Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Settled: Pacific Investment Management Co. settled the breach-of-contract lawsuit brought by its former star manager and co-founder Bill Gross for a reported $81 million, well shy of the $200 million the self-styled "Bond King" claimed he was owed in bonuses and back pay. Gross, who now works for Janus Capital Group, and Pimco lavished praised on each other in a joint statement announcing the deal. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Proceed: The U.S. Supreme Court said it won't review a federal appeals court decision that annulled a settlement between Visa and Mastercard and a group of retailers over credit card swipe fees. The decision effectively clears the way for merchants to sue the two card companies for charges incurred after 2013; the original settlement covered only the period before then.
Up in arms: Bitcoin supporters, privacy advocates and tech industry executives are bristling over pressure the Internal Revenue Service is exerting on Coinbase, a popular bitcoin exchange. The IRS, which is worried that bitcoin users are evading taxes, has demanded that the exchange turn over transaction and user profile records on all of its American customers from 2013 to 2015. Coinbase has refused to do so, claiming the IRS request is "indiscriminate and over broad." The IRS request "is unprecedented," Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, an advocacy group, said.
Try, try again: Elevate Credit, a marketplace lender that makes online loans and offers lines of credit to American and British consumers with weak credit, is reconsidering an initial public offering after withdrawing its plans last year when the market turned sour. The company is now looking to raise as much as $124 million, according to a regulatory filing, which would value the company at about $487 million, or roughly 28% less than what it may have been worth a year ago.
Big improvement: European banking regulators said the euro zone's banks have made great strides since the financial crisis, but said more needs to be done to improve profitability. They also repeated their call for more bank mergers. "We're not far from a point where the situation of intensive care is a thing of the past," said one banking analyst.
Pricey: Wells Fargo's robo-advisory service, which is scheduled to begin testing in the next few months, is expected to cost more and require a higher minimum balance than some of its competitors' offerings. The bank's service, called Intuitive Investor, will charge a fee equal to 0.50% of assets and require at least $10,000 to open an account. By comparison, Betterment charges a 0.25% fee and doesn't require a minimum, while Wealthfront doesn't charge a fee for accounts with less than $10,000, 0.25% for amounts above that.
It never ends: The 50 largest global banks continue to defend themselves against a growing number of lawsuits brought in London's High Court. The law firm RPC said the largest banks were defendants in 157 lawsuits in the 12 months ended September 30, 2016, up more than a third from the 115 cases in the year-earlier period. "The long-term fallout from the financial crash of 2008, together with a greater willingness by companies to fight disputes in court, has continued to drive litigation against the world's largest banks," the paper reported.
New York Times
Tough enough?: Jay Clayton, President Trump's nominee for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told the Senate Banking Committee at his confirmation hearing last week that he is "100% committed to rooting out any fraud and shady practices in our financial system." That's to be expected, of course. But, writes Peter J. Henning, professor of law at Wayne State University, "the larger question is what tone Mr. Clayton will set for enforcement, and how aggressive he wants the SEC's staff to pursue cases that involve major Wall Street financial institutions."
"Bill Gross has always been larger than life. Bill has had an enormous influence on Pimco and the careers of many who have passed through its halls." — Dan Ivascyn, Pimco's chief investment officer