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Minding the gap: Attorneys general in several states are looking to fill what they believe is a void being created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it cuts back on oversight of several loan businesses, including student loan servicing and payday lending. “If the CFPB is not going to pursue these kinds of cases, I am willing to go at it alone,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who created a consumer financial protection division in his office last year. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has filed several cases against online and payday lenders.

CFPB acting director Mick Mulvaney says he wants to run a lean agency, but he is apparently “willing to shell out top dollar for his highest-ranking appointees,” according to the New York Times. He recently hired two senior staff officers at annual salaries of more than $230,000 each, “amounts that are far above what they had been earning in their previous government jobs in Washington.” Indeed, the agency “is stocked with employees who earn more than the average Washington bureaucrat. Of the agency’s 1,600 employees, 219 make more than $200,000,” The Times says.

Dimon mail: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s annual letter to shareholders on Thursday “cast a generally optimistic message about the bank’s prospects,” the Wall Street Journal notes. But the 47-page letter, which covered various subjects, not all related to the bank’s business, did raise the prospect that the Federal Reserve may have to take unanticipated “drastic” action in the financial markets.

“Many people underestimate the possibility of higher inflation and wages, which means they might be underestimating the chance that the Federal Reserve may have to raise rates faster than we all think,” he wrote.

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, reacts during the Europlace forum in Paris.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, reacts during the Europlace forum in Paris. Bloomberg News

Dimon’s annual letters have fueled speculation that he will eventually run for president of the United States. But which of the two major parties would have him?

“If Mr. Dimon were to run, he would likely have to do so as an independent,” the New York Times says. “It is hard to see how liberal Democrats would embrace much of his deregulatory positions. And yet many of his positions – and especially some of his social positions not enunciated in his letter — may not be far right enough to capture the interest of Republicans.”

Wall Street Journal


Alexa, pay that person: Amazon.com is looking into enabling its Alexa virtual assistant to make person-to-person payments, “a move that would push the retailing giant into new competition” with big banks and PayPal’s Venmo, the Journal reports. The idea is still in the early stages.

So long SIFI tag?: The Financial Stability Oversight Council may soon consider Zions Bancorp’s application to remove its designation as a systemically important financial institution.

Consolidation costs: Wells Fargo is planning to more closely integrate its corporate and investment banks in order to cut costs and improve customer service. But that could result in employee layoffs.

Auf Wiedersehen?: Garth Ritchie, Deutsche Bank’s global markets chief and co-head of investment banking, has discussed leaving the bank, possibly as early as this year. “The prospect has led to internal speculation about who will oversee the German lender’s massive but struggling trading unit, which is under review and could end up being scaled back.”

Hacked: Delta Air Lines said credit card information on hundreds of thousands of customers may have been compromised during a cyberattack on a vendor that operates a chat function on the airline’s website. The chat provider, [24]/7.ai Inc., said the hack occurred last fall, at which time a similar attack hit Sears’ website.

At your service: Dana Deasy, JPMorgan Chase’s former IT chief, has been named chief information officer at the Defense Department. Deasy, who left the bank last year and oversaw the bank’s first use of public cloud technology, will be heading up a similar cloud project at the Pentagon.

Quotable


“We have worked cooperatively with the CFPB in the past, but unfortunately, [Mick Mulvaney] is going in the opposite direction and even dropping cases that were previously approved. We will be filling the void if the CFPB continues to abdicate its responsibility.” — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

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