Editor's note: Morning Scan will not publish on Friday, July 3 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. We'll be back on Monday, July 6.
Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Better Check the Math: Executives may soon have more skin in the game when it comes to accurate financial reporting. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 to back a new plan that would require public companies to rescind executive officers' bonuses if accounting errors are discovered whether or not the misstatements are intentional. If approved, people interviewed by the Wall Street Journal suggest the rules may prompt companies to change their compensation practices whether that means mandatory bonus deferrals in order to make "clawbacks" easier or higher salaries to offset possible losses. The New York Times identifies a potential loophole for companies that are wary of going after bonuses: companies can decline to claw back money if they can prove the cost of doing so would be more expensive than the amount of the bonus.
Silk Road Agent's Hollywood Dreams: Say what you will about the undercover U.S. agent accused of pilfering more than $750,000 in digital currency over the course of an investigation into online black market Silk Road but he sure isn't boring. Carl M. Force pleaded guilty to extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice in federal court Wednesday, The Guardian reports. Using the alias "French Maid," Force snuck inside information about the investigation to Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht in exchange for $100,000 in bitcoins, according to his plea agreement. (Everyone involved with Silk Road had such interesting nicknames!) Force also seized $300,000 in bitcoins from a customer at a digital-currency brokerage where he was an investor and chief compliance officer, according to authorities. As if that's not enough excitement, Bloomberg reports Force had signed a contract before his arrest for a $240,000 film deal that would bring the story of the Silk Road bust to the silver screen. The Guardian reports his attorney said Force has had a perfect track record with the Drug Enforcement Administration "except for this one blip."
Of Bitcoin and Greece: Is the turmoil in Greece responsible for an uptick in demand for Bitcoin? The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal see a link between the two developments, but Fortune scoffs at the idea. "It's not a very technologically savvy population, it's a very strong cash culture, and I think they would have more faith in getting their euros out of the bank," Eli Dourado, a researcher at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, tells the publication. That said, he thinks rising Bitcoin prices can be attributed to the cryptocurrency's appeal as a hedge against uncertainty just not Greek uncertainty in particular.
Deutsche in Flux: Deutsche Bank's new co-chief executive John Cryan wants employees to brace themselves for some big changes ahead. "I am not going to tell you that all will be sweetness and light in the coming months," he writes in a public letter quoted by the Journal. The paper says Cryan's priorities may include "potentially deep staff cuts and an increased focus on changing the business's corporate culture." The FT highlights his decision to push back an update on the bank's strategic plans until the fall.
Wall Street Journal
The heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are about to get a whopping pay raise and the White House isn't happy about it. The Federal Housing Finance Agency will increase the housing-giant CEOs' compensation package to $4 million each, up from $600,000. The U.S. Treasury Department also disapproves of the raise, "given the taxpayers' ongoing backstop of both enterprises." But FHFA head Mel Watt thinks it's necessary to pay Fannie and Freddie's chiefs more in order to retain them and keep the companies stable.
Banks have such a tarnished reputation in the U.K. that smaller businesses are avoiding taking out loans for fear of getting hoodwinked, according to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. "This represents a hidden potential cost to the economy, and to bank shareholders, from bad bank behavior," the paper reports. "Distrust that curbs borrowing appetite cuts into revenue growth and so profit."
PayPal plans to buy money-transfer firm Xoom for $890 million in a move aimed at helping the company develop its international remittances services. "Xoom's presence in 37 countriesin particular, Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazilwill help us accelerate our expansion in these important markets," says PayPal President Dan Schulman.
Morgan Stanley Managing Director Huw van Steenis has an idea about how regulators can ensure that asset managers are able to withstand financial downturns: "instead of applying restrictive rules that will indiscriminately inflict pain on mutual funds without doing much to make the financial system less fragile, regulators should use stress tests of the largest funds to calibrate their response."
New York Times
"Homeownership may not be a reliable wealth builder for young renters who manage to buy a house," according to an op-ed by Teresa Tritch. She predicts stagnant wages and student-loan debt will likely force many young people to put off homeownership until later in life, which will wind up giving them less home equity.
CEOs brought in from outside the firm are indicative of internal failure, according to a post by University of Michigan business professor Noel Tichy. He says management's first responsibility should be "building a leadership pipeline that produces ready leaders at all levels of the organization."