Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Under new management: President Trump will nominate Joseph Otting, a former lieutenant of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin when both were at OneWest, to be the next comptroller of the currency. He would replace Keith Noreika, who was named acting comptroller about a month ago. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times American Banker

Joseph Otting
Joseph Otting Bloomberg News

No deal: Pacific Investment Management and other bondholders in Novo Banco SA are threatening to scuttle the sale of the troubled Portuguese bank to Lone Star Funds and find another buyer: themselves. Lone Star agreed in March to invest €1 billion ($1.11 billion) for a 75% stake in the bank. The deal, which was made with the Bank of Portugal, was contingent on bondholders putting up €500 million by swapping €3 billion in senior bonds for new notes. Now Pimco and its fellow bondholders have offered to buy the bank themselves.

"Portugal has a strong incentive to have a better relationship with the world's largest bondholders," said one bondholder. "We won't take a haircut. Not a penny." Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

Wall Street Journal
Goodbye, McMansions?: The median size of a new single-family home fell by 2% last year to 2,422 square feet. While that may not sound like a lot, it's the first time that's happened since 2009 and only the third time in the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "The smaller size likely reflects rising demand from first-time home buyers and buyers of entry-level homes," the Journal said, adding that "availability remains scarce—especially in the hottest markets."

"I think builders are hearing the public calls for cheaper homes and they are certainly trying to address that market segment," said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow.

New digs: Barclays has purchased a suburban New Jersey office campus and plans to redevelop it into "a world-class campus for our technology, operations and functional teams in the U.S." The British bank paid $69 million for The Crossings at Jefferson Park campus in Whippany.

Risky politics: Lending to French politicians has gotten a lot riskier for the country's banks. Traditionally, the banks have been happy to lend money to presidential and legislative candidates, knowing that the government would guarantee loans to any politician who got 5% of the vote. But the election of President Emmanuel Macron, a political parvenu, has "turned the country's political order on its head, as the ruling Socialist Party came dangerously close to seeing its candidate miss the 5% cutoff."

Financial Times
Goliath and the rest: When it comes to earning fees on mergers and acquisitions deals, nobody holds a candle to Goldman Sachs. According to an analysis by the FT of advisory fees paid between 2014 and 2016, Goldman "is even more dominant than usually recognized" by the traditional measurement, namely the size of deals.

Goldman earned nearly $2 billion as an advisor on deals involving American public companies during the three-year period, well ahead of its long-time archrival Morgan Stanley, which took in about $1.3 billion. JPMorgan Chase finished a distant third, with less than half of Goldman's income. Meanwhile, Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch "remain leagues behind," while the "American renaissance" of the big European banks "may be some way off."

Washington Post
Dissed: Wells Fargo has dropped from number seven to number 100 in Barron's ranking of the most respected public companies. The ranking, which is based on a survey of money managers, put the bank below tobacco giants Altria Group (98) and Philip Morris International (99).

Quotable
"In Poland, banks, not start-ups, do fintech." — Aleksandra Sroka, principal at consultant BCG Poland.

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