Daily Archives: December 4, 2012

The Fed is backing foreign banks into a corner

FORTUNE — Big banks like Barclays and Deutsche Bank could soon find it a lot more expensive to do business on Wall Street. The Federal Reservetelegraphed to the markets late last week that foreign financial firms operating in the U.S. won’t get a pass on all the new regulatory red tape associated with the Dodd-Frank financial reform. While that may be the “fair” thing to do, it could make some international firms think twice about whether it’s worth doing business in the U.S.

Wall Street is so international now that it has become increasingly difficult to tell which firms are foreign and which are domestic. One could probably spend a whole day walking around Deutsche Bank’s downtown New York offices and never even see a German. The same could be said for finding a Swiss national over at Credit Suisse. Meanwhile, if you go into the CEO’s office at Morgan Stanley you’ll hear an Australian, not an American, accent.

Read on.

Ex-Irish Republican Army Man Losing Home Shows Ireland’s Banking Future

Few people represent the extremes of Ireland’s recent history more than Thomas McFeely.

By 2008, the 63-year-old had transformed himself from Irish Republican Army hunger striker in Belfast to millionaire property developer in Dublin. Then the real estate bubble popped. Now bankrupt and facing criticism after residents of one of the properties he developed were forced to move because of fire-safety concerns, McFeely last month lost a battle to keep his home in one of the Irish capital’s most affluent areas.

“It is the latest episode of the unfortunate situation that has befallen the country,” Justice John Hedigan told the Dublin courtroom as the Irish government seized the property. “There’s nothing I can do.”

Such rulings will become increasingly familiar in Ireland as one of the biggest property bubbles in European history unwinds, a crisis masked this year by falling bond yields as investors bet that the worst is over. Yet for Irish banks, whose losses forced the government to follow Greece in seeking a bailout, the true cost of the debacle is about to hit.

Read on.

U.S. Regulators Study Libor Proposals

WASHINGTON—U.S. officials said Monday that they are digging into global efforts to overhaul a key interest rate that affects everything from credit-card rates to municipal debt prices.

A council of top U.S. regulators met Monday at the Treasury to discuss the global effort to overhaul the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, according to an agency spokeswoman.

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2nd Circuit upholds dismissal of lawsuits over Merrill Lynch

NEW YORK, Dec 4 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of two lawsuits aiming to force Bank of America Corp to sue former Merrill Lynch & Co executives and directors over losses on mortgages and other risky debt.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed rulings last year by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan dismissing the lawsuits, which were filed by onetime Merrill shareholders.

“We see no error in those rulings,” the three-judge panel wrote in an unsigned opinion.

Read on.

Senate Subcommittee Casts Wide Net in Chase ‘London Whale’ Probe

A Senate investigations subcommittee has questioned more than 80 people in its ongoing probe of $5.8 billion in trading losses at J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) earlier this year, two people familiar with the investigation told FOX Business.

The number of witnesses suggests the scope of the probe, which several news organizations first reported about in September, is broad and might lead to more political headaches in Washington for Chase.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/government/2012/12/03/senate-subcommittee-casts-wide-net-in-chase-london-whale-probe/#ixzz2E7NupZ00

Actor Brad Pitt Developing Debt Collector Series for HBO

Hollywood supernova Brad Pitt’s production company is currently in the process of developing a TV series for HBO that will center on an ex-gangster living in Buffalo, N.Y. trying to get his life back together by working at a debt collection agency, according to a report in entertainment trade publication Variety.

Pitt will be an executive producer for the series that his company, Plan B Entertainment, is developing with HBO. The series, which is slated for hour-long episodes, has already secured other producers and writers.

The series will be called “Paper,” and is based on an essay published in the New Yorker in 2010 titled “Pay Up.” That story took a critical look at the life of an ex-con who owns a debt collection agency in Buffalo that works older payday loans. A pervasive theme in the piece is the quality of the accounts – or “paper” – being worked by his collection agency, which is clearly near the bottom rung of the ARM world. It juxtaposed the tactics and conditions at his agency with those of a top-tier debt collection agency working fresh paper.

Read on.

Report: Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren shoe-in for Senate Banking Committee

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who is known for designing theConsumer Financial Protection Bureau, is likely to be selected to serve on the Senate Banking Committee, The Huffington Post reported Tuesday.

Apparently, four sources familiar with the matter shared this information with the online publication.

Read on.