Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Too Much or Not Enough: Depending on who you ask, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's newly proposed restrictions on payday lenders may be characterized as a prime example of regulatory overreaching or as a milquetoast response to toxic practices. Both consumer advocates and payday lending supporters are disappointed by the CFPB's proposals, according to the New York Times. "A chorus of consumer groups said that loopholes in the proposal could still leave millions of Americans vulnerable to the expensive loans," the paper reports, while payday lenders said "any rules should preserve credit, not choke it off." The divide suggests that the CFPB faces "one of [its] trickiest rulemakings yet," according to American Banker's Rachel Witkowski. But the CFPB's plans have at least one prominent supporter in President Barack Obama, who gave a speech Thursday expressing his support for the crackdown on the payday lending industry and for the consumer agency as a whole. The Financial Times says the speech "highlighted the growing politicization of the consumer agency." (The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a budget that would place the CFPB under congressional oversight and strip it of independent funding.) It also notes that analysts say the CFPB's proposed payday lending reforms are "more onerous than expected." The Wall Street Journal delves further into the partisan standoff over the fate of the CFPB, highlighting Obama's criticism of the Republican budget and his pledge to veto bills that roll back Wall Street regulations. Meanwhile, the Washington Post takes a close look at a particular feature of CFPB's planthe proposal to limit borrowers to three consecutive payday loans before a mandatory "60-day cooling off period."
Pay Up: Google sure knows how to make leaving Wall Street worth an executive's while. The company will pay its newly appointed CFO Ruth Porat more than $70 million to leave behind the same position at Morgan Stanley. Not only is this a big jump from Porat's $10 million compensation in 2013, the Journal reports that "she will also make more than most Wall Street CEOs, including her old boss, Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman, who was paid $18 million in 2013." The Financial Times says this news "is set to shine a spotlight on Silicon Valley pay levels that have started to soar in many cases above those on Wall Street, which traditionally has provided the most generous packages for executives."
Wall Street Journal
The paper takes a look at how Cleveland-based regional bank KeyCorp has fired up lending to industrial Midwest businesses. The move is both a return to the bank's roots and a bid for a "steadier and more sustainable earnings trajectory," according to the paper. KeyCorp head Beth Mooney says the bank has "learned our lessons from the downturn" and plans to steer clear of the riskier lending activities that got it and many other banks into trouble during the financial crisis.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts wants the Treasury Department "to help resolve a dispute over the cross-border treatment of clearinghouses" between the U.S. and Europe.
Mobile banking is gaining ground among the so-called "underbanked," according to a new Fed survey. This finding supports the idea that mobile phones are promising as "a potential platform for expanding financial access and inclusion," the Fed says.
Bank of America stands by its board's decision to appoint CEO Brian Moynihan to the dual role of chairman, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.
Trading is on an upswing at Wall Street banks, which is likely to pay off in first-quarter earnings. Goldman Sachs will particularly benefit from the trading boom, according to the paper.
Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer told regulators to stay on the alert for mischief in the shadow-banking realm in remarks prepared for a Friday speech. "Regulators need to respond to existing regulatory gaps and to keep pace with further changes," he said.
New York Times
Law firms need to be more upfront about data breaches, according to a new report from Citigroup's cyberintelligence unit. Law firms make tempting targets for hackers looking to get hold of confidential information about business deals and other sensitive data, but have been reluctant to disclose attacks. Banks want the firms to share information about cybersecurity issues in order to help the industry better ward off intrusions.