Receiving Wide Coverage ...
All Eyes on Greece: Now that Greece has closed its banks for at least a week in order to avoid a run as bailout negotiations with the European Union have stalled, speculation is rampant about how the emergency measure will play out. The Wall Street Journal warns Greek banks may not have enough cash on hand to get through the week if all of the country's residents withdraw the maximum amount permitted (e 60, or $67) each day. The New York Times is also wary of the bank closings and capital controls in Greece, comparing them to a tourniquet that "may stop the bleeding" but "could do more harm than good." (A major fear is that they will deepen the already-dire economic crisis in Greece, making the country's exit from the euro more likely.) But the Financial Times says capital controls may not be so bad. For one thing, there are as yet no restrictions on electronic transfers and payments within the country, which the paper predicts should be enough to keep the economy running. Meanwhile, two articles in the Journal assess the impact of the turmoil in Greece on the U.S. economy. A possible Grexit could prompt the Federal Reserve to delay raising rates, according to the paper, but the U.S. economy would have to show signs of sagging first. That's unlikely to happen, according to analysis by Justin Lahart. In fact, he predicts that domestic stocks may actually get a boost as investors seek out stability. Such a result would be a mixed bag, since the "allure of bubbly U.S. investments, like venture-backed technology firms, may only increase."
Wall Street Journal
JPMorgan Chase is rolling out changes to its prepaid debit cards and checking-account screening processes under an agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The updates, aimed at appealing to low-income customers, will offer the bank's prepaid debit card users access to its online bill payment and person-to-person payment service. JPMorgan will also stop holding a history of frequent overdrafts against people applying for checking accounts as long as the activity took place more than two years previous.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has proposed new rules that would curb large U.S. banks' ability to avoid regulation by shifting risky swaps trading to overseas affiliates.
General Electric continues to dismantle the bulk of its financing unit, with reports circulating that it's closing in on a deal to sell its European private-equity finance business to Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. for more than $2 billion.
The looming expiration of the Export-Import Bank's charter will put the squeeze on U.S. exporters, according to the paper. The debate over the future of the bank is also emblematic of U.S. complacency when it comes to global competition, according to John Engler, a former Michigan governor and current head of the industry group Business Round Table.
U.S. regulators' attempts to crack down on risky lending may have paved the way for the rise of foreign shadow banks, the paper reports. Since regulators took steps to curb leveraged loans by U.S. banks, Jefferies Group, Nomura Holdings and Macquarie Capital have swooped in to take their place.
New Credit Suisse head Tidjane Thiam is playing his strategic cards close to the vest, according to the paper. His colleagues say he has been keeping mum on the big questions about the bank's future, such as "whether it should raise capital, make a big acquisition or radically reshape its investment bank." Lots of observers think Credit Suisse should scale back its investment bank, but insiders say the bank's already made plenty of cutbacks.
New York Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking flak for its practice of trying lawsuits before in-house judges. Gretchen Morgenson argues the method is unfair to defendants, asking, "Is it right for defendants to be investigated, prosecuted and judged by officials of the same agency?" Columnist Peter J. Henning doesn't weigh in on the morality of administrative hearings, but he looks at several lawsuits challenging the practice and a recent court ruling that suggests its days may be numbered.