Breaking News This Morning ...
Rabobank CEO to Resign: Anonymice tell the Journal that Rabobank CEO Piet Moerland is poised to step down Tuesday as the bank reaches a $1 billion settlement with global regulators over rate-rigging allegations. The expected settlement would be the second largest Libor settlement to date, behind UBS's $1.5 billion agreement last December.
Receiving Wide Coverage ...
A Spate of Goldman News: Following yesterday's uncharitable charity story, Dealbook looks at a recent court decision that requires Goldman Sachs to advance the legal fees for Sergey Aleynikov, a former programmer accused of stealing code before leaving the investment bank for another job. "The protection afforded to Mr. Aleynikov is likely to cause companies to take another look at their bylaws to figure out which employees fall under their commitment to pay for legal costs, which can easily run into the millions of dollars," columnist Peter J. Henning concludes. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal covers Goldman's decision to improve the work-life balance of its junior employees. "The moves come as banks across the industry struggle to keep young workers who increasingly are favoring the better hours at hedge funds and private-equity firms and the lavish perks at technology startups," the paper notes.
A Few Takeaways from Foreign Bank Earnings: UBS disclosed it has taken and/or will take action against staff connected to a global investigation into possible manipulation of foreign-exchange markets. The bank also has been ordered by Finma to increase capital reserves by 50% in order to deal with litigation and compliance risks. Deutsche Bank's net income took a hit thanks to a provision of 1.2 billion for litigation charges, the bulk of which relates to potential legal costs for U.S mortgage-related issues. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered's third-quarter earnings dropped due to turmoil in emerging currency markets, which has led to cost-cutting at the bank. And Lloyds Banking Group is looking to ask its regulators if it can restart dividend payments, after underlying profit almost doubled in the third-quarter.
Wall Street Journal
New estimates indicate that U.S. banks may end up paying $107 billion or more to settle financial crisis-related charges. "By now, it has become clear that 2013 will be a year of crisis-era legal reckoning for large banks," the paper notes.
Morgan Stanley is considering asking the Federal Reserve for permission to buy back more stock next year.
This editorial weighs in on JPM's settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: "[The Feds] present the duo as victims to extort $5 billion from Morgan, which never needed a bailout, to make up for the $188 billion taxpayer bailout that Fan and Fred required. Little Orphan Fannie is one more political disguise for the bandits of the Beltway."
Lex examines the state of U.S. big bank stocks only to conclude "five years after the crisis, it still is hard to know how far away a true banking recovery is."
New York Times
Dealbook previews two votes in the House of Representatives this week that could undercut Dodd-Frank regulations: one on legislation written with assistance from Citigroup lobbyists that would exempt a wide array of derivatives trading from new rules and another that would delay heightened standards for companies offering investment advice to retirees. While unlikely to pass into law, "simply voting on the bills generates benefits for both House lawmakers and Wall Street lobbyists," critics tell the news outlet. "For lawmakers, it comes in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. The banks, meanwhile, welcome the bills as a warning to regulatory agencies that they should tread carefully when drawing up new rules."
The paper profiles the efforts of Grameen America, an offshoot of Bangladesh's Grameen Bank, a microlender founded by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus to help the poor get access to much-needed credit. "[Grameen America's] formula has proved popular It has 18,000 borrowers and as of last month lent more than $100 million," the paper notes. "But, with more than 45 million Americans living below the poverty line, Grameen has barely scratched the surface of the problem. And it is difficult to tell how well the program is achieving its aim of lifting people into the middle class."