Receiving Wide Coverage ...
$11 Billion: That's how much JPMorgan Chase may have to pay to settle the feds' mortgage-backed securities probe, anonymice tell the papers. Attorney General Eric Holder rejected the bank's offer to pay $3 billion, according to some accounts. JPMorgan "is resisting any sweeping admission of guilt, which could jeopardize its defense against private litigation on similar issues," says the FT. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post
JPMorgan Deep Cuts: The news of the big settlement figure could be a sign that "the bank is getting some of its numerous legal issues sorted," says the Journal's "Heard on the Street" column. "Even a big number at least allows investors to quantify the damage." But the FT's "Lex" says investors are still in the dark because the bank, like others, refuses to disclose an important piece of information: "the total amount of existing litigation reserves. Banks report new money that they set aside, but not the amount they started with." Nor do they report "the particulars of how much money is going out the door in settlement payments." There's a reason bankers play it close to the vest: "releasing a total reserves number telegraphs to plaintiffs what one is willing to pay. The lawyers would swarm." Taking stock of JPMorgan's many legal woes remember, a week ago it got hit with more than $1 billion in fines FT columnist John Gapper says CEO Jamie Dimon tempted fate. The bank's enormous scale and scope, combined with Dimon's outspokenness, "turned his bank into more of a target than it had to be, at a hefty price to its investors and reputation." In the Times, Jesse Eisinger chides the SEC for failing to charge any JPMorgan executives with misleading disclosure in the Whale affair.
Another Bitcoin Investment Fund: This one's run by SecondMarket, a company some readers may know from its work with closely held community banks, and unlike the Wonder Twins' proposed ETF, it's private. That means sophisticated investors only, no moms and pops (in the figurative sense). It also means SecondMarket's fund can start raising money right away while the Winklevii await the SEC's blessing. The fact that these funds are being set up underscores one of the biggest issues for the decentralized digital currency: while transferring value within the Bitcoin network is butter-smooth, exchanging bitcoins for fiat currency remains a hassle. Shares in a Bitcoin fund would be easier to liquidate than bitcoins themselves, the thinking goes. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, PaymentsSource, Fortune
Wall Street Journal
You saw this coming. "FHA, Facing Losses, Likely to Tap Treasury" "Early projections have suggested the agency could require at least $1 billion."
"Payday lenders are under pressure to report customer information to state databases in an effort by regulators to rein in the high-cost loans. The lenders must check the databases before making new loans to ensure customers are eligible under laws that limit the amount of loans they can have at a single time." This comes as federal and state regulators lean on banks that work with online lenders and the third-party processors that handle payments for them American Banker's Kevin Wack has the latest development in that story.
"Housing group says Bank of America discriminating in minority communities." They've been saying that for a while, as American Banker's Kate Berry notes here.