Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Finra's New Boss: Former Securities and Exchange Commission official Robert Cook will take the helm as chief executive of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority later this year.
The move comes as the self-policing body expands its oversight of stock market trading activities and rogue employees. Though it's historically been criticized by some for levying meager fines against the financial industry, Finra has been flexing its muscle lately, according to the Wall Street Journal. In May, the body announced its second-highest penalty, $25 million, against MetLife over the sale of variable annuities, and charged Raymond James Financial $17 million for lax anti-money-laundering controls.
Basel Blues: Meanwhile, there's more fallout over a report from Sunday night that the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is seeking to change how banks assess certain risks, giving them less wiggle room to devise their own models. Efforts to standardize calculations for operational risks could be costly for banks that have paid big fines for bad behavior in the past 10 years under proposed changes. "A bank's recent operational losses act as a multiplier: the greater the losses, the more punitive the multiple," according to the Wall Street Journal. The Financial Times notes that "the non-initiated may be surprised to know that banks were permitted to decide how risky their assets were" in the first place. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
Changing direction: MetLife CFO John Hele is helping to guide the insurer as it sheds its U.S. retail business.
Divisions ahead: Bitcoin is trading above $700, a two-year high. The spike precedes a rare event to occur later this summer – somewhat ominously called the "halving" – when the rewards to bitcoin miners are cut in half.
Fossil fuels folly: A new report calls out big banks, including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase, for providing billions of dollars in financing for oil, natural gas and coal companies over the past three years.