficulty rather than a brief market correction."
New York Times
Language matters: Casual chatter about women – and their bodies – is destructive. It may even be at the root of Wall Street's persistent gender diversity problem, an opinion piece in the paper suggests. "'Bro talk' produces a force field of disrespect and exclusion that makes it incredibly difficult for women to ascend the Wall Street ladder," writes Sam Polk, a former hedge fund trader, about his experiences in the banking industry. "When you create a culture where women are casually torn apart in conversation, how can you ever stomach promoting them, or working for them?"
Diversity committees and inclusion training are helpful, but they're not enough. Alone, they haven't spurred the kind of the dramatic changes that are needed in top offices. "What we need is something simpler: individuals speaking up and challenging norms, especially when it's uncomfortable," Polk says, adding that men in particular need to pick up more of the slack when it comes to fighting for equality.
New thinking on pay is old: Replacing banking's bonus culture with an old-school partnership model could help realign incentives to govern responsibly, because leaders would have more skin in the game. If the previous system can't be replicated, "it should not be difficult to devise a new compensation system based on the old partnership ethic," the paper says.
Justice is served: Four Barclays bankers in London were sentenced to prison for reportedly manipulating Libor interest rates.
It's coming: Bitcoin miners will have to contend with "the halving" midday Saturday, when the reward for creating new bitcoins is cut in half. The event could prove challenging for miners already working on thin margins.
Ahead of the curve: Fortune profiles R3, a startup that is building software for dozens of banks to help them adopt blockchain technology.