Receiving Wide Coverage ...
All Shutdown All the Time: The ongoing government shutdown dominated news coverage this weekend. The Wall Street Journal highlighted how government officials and economists are facing forecasting quandaries as the budget impasse delays the release of key data, including the Labor Department's monthly jobs report. A separate article notes that Fed officials are monitoring the shutdown to see if the prolonged stalemate creates any drag on the private sector. Speaking of the Fed, the Financial Times assessed how a prolonged shutdown, and a lockdown of critical data, could influence the Fed's decision to taper its quantitative easing. The New York Times focused on the months leading up to the shutdown and how issues in Washington have provided a lift to the derivatives market, observing that insurance for credit-default swaps have started to rise.
Messaging Battle Brewing: Eight investment banks, including Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, are planning to launch a free viral messaging service. Markit is expected to compete against Bloomberg in terms of notices about financial markets. The New York Times also covered the new initiative.
Wall Street Journal
An article estimated that Warren Buffett has made at least $10 billion off of his investments in large companies during the financial crisis. While the article focused on Berkshire Hathaway's investment in Mars, it also refers to its infusions in Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs.
Shadow banking is again drawing attention from regulators, particularly lending by small investors who access the market via mutual funds that, in turn, invest in leveraged loans.
Officials at the Treasury Department and the Fed are tracking increasing financial issues in Puerto Rico and how they could impact people who hold the island's debt. A companion piece can be found here.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is considering requiring brokerage firms to carry insurance to buffer the costs of paying arbitration awards to investors.
Tim Massad, who has supervised the Troubled Asset Relief Program for the past three years, is relinquishing his current post assistant secretary for financial stability at the Treasury Department and is reportedly a candidate to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Outgoing ING chairman, Jan Hommen, used an exit interview to question the company's decision over the past two decades to offer insurance and banking services.
New York Times
The Dodd-Frank Act is set to bring more securities law cases to the Securities and Exchange Commission's internal court system which, in turn, is leading to questions about bias among judges who will hear those cases.
Richard Thaler, a professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Chicago, contributed an opinion piece questioning the effectiveness of financial literacy classes. "Even the most time-intensive programs had no discernible effects just two years later," he writes.