Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Envisioning the End: Twelve big banks have published details of their revised living wills, which attempt to demonstrate to regulators that they could fail without throwing the financial system into a tailspin. For banks, the months-long review period of their updated proposals may be a nail-biter: regulators already deemed most plans unrealistic last year. If the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. aren't convinced by their new strategies, banks could face tough consequences including the possibility that they'll be ordered to break up. The Financial Times' review of the wills finds that Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley would give themselves the ax in the event of a major crisis, selling off or winding down all their units. "JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo would survive in stripped-down form," however. The Wall Street Journal points out most banks have switched to a "single point of entry" bankruptcy plan, in which only the holding company (and "perhaps a few subsidiaries") go into bankruptcy.
Greece Watch: Greek leaders are heading to Brussels to meet with eurozone officials in an attempt to work out a deal to avert a split from the bloc. France and the European Commission say they will fight to keep Greece in the eurozone, according to the FT. But other European officials (including German chancellor Angela Merkel) are demonstrating "little willingness to concede on any front." In fact, Merkel is getting some blowback from other European leaders over her tough stance on Greece and Germany's dominant leadership role in general, according to the Journal. Count the FT's Lex team and the New York Times' editorial board among those rooting for a compromise. "If debt relief had come as soon as it became clear that the debts were unsustainable, the pain would have been no worse, and the eurozone would not be facing this moment of truth at all," the Lex team writes. Times columnist Roger Cohen says it was a mistake to let Greece into the eurozone in the first place, but now Germany and other creditors are going to have to face the consequences and soften the terms of the bailout package. Economists Jeremy Bulow and Kenneth Rogoff argue Greece is responsible for the mess and it needs to come up with reforms all parties can agree upon. The White House is also pushing for a deal that would involve at least some restructuring of Greek debt, according to the Journal. Meanwhile, the Journal reports Greek banks are "desperately low on cash" as they enter a second week in shutdown mode. And the Times takes a turn in the analyst's chair with an article about how the Greek people's long tradition of "defiance in apparently hopeless situations" culminated in the "no" vote in Sunday's referendum.
Legal Eagles: JPMorgan Chase general counsel Stephen Cutler is taking on a new role as vice chairman of the bank. The vice chairman position was left vacant when powerful dealmaker Jimmy Lee died last month. Stacy Friedman, who currently serves as the senior lawyer for the company's investment bank, will assume the role of general counsel next year. Wall Street Journal, New York Times
Wall Street Journal
The paper takes a look at how banks are attempting to adapt their branches to an increasingly digital world. Capital One Financial continues to embrace its branch-cafe mashups, while banks including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are getting rid of tellers and experimenting with other cost-cutting overhauls.
The Fed's bond-buying program was indirectly responsible for a bump in mortgage refinancing activity, according to John Carney of "Heard on the Street."
Columnist Martin Sandbu says research from the New York Fed suggests markets still believe some banks are too big to fail. That's "bad news for the rest of us who are not too big to fail but small enough to pay," he writes.
Tougher regulations are prompting banks to share swaps data in order to "cut down the number of disputes over the amount of margin used in swaps trading."
New York Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission's plan to strengthen clawback rules is "unlikely to significantly influence executives' behavior," according to columnist Peter J. Henning, but even a small incentive to be more rigorous about the accuracy of financial reporting is better than nothing.