Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Ho hum: World financial markets mostly shrugged off the results of Italy's constitutional referendum, which went down to defeat on Sunday, although the country's banks and its economy remain in serious trouble as a result. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times

Carson appointment assailed: As expected, President-elect Trump formally nominated retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as HUD secretary, but critics were quite vocal. Carson "has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities," Trump said. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities." But Carson's appointment "alarmed" some urban-policy experts, who told the Journal that Carson "lacks any professional experience on issues he will confront, including housing finance, public housing and tax credits." Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post American Banker

Wall Street Journal

Regrets: Vice President Joe Biden defended the Obama administration's financial regulatory policies and urged Republicans to reconsider their opposition to Dodd-Frank. "We can't be lulled into a sense of collective amnesia" about what caused the 2008 financial crisis, he said in a speech at Georgetown University. Biden "also acknowledged that some of his own decisions as a senator may have contributed to instability in the financial system," calling his vote as a senator in 1999 to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act as "the worst vote I ever cast."

And, oh yeah, Biden, who will be 78 years old at the time, says he may run for president in 2020.

Changes: Goldman Sachs reorganized its banking unit that caters to other banks. Mike Esposito, who currently co-heads the global financial institutions group, or FIG, will be promoted to chairman of the unit next month. Luke Sarsfield, COO of Goldman's investment banking division, will join FIG co-chief Todd Leland, who is based in London in running the day-to-day operations, while Esposito will focus on courting clients and strategic planning.

New York Times

Coming of age: Wayne State University Law Professor Peter J. Henning, author of the Times' White Collar Watch column, discusses the recent demand by the IRS that Coinbase turn over information about Bitcoin transactions that the agency suspects may show an attempt to dodge taxes and hide income. "As the world of financial technology has gone from a geeky backwater to the forefront of innovation, regulators are following along by seeking a role in overseeing how the firms operate and determining who may be abusing their services," Henning writes.

"Virtual currency and the fintech industry as a whole have grown outside the traditional regulatory system, but their size and emerging importance mean that more oversight is on the doorstep," he says. "When your client base is large enough for the taxman to go on a fishing expedition to see who is using your services, you have truly come of age. Whether that attention is welcome is another issue."

Elsewhere ...

He's back: Vernon Hill, who brought seven-day-a-week banking and free coin counting to U.S. retail banking, is back in America. The legendary founder and CEO of Commerce Bank in Cherry Hill, N.J., was named chairman of Republic First Bancorp in Philadelphia, where he has been a major investor and a consultant.

Late last week, shortly before his appointment, the website Philly.com asked Hill what he thought about the prospects for bankers like himself under President-elect Trump. Hill responded with two words: "FREEDOM LIVES." Hill, a "sometime golfing buddy" of Trump's, was forced to sell Commerce to TD Bank back in 2007. He's run a bank in London since then.

Quotable ...

"We can't afford to return to the policies that got us there in the first place." — Vice President Joe Biden, defending the financial regulatory policies put in place after the global financial crisis.

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