Receiving Wide Coverage ...
O Canada: Canadian banks have a money-laundering problem, the Wall Street Journal reports. The country's regulator found 72 failures of anti-money laundering controls among banks between 2009 and 2014, according to the paper's review of a "heavily redacted" document that did not include the names of the banks or specifics about the issues. The paper notes Canada "has been facing growing pressure to step up efforts to fight money laundering." In other news from our neighbors to the north, Bloomberg reports Canadian money managers are slipping into the U.S. shadow banking system. Since they don't have to deal with U.S. regulations aimed at curbing risky lending, Canadian funds are happy to corner the market.
Wall Street Journal
You might think regulators would be pleased with Citigroup's plan to scale down by selling off its subprime lending unit, but the U.S. Justice Department has identified a potential problem: antitrust issues. Authorities are worried the $4.25 billion sale to Springleaf Holdings would create a "new powerhouse in the sensitive world of lending to low-income Americans," according to the paper. That means the sale's originally scheduled closing date, Sept. 30, may be pushed back.
Banking software company Yodlee has a lucrative little side business: selling data gleaned from bank customers' transactions to investors and research firms looking for insights into market-moving trends. The company waves off concerns about data privacy, arguing the transactions are anonymized. But the paper points out an unrelated study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers found "they could unmask roughly 90% of people in a database of anonymous credit-card transactions with four pieces of information that included date and transaction location."
New York Times
Rules that give investors a chance to weigh in on executive compensation have done little to curb pay for top brass. But Gretchen Morgenson says the SEC's newly approved CEO pay ratio rule may spark change where other measures have failed. The theory: because the ratio compares the CEO's pay to that of the average worker, employees, governments and the general public are more likely to get fired up. Institutional investors, on the other hand, tend to be pretty blasé about lavish executive compensation so long as the company is delivering solid returns.
Back in 2005, New York's then-attorney general Eliot Spitzer brought a lawsuit against former AIG head Maurice Greenberg and former chief financial officer Howard Smith accusing the men of committing accounting fraud. Ten years later, the lawsuit still hasn't gotten to trial. Credit for the delay goes largely to defense attorney David Boies, whose team has appealed seven court decisions in advance of the trial. The case exemplifies "World War I trench warfare, fighting over every yard," criminal-law professor Peter J. Henning tells the paper.
A member of the Botín family that runs Banco Santander has been forced relinquish his Picasso original (at least temporarily). Spanish authorities say Jaime Botín was planning to take the 1906 painting to Switzerland so he could sell it, "in defiance of a court ruling invoking a Spanish law meant to shield such works of art from export."
Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman and Sacagawea are the women Americans would most like to see on the redesigned $10 bill, according to a new poll. (Good choices!) Op-ed writer Vikas Bajaj says he'd like to see another poll about whether the people would prefer to see one of those women on the $20 rather than the $10, so as to prove there's support for giving Andrew Jackson the boot.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac boosted second-quarter profits by 50% from the previous year, to a combined $8.3 billion.
Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dipped below 4% for the second week in a row, leading to a boost in mortgage applications.