Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Cyberattack Targets: JPMorgan Chase was one of at least a baker's dozen of financial firms targeted by a recent cyberattack, the Journal reports, citing unnamed sources. Others in the hackers' crosshairs may have included mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments, onine brokerage E*Trade Financial, payroll giant Automatic Data Processing and banks Citigroup, Regions Financial and HSBC. However, investigators don't know yet if the attacks on some of these other firms are related to the JPMorgan attack. It doesn't appear the hackers stole any information from any of these companies, the FT said. However, the Journal said that one other institution may have had information stolen. In another nugget from the Journal's report, investigators believe the hackers are related to Russian-speaking criminals, although it's unclear if the hackers are actually in Russia. The "breadth and sophistication of the attack has concerned U.S. officials," the FT said. Meanwhile, President Obama has been receiving updates on the JPMorgan cyberattack, although no one had an answer for the president's questions about the attackers' motives.
Geithner Introduces 'Loan Sharky': In his second day on the stand of the American International Group trial, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appeared to take some responsibility for terms of the bailout while he was president of the New York Fed that were controversial, saying he wanted to set a precedent for other firms. One such controversial measure: setting the interest rate at 12% on the government's $85 billion loan to AIG, a rate Geithner referred to internally as "loan sharky." The government got to make its case on Wednesday by questioning Geithner and during the procedure DOJ lawyer Ken Dintzer said former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg and other AIG shareholders were suffering from an oversized sense of "entitlement."
Hang-Wringing on Rates Rising: A bucket of cold water was thrown on those anticipating that interest rates will be rising sooner than expected. The strong U.S. dollar, plus weak growth abroad, has Fed officials worried about the domestic economy, according to the minutes of the Fed's September meeting. The Fed is stuck between disliking its current guidance (its pledge to keep rates near zero for a "considerable time" after its bond-buying campaign ends) and lacking a suitable alternative, the FT said. The Times summarizes the Fed's position nicely: "officials are trying to find a new way to say the same thing."
Wall Street Journal
In a sign that banks are fearful of running afoul of Fed and OCC rules for taking on too much debt, several banks have backed out of a deal to finance a private equity firm's takeover. The deal is Vista Equity Partners' takeover of TransFirst and the banks that were to help finance it were JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.
Citigroup agreed to refund $16 million in advisory fees that it overcharged customers on TRAK accounts, a type of low-risk investment related to mutual funds. Citigroup's agreement was made with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
A group of U.S., European and Japanese banks will agree to "wait up to 48 hours before seeking to terminate derivatives contracts and collect associated payments from a troubled financial institution."
Citigroup filed the IPO papers for its OneMain Financial unit, valuing the subprime lender at about $4 billion.