Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Treading Water: Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and former chief executive of Lending Club, is rumored to be in talks with banks and private equity firms regarding financing a buyout of the online lender. After his ousting in May, Laplanche had engaged the firms in preliminary talks about acquiring and taking Lending Club private, though they may not lead to a deal. Meanwhile, Lending Club has postponed its annual meeting to June 28 because it is "not yet in a position to provide its stockholders a complete report on the state" of its business, it said in a regulatory filing. And in a separate filing, Baillie Gifford, an investment manager based in Edinburgh that had been Lending Club's second-largest shareholder, said it bailed out of the stock altogether. A February filing shows it held more than 34 million shares – about 9% of the company, whose stock value has fallen 40% in less than a month. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times
Wall Street Journal
It's complicated to assign blame for the events that caused the financial crisis. Although the conviction and fine imposed on former Countrywide Financial executive Rebecca Mairone was overturned last month, it's difficult to reach consensus on whether she was a victim or villain, the paper says. Her case had been one of the few successes – for the government – where an individual bank employee was charged with financial crime. "That is something I think about a lot," she said. "Why me?" But last month a federal appeals court said it would not uphold civil mortgage-fraud charges or press the $1 million penalty against Mairone. Mairone denies any mistakes or wrongdoing in a controversial mortgage-approval program she helped create at Countrywide, called "Hustle." On the eve of her trial in 2013 she refused an offer by the U.S. attorney's office to settle if she would admit to wrongdoing. In an interview published Wednesday, she maintained, "I wouldn't have done anything differently."
A three-day conference jointly produced by the Fed, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund took place earlier this month in Washington to discuss policy challenges for the financial sector, beginning with a full day devoted to blockchain technology. Comments by Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen were not released, but she had reportedly said central bankers tend to flinch at the word "disruption," but encouraged her fellow bankers not to fear it and to learn everything they can about blockchain technology.
Bloomberg: JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon visited the company's Bournemouth, England, facility last week to warn against a Brexit. Some observers wondered why Dimon would make the trip. Here's why: Numbers provided by Standard & Poor's show close to $8 billion of JPM's annual income comes from the U.K. Compare that to the $92 million it makes in Germany or the $42 million in France. More broadly, the U.K. contributes about $27 billion to the annual income of the five largest U.S. investment banks.