Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Another Big JPM Exit: Well, Jamie Dimon's C-Suite is certainly dynamic. Following very recent news of potential Dimon successor Mike Cavanagh's departure, Blythe Masters, head of JPM's commodities unit, has resigned. Masters' exit shouldn't come as a surprise to the public or to JPM executives. The bank just sold its physical commodities business which was the subject of a $410 million settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last summer to Mercuria. Plus, "in recent years, she didn't get more senior corporate roles that were of interest to her and wasn't awarded a bigger job in the reorganization of the company's corporate and investment bank," anonymice tell the Journal. They also say the JPM veteran Masters worked at the bank for 27 years and is often credited with creating the credit default swap "plans to make a break with banking." The internal memo announcing Masters' departure acknowledges she intends to take "some well-deserved time off and consider future opportunities." The Times, rather weirdly, devotes an entire article to the speculation that some of this time off will involve horse competitions. "Ms. Masters competes in horse shows occasionally and has enjoyed success recently in her equestrian pursuits," the paper notes. "A gelding she owns, Chapeau, came in second on Friday in a show-jumping contest in Wellington, Fla. The horse finished the $20,000 Adequan 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic in 30.96 seconds." Well, ok, sure.
More Bitcoin Buzz: The Internal Revenue Service's plans to tax Bitcoin like property could hurt its use as an alternate payment method. "Treating all bitcoin transactions like transactions in property is just an untenable position because it requires onerous record keeping and reporting requirements for everyday bitcoin users," Marco Santori of the Bitcoin Foundation tells the Journal. And, yeah, record-keeping/reporting would sort of defeat the point, given many Bitcoin enthusiasts are, well, enthused by the privacy it affords them. Meanwhile, the Washington Post breaks down the pros and the cons associated with a small business accepting Bitcoin and Dealbook features a comic strip illustrating how to explain Bitcoin to your mom.
Revised: Credit Suisse has revised its 2013 earnings to reflect an additional charge of about $528 million in increased legal provisions related to a U.S. investigation into whether it helped Americans evade taxes. The bank had previously revised its earnings results back in March after agreeing to pay $885 million to U.S. regulators to settle allegations it sold "questionable" mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading up to the financial crisis. Financial Times, New York Times
Wall Street Journal
More small banks are selling themselves. Give you one guess why: "In a period when low interest rates are squeezing small banks, the costs of adhering to new regulations are taking a toll. Executives from at least a half-dozen small banks that have agreed to be acquired in recent months said the increasing regulatory burden was a factor in their decisions."
Supervisors on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council are warning banks of patterns in ATM cyber-attacks that can leave them suffering big losses related to unauthorized withdrawals. "The warning is the latest evidence that hackers are exploiting weaknesses in the security of the U.S. financial system for illicit profits," the paper notes.
By the way, it's official: Goldman Sachs was fined $37 million by the European Union on Wednesday as part of an inquiry into subsea power cables.
New York Times
Anonymice tell the paper federal investigators, overseen by the FBI, have opened an inquiry into the fraud at Citigroup's Mexican unit. "The question for investigators is whether Citigroup as other banks have been accused of doing in the context of money laundering ignored warning signs," the paper notes. The Securities and Exchange Commission had previously launched a civil probe into the incident.
Columnist Jesse Eisinger on the government's settlement with former Bank of America head Ken Lewis: "In this seminal financial crisis investigation, regulators put on a master class in how to take a strong case and render it weak."