Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Watch what you say – and where: A former Jefferies Group investment banker was fined more than £37,000 ($46,000) by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority for bragging on Facebook's WhatsApp messaging application about banking deals on which he was working. The banker, Christopher Niehaus, resigned his job last year.
The fine "highlights the increasing problem new media poses to companies that need to monitor and archive their staff's communication," the Financial Times commented. "Several large investment banks have banned employees from sending client information over messaging services including WhatsApp."
Wall Street Journal
Head in the cloud: JPMorgan Chase plans to go live Friday with its first two applications to run in the public cloud. "That J.P. Morgan, a large, highly security-conscious financial institution, is moving pieces of its infrastructure to the public cloud reflects the extent to which the norms of corporate IT are changing as companies strive to optimize costs and take advantage of newer, more flexible technology," the paper notes. Corporations have become more comfortable with the public cloud as a substitute for their own private data center, it said.
Car crash: A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis says serious delinquencies on auto loans in some southern cities have now hit levels reached shortly after the Great Recession. The figures "are especially concerning because, unlike in 2010, they come amid a strong economic and employment backdrop nationally," the paper noted. "This suggests that if the economy were to slow significantly, the fallout for auto lenders could be dramatic." One positive note for depository institutions: Most of the loans discussed in the report were originated by car dealerships and captive auto lenders, not banks and credit unions.
Heartless: A federal bankruptcy judge fined Bank of America $45 million for its "brazen" and "heartless" treatment of a California couple fighting to save their home from foreclosure. Judge Christopher Klein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento said BofA's mortgage modification process and botched foreclosure on the couple's home left the people in "a state of battle-fatigued demoralization."
New futures cop: James McDonald, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has been named head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's enforcement division. McDonald's selection "is a signal to those who may seek to cheat or manipulate U.S. markets that there will be no pause, no let up and no relaxation in the CFTC's mission to enforce the law and punish wrongdoing," said acting CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.
Centerpiece: Laurence Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager by assets, is the focal point of a new exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial, which showcases new work. The piece, called "Debtfair," "makes a case that the economics of American art are flawed because of artists' debt," and that BlackRock invests in that debt according to the artists, the paper explained. "I respect the artists' desire to express themselves and as an active supporter of the contemporary art world I look forward to seeing the exhibit firsthand the next time I visit the Whitney," Fink commented.
Staying neutral: HSBC is unveiling a range of 10 new gender-neutral titles for its customers as it seeks to embrace gender diversity and inclusion. Among the changes: Using the prefix "Mx" instead of the traditional Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.
New York Times
Less is not: What's more effective, an ad that appears on 400,000 websites or 5,000 websites? Apparently there's not a whole lot of difference. That's what JPMorgan Chase found when it sharply reduced the number of websites it advertises on. "The change illustrates the new skepticism with which major marketers are approaching online ad platforms and the automated technology placing their brands on millions of websites," the paper said.
"Franz Kafka lives. This automatic stay violation case reveals that he works at Bank of America." – Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Klein