Receiving Wide Coverage ...
U.S. Versus SAC, Tourre: Papers remain focused on the ongoing civil trial of former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre and the expected insider trading criminal charges against hedge-fund giant SAC Capital Advisors, which could be filed any minute now. Dealbook's latest article on the SAC charges says "the marshaled might of law enforcement," which includes representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI, postal inspectors and the Justice Department, "signaled that the government was no longer interested in just monetary settlements." And the Journal echoes a sentiment from an earlier Times article: the charges could mean the end of SAC. "No major financial firm has survived a criminal indictment," the paper notes. As for the Tourre trial, the sometimes "Fabulous", sometimes "Breezy" former trader took the stand for the first time Wednesday. Per Dealbook, "Tourre seemed exasperated on the stand, and at one point during the questioning, tipped over the water container on the witness stand while reaching for a document." He also admitted that an email he sent to a key player in the investment deal at the heart of the case was "not accurate," which, based on some verbal sparring that took place between him and the prosecutor, is apparently different from being "false." Legal experts tell the Washington Post that Tourre's testimony, expected to continue today, "could make or break his case."
The Next Fed Chair: It looks like the choice for the next Federal Reserve chairman is down to two candidates: Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein went so far as to tap Summers as the frontrunner earlier this week, based on what he's hearing from the White House. This news didn't sit well with some pundits. "If you want to repeat all of the Clinton-era mistakes of financial regulation, you can't do better than appointing Clinton's very own Treasury secretary," writes Reuters blogger Felix Salmon. "Janet Yellen has all the makings of an excellent and prescient Fed chair." Still, some pundits believe Summers may be the right person for the job. "It is easier for me to imagine Summers having credibility with a Republican administration," writes blogger Tyler Cowen.
Sentenced: Three former UBS bankers will receive jail-time for municipal bond-rigging, but the sentences were lighter than U.S. prosecutors were expecting. The judge "raised questions about the government's method of calculating losses in the case, which it had pegged at about $25 million," the Journal reports. The three bankers were convicted by a federal jury last August of conspiring to defraud municipal bond issuers, according to the Times.
Wall Street Journal
Investors are cashing out of bonds, but instead of turning back to stocks, they're electing to buy money-market mutual funds. "The shift highlights the uncertain investing outlook at a time of near record-low interest rates and tepid economic growth, along with the risk aversion that has sent money into bond funds following the stock-market plunge of 2008," the article notes.
Bank of America's recent move to appoint board members with financial experience marks a "trend among the largest U.S. banks and comes amid pressure from investors for boards to have more knowledge of the industry."
Banks should not be allowed to own mines and warehouses, argues columnist John Gapper. "In September the Federal Reserve will have a choice of whether to allow banks to carry on as before, or roll back the boundaries of what they do," he writes. "It should employ common sense and keep them out of activities that have only a tangential relationship to banking."