Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Dimon Diagnosed with Throat Cancer: The doctors caught it early, it's curable, and the JPMorgan CEO will undergo treatment over the next two months while continuing to work (though limiting his travel). "There isn't a specific individual who will take over Mr. Dimon's responsibilities as his schedule eases while he undergoes treatment," reports the Journal, citing a company spokesman. "The board has succession plans focusing on immediate, three-year and five-to-seven-year time frames." The Times supplies names: "Among the potential successors, people briefed on the matter said, are Gordon Smith, the head of JPMorgan's consumer bank, and Mary Erdoes, who runs the asset management business." Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times
Second-Guessing the BNP Penalty: The U.S. went too easy on the French bank by failing to jail individuals responsible for the sanctions violations, chide the Journal's "Heard on the Street," FT columnist Robert Jenkins, the Times' Peter Henning and anti-laundering watchdogs. "The bank was lucky not to lose its U.S. banking license," grumbles the Journal editorial page. No, the U.S. is being heavy-handed with sanctions, say European officials, including France's finance minister (who is calling for more international transactions to be done in euros rather than greenbacks) and Vladimir Putin (who alleged "the BNP fine was a US attempt to 'blackmail' the French government and prevent the 1.2bn sale of two warships to Russia, a claim denied by both Paris and Washington."). Well, it's a relief to have the matter settled, say BNP employees and equity investors. Yep, not to worry, we have enough capital to handle a $9 billion settlement, says BNP management.
Housing: Apartment rents keep rising as incomes stagnate, the Journal says, noting that "the demand for rentals [in part] reflects tight mortgage-lending standards that have shut out potential homeowners from the market." Another Journal story reports that San Francisco's housing shortage (a major factor behind that city's ongoing natives-versus-brogrammers culture war) "is doing little to ease residents' longtime resistance to real-estate development." Rather, "it is provoking a backlash by locals who fear getting priced out of their city" and don't trust the law of supply and demand to lead to lower prices in an area with scarce developable land. Though if the municipality requires that a larger portion of new units be set aside for affordable housing, as the protestors demand, how will developers make up the difference? See the part at the beginning of this section about how market rents for apartments keep rising In the bigger picture, the Times' Neil Irwin laments that "even though housing plays a huge role in the ups and downs of economic cycles, it has too often been an afterthought for the people charged with setting economic policy. To them, it is just one of many important industries, no more and no less." Yep, aside from Fannie and Freddie, FHA, the mortgage interest tax deduction, special protections for primary residence mortgages in bankruptcy, HARP and HAMP, and the Fed's MBS purchases, Washington has treated the housing sector like chopped liver.
Wall Street Journal
"The Bill and Hillary Clinton Money Machine Taps Corporate Cash" Including recent donations from Goldman Sachs and speaking fees for Hillary from Citi and B of A. This doesn't sit well with the base she'd presumably want to court for a presidential run. "It's hard to imagine someone being willing to jail Wall Street bankers who broke the law if that same person is getting paid a lot of money by Wall Street bankers," quips a progressive quoted in the article, while another wants the former secretary of state to "get in touch with her inner Elizabeth Warren."
"Fidelity Bans U.S. Investors Overseas From Buying Mutual Funds" Sounds like a FATCA thing; definitely a regulatory thing.
Data from the OCC shows "banks' trading revenue declined 16% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, the latest sign of a slowdown in a traditional Wall Street profit engine."
"Goldman Sachs accused of 'boys club' atmosphere" Plaintiffs allege the investment bank paid women less than men for comparable work and permitted bankers to hold work events at strip clubs.
New York Times
"HSBC Settles Fraud Charges Over Foreclosure Fees Paid by the U.S. Government" Specifically, reimbursement from FHA and Fannie for lawyer and title fees that were not subject to quality control.