Receiving Wide Coverage ...
A Beautiful Mind: Tributes to John Nash were plentiful after the mathematician made famous by his depiction in the film "A Beautiful Mind" was killed in an taxi accident this weekend. Nash's doctoral thesis placed game theory, the study of strategic interactions, at the heart of economics, the Financial Times said. After Nash's insights, "economists stopped thinking exclusively about unrealistic models of perfectly competitive markets and began focusing on cases in which each agent has to consider the actions of rivals," the paper said. Although his work had a profound influence on economics, Nash in a 2004 interview with the Wall Street Journal said, "I don't think exactly like a professional economist. I think about economics and economic ideas, but somewhat like an outsider." The New York Times offers a brief explanation of the Nash Equilibrium, the theory he invented that expanded upon game theory. The 86-year-old Nash and his wife, Alicia, were killed when the taxi they were riding in crashed into a guard rail on the New Jersey Turnpike. The Nashes, who were not wearing seat belts, had just returned to the U.S. from abroad after he received the Abel Prize for Mathematics. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, The Economist
Good Time to Buy Bank Stock? Money managers are looking favorably upon the shares of some big banks, based on the hope U.S. growth will pick up later this year and the possibility of rate hikes. Bank of America may be considered cheap because it's trading 25% below book value, one buy-side analyst said. Shares of Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase could be in line for an uptick on the thought that most of the big legal charges are over. Stocks of large banks have already risen 5.5% since the end of the first quarter, according to a KBW index. USA Today points out the recent announcement of settlements in the investigations into foreign-currency rate rigging could also mean good news for bank stocks.
Wall Street Journal
Thomas Produce Sales, a food-distribution company in Nogales, Ariz., is one of many businesses that have had their operations disrupted by the decisions of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo to close branches in their city, or close their accounts entirely. What crime was committed by Thomas Produce Sales? Being located in a Mexican border town, as U.S. banks are fearful of doing anything that might make it appear they are doing business with money launderers. Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake are taking up for their constituents, as both recently asked for hearings on the banks' behavior, sent letters to the banks, and traveled to Nogales with FDIC staffers to inspect the situation in person.
Regulators are paying closer attention to how banks communicate with third-party vendors amid the rise in cyberattacks and identity theft. Regulators want banks to upgrade servers to block known bugs; however, banks can't always make these upgrades if their partners haven't upgraded.
Why should whistleblowers blow the whistle, if the authorities don't hold up their end of the bargain and provide compensation to the whistleblower? Some whistleblowers are asking themselves that question amid lackadaisical behavior by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has pursued and won cases based on evidence provided by whistleblowers, but in some of those cases, the SEC hasn't paid out a single penny to the whistleblowers. The payments are required by law.
Lawmakers including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., are calling for hearings into whether banks should be allowed to manage retirement accounts. The Labor Department should hold hearings to review the waivers that several banks have requested so they would be allowed to advise pension funds. Barclays, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase have submitted applications thus far.
The skyrocketing tab of student-loan debt has become an issue in the presidential campaign. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley have called for debt-free public higher education. Their support of that issue could force Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton to also jump on board. Republican candidates New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have said in speeches the student-debt problem is a barrier to economic mobility. Student debt is to millennials as the "war and peace" issue was to baby boomers, one pollster said.
Time: Hillary Clinton would much prefer to talk about community banks than the trials and tribulations of too big to fail banks. At a recent appearance in Iowa, Clinton talked more about easing regulations for community banks than she did about toughening oversight of megabanks. In fact, Clinton talks so much about community banks, instead of tightening Dodd-Frank (what Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would prefer Clinton talk about), that Clinton sometimes sounds like a moderate Republican, Time said.