Daily Archives: September 19, 2015

Bank of America is so desperate to win a potentially embarrassing vote that it’s lobbying tiny shareholders

Now that is getting desperate...

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO and chairman.

Bank of America is facing a critical vote next week — and it looks like the board is pulling out all the stops to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

On Tuesday, shareholders will be asked to vote on whether or not CEO and Chairman Brian Moynihan should keep the “chairman” title.

He was handed that role in October 2014, in a move which upset some investors and went against a 2009 vote to split the roles.

Eager to win the yes vote, the bank’s board has started lobbying investors, ranging from top-20 investors to small-time individual shareholders.

Joel West, a California business teacher and owner of 512 BAC shares, told Business Insider that he received a phone call this week from a proxy solicitor working on behalf of the bank.

As a small-time shareholder, he hadn’t thought much about the proxy statement he received in the mail.

Read on.

JPMorgan Chase to close Garden City offices, lay off 195 employees

JPMorgan Chase plans to close its offices in Garden City in December and lay off 195 employees, the company said in a state filing.

A number of other workers, who are involved in activities including mortgages, are being transferred to other Chase locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and elsewhere in the country, spokeswoman Patricia Wexler said.

Read on.

Kim Davis Altered Marriage Forms; May Have Violated Court Order

Go to jail, go directly to jail for Kim Davis!

Attorney Richard Hughes (representing Rowan County Deputy Clerk Brian Mason) alleged today that Clerk Kim Davis may have violated the court order placed against her prohibiting interference in the issuance of marriage licences in Rowan County.

According to the AP, “On Friday, Mason’s attorney told the judge that when Davis returned to work Monday she ‘confiscated all the original forms’ and replaced them with forms that delete her name, the name of the county and all references to the deputy clerks. The new form has Mason’s name and a place for him to write his initials but not his signature.” The AP went on to say:

“It also appears to this counsel those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court’s orders and may have raised to the level of interference against the court’s orders,” attorney Richard Hughes wrote. “Mr. Mason is concerned because he is in a difficult position that he continues to issue the licenses per the court’s order … which had some remote questionable validity, but now with these changes may in fact have some substantial questions about validity.”

Read on.

Law firm removes references to SEC chief’s husband’s ties to audit regulator

Marketwatch:

A move by the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore to excise references to uncommonly close regulatory ties follows a Bloomberg story that pointed to an ongoing conflict between John White’s service to the group while his wife, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White, has oversight responsibility for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the audit regulator.

A spokesperson for Cravath did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The conflict has existed since April 2013, when Mary Jo White became head of the agency. John White has served on the PCAOB advisory committee continuously since he was at the SEC between 2006 and 2008.
He did resign as an equity partner at Cravath when his wife took the chairwoman’s job, since Cravath is a top white-collar and corporate defense firm that represents clients at the SEC frequently. Mary Jo White has recused herself from weighing in or voting on SEC cases when her husband’s firm is involved. The issue has been receiving new attention since Mary Jo White told reporters last Wednesday at a meeting of the Investor Advisory Group, according to a Wall Street Journal report, that the SEC is “identifying interested and qualified candidates” to chair the PCAOB. The current chairman, James Doty, whose term expires in October, has said he’d like to stay in the job.

The Bloomberg report cited the Center for Effective Government, an advocacy group, calling for White to step aside from the selection of the next PCAOB chairman.

Leaked Seattle Audit Concludes Many Mortgage Documents Are Void

Great job David Dayen!

A Seattle housing activist on Wednesday uploaded an explosive land-record audit that the local City Council had been sitting on, revealing its far-reaching conclusion: that all assignments of mortgages the auditors studied are void.

That makes any foreclosures in the city based on these documents illegal and unenforceable, and makes the King County recording offices where the documents are located a massive crime scene.

The problems stem from the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems(MERS), an entity banks created so they could transfer mortgages privately, saving them billions of dollars in transfer fees to public recording offices. In Washington state, MERS’ practices were found illegal by the State Supreme Court in 2012. But MERS continued those practices with only cosmetic changes, the audit found.

That finding has national implications. Every state has its own mortgage laws, and some of the audit’s conclusions may not necessarily apply elsewhere. But it shows how MERS reacted to being caught defrauding the public by trying to sneak through foreclosures anyway. Combined with evidence in other parts of the country, like the failure to register out-of-state business trusts in Montana, it suggests that the mortgage industry has been inattentive to and dismissive of state foreclosure laws.

Read on.

JPMorgan CEO Dimon says Washington gridlock slowed U.S. economy: NBC News

So glad I don’t watch Meet the Press with Chuck (aka Chuckles) Todd.

(Reuters) – Washington’s inaction on the debt ceiling crisis, government shutdowns and immigration have slowed America’s economic growth, JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday.

Dimon said the economy would have grown faster without the Washington gridlock, but said he did not blame the government as it is elected by the people.

“If we want people in Washington to collaborate, let’s elect people who are going to collaborate,” he told moderator Chuck Todd.

Dimon, however, said he gave “enormous credit” to several current and former Washington officials for stopping the recession from getting worse. He cited former President George Bush, President Barack Obama, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Read on.

CFPB announces new members of industry advisory boards

Community banks, credit unions among new members

Housingwire.com:

The new members of the Consumer Advisory Board are:

  • Seema M. Agnani, Director of Policy and Civic Engagement, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Sylvia A. Alvarez, Executive Director, Housing & Education Alliance, Tampa, Fla.
  • Tim Chen, Chief Executive Officer, NerdWallet, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Kathleen C. Engel, Research Professor, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Mass.
  • Judith L. Fox, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
  • Neil F. Hall, Executive Vice President, PNC Financial Services Group, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Dr. Raul A. Hinojosa-Ojeda, Associate Professor, University of California Los Angeles Division of Social Sciences, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Brian D. Hughes, Senior Vice President of Card Marketing, Discover Financial Services, Deerfield, Ill.
  • Christopher G. Kukla, Senior Vice President, Center for Responsible Lending, Durham, N.C.
  • Max R. Levchin, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Affirm, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Phaedra B. Robinson, Executive Director, Coalition for a Prosperous Mississippi, Richland, Miss.
  • Joshua Zinner, Co-Director, New Economy Project, New York, N.Y.

The new members of the Community Bank Advisory Council are:

  • Jonathan T. Allen, Chief Compliance Officer, Bank of American Fork, American Fork, Utah
  • Kathleen J. Cook, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Village Bank, Saint Libory, Ill.
  • Julia R. DeBery, Senior Vice President, Internal Audit and Risk Management, Bath Savings Institution, Bath, Maine
  • Jack E. Hopkins , President and Chief Executive Officer, CorTrust Bank, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Ricardo ‘Ricky’ D. Leal, Community Lender and Senior Vice President, First Community Bank, N.A., Harlingen, Texas
  • Cara L. Quick, Vice President of Compliance, First Hope Bank, N.A., Hope, N.J.
  • Thomas E. Spitz, Chief Executive Officer, Settlers Bank, Windsor, Wis.
  • Yee Phong (Alan) Thian, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Business Bank, Arcadia, Calif.
  • Samuel Vallandingham, President and Chief Executive Officer, First State Bank, Barboursville, W.Va.

The new members of the Credit Union Advisory Council are:

  • Gail L. DeBoer , President and Chief Executive Officer, SAC Federal Credit Union, Papillion, Neb.
  • Robert C. Donley, Executive Vice President, Members Credit Union, Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Gregory W. Higgins , Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Wings Financial Credit Union, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Maria A. LaVelle, Chief Executive Officer, Westmoreland Community Federal Credit Union, Greensburg, Pa.
  • Carrie L. O’Connor, Senior Vice President, Lending and Operations, Community America Credit Union, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
  • Thomas J. O’Shea, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aspire Federal Credit Union, Clark, N.J.
  • Katey Proefke – Assistant Vice President of Compliance, Chevron Federal Credit Union, Oakland, Calif.
  • James E. Spradlin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Park Community Credit Union, Louisville, Ky.