Receiving Wide Coverage ...
SAC Brought Down: The papers reported late Monday that hedge-fund group SAC Capital Advisors will plead guilty to insider trading and pay $1.2 billion as part of a decade-long investigation, which included a previous $600 million payment, bringing the total fees to $1.8 billion. Though it was a record fine and high-profile win for U.S. prosecutors, the Journal and the Times focused on how the firm's founder, Steven Cohen, appeared off the hook from personal charges. The FT took a more optimistic approach in saying that "a cloud remains over the trading impresario" as investigators are still looking into Cohen's trades, citing sources familiar with the matter. The Washington Post largely credits Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, for helping bring SAC to its knees. The Times also looked at the government's "aggressive" tactics that would likely spur other actions against Wall Street firms. Though SAC Capital must close its investment advisory to outside investors, the Journal says several big name banks such as Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase will somehow continue doing business with the "beleaguered firm."
Market Probes: The papers continue to dig into the foreign exchange investigations by regulators and JPMorgan Chase's ongoing record settlement over mortgage securities. Journal financial editor Francesco Guerrera argues that the Libor rigging and currency probes could "inflict lasting damage" on banks far more than JPM's settlement. The FT did a timeline of stories on the regulatory investigations worldwide during the last four months.
Wall Street Journal
The Federal Housing Finance Agency will soon release its controversial ban prohibiting lenders from collecting high fees through force-placed insurance, according to government officials cited by the Journal. Tim Rood, a partner at mortgage advisory firm, Collingwood Group, told the paper that servicers would lose "meaningful to modest" income because of FHFA's changes. American Banker has detailed coverage of the topic here and here.
The Journal profiled the growing use of microloans in Europe as entrepreneurs are looking to start small businesses amid a dried out credit market.
The FT reported late Monday that Lael Brainard, the U.S. Treasury's top official on international economic policy, will step down from her post at the end of the week, according to a Treasury official. The paper said Brainard has "an optimal background" to take a seat as governor at the Federal Reserve "given her familiarity with the main players in international economic diplomacy."
New York Times
In case you missed it Monday afternoon, the Times examined why so many Wall Street bankers are driven to run marathons and their struggles to maintain a strict regimen.