Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Jamie's Cryin': If you are most CEOs, you know it's going to be a tough day when you wake up to read lots of stories about your company that quote people "familiar with the matter." For Jamie Dimon, it is just another day in August. ... The Federal Housing Finance Agency wants $6 billion in connection with its lawsuit alleging that JPMorgan sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac $33 billion of tainted mortgage-backed securities ahead of the financial meltdown, several of the major dailies reported. JPM is fighting the offer but could still end up paying billions of dollars, the Financial Times says.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that JPM's penalties tied to the "London Whale" trading scandal could range from $500 million to $600 million as part of a settlement that could be finalized as soon as next month. Civil charges against the bank and an admission of wrongdoing could be sought, too, the Journal said. One needs a lineup card to track the agencies involved: the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the U.K's Financial Conduct Authority.
Moreover, the OCC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are preparing a series of enforcement actions that could cost JPM at least $80 million in fines for a variety of lingering consumer-related matters, including allegations that it misled clients into buying identity-theft products whose benefits were exaggerated.
Another Retro Tune: It's like old times with more news about rising home values, as the S&P/Case-Shiller Index rose 12.1% in June. And you know we are back to the future when that doesn't satisfy: the increase was slower than the one in May, and concerns about the impact of rising mortgage rates on the affordability of homes persist, the Journal reports.
Moral Hazard with a View: No shocker that several news outlets had fun with the story of Darryl Layne Woods, who pleaded guilty to using $381,000 of his Missouri bank's bailout funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program on a waterfront condo in Florida. He is banned from banking and could spend a year in prison. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, American Banker
The Fed's Philatelist: The Washington Post and the Journal performed the annual ritual of combing through the financial disclosures of regulators. Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen has a stamp collection worth more than $15,000, the husband of Fed Gov. Betsy Duke made a lot of money buying and selling Apple stock, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million in income from three textbooks that he co-wrote, the Post reports. Washington Post, Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Here's another lingering headache from B of A's crisis-era acquisitions ... The Justice Department may proceed with a $1 billion civil suit against Bank of America that says Countrywide Financial Corp. misrepresented the quality of mortgages it sold to Fannie and Freddie. B of A argued the program in question ended before it bought Countrywide.
A Journal editorial praises John Huff, director of Missouri's insurance department, for criticizing some members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council for failing to understand that the regulation of insurance companies is much different than oversight of banks. It's an important issue because the council is determining whether insurers like Prudential and MetLife present the same systemic risk as megabanks.
An opinion piece stemming from all the wonky talk at the Jackson Hole conference calls for central bankers to recommit to overhauling the international financial system instead continuing to make monetary policy moves that don't seem to work.
New York Times
Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit has agreed to pay $160 million to settle a racial bias lawsuit filed eight years ago on behalf of 700 black brokers who worked for Merrill. It would be "the largest sum ever distributed to plaintiffs in a racial discrimination suit against an American employer," the Times reports.
Momentum keeps gathering for the nomination of Larry Summers to be the next Fed chairman, though the odds of his Senate confirmation are harder to call, the Post's "Wonkblog" says.