Daily Archives: May 4, 2016

Citi, JPMorgan, Others Paying $324M In Rate-Fixing Deal

Law360, New York (May 3, 2016, 5:15 PM ET) — Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were among seven banks that on Tuesday agreed to pay a total of $324 million to settle class action litigation alleging that they rigged a benchmark interest rate used to set terms for swaps transactions.

The banks, which lost a motion to dismiss the complaint in March, also agreed to cooperate with counsel for the plaintiffs in further investigation of manipulation of the so-called ISDAfix, a tool which determines valuations for interest rate derivative products,…

Source: Law360

And there is one: Trump last man standing, Kasich bails out.

It’s official. Kasich drops out today after Cruz drops out from the race yesterday. The Trumpster is now the presumed Presidential nominee. We shall see if Trump will be announced as the Presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in July. Just read that some conservatives are rattled that Trump is the last man standing and some are switching parties. Get the popcorn, folks!



Wells Fargo : ‘criticized’ loans rise 62 percent, driven by energy

Wells Fargo & Co saw a 62-percent increase in commercial and industrial loans that regulators have classified as “criticized,” according to its first-quarter regulatory financial filing released on Wednesday.

Read on.

George Will takes on #FannieGate, says GSEs ‘should never have existed’

Well, it seems we can’t go more than a few days without a prominent, national media personality commenting on the stability and standing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, how the government-sponsored enterprises ended up in conservatorship, and what’s next for the GSEs.

Last month, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote that there was a government conspiracy behind the bailout and subsequent takeover of Fannie and Freddie, and that the government is preparing to hand the housing finance system over to the big banks.

And now, no less than George Will has weighed in on “#FannieGate,” the now viral movement first covered by HousingWire.

ICYMI: #FannieGate includes some Fannie and Freddie shareholders, many of which claim that the government’s “sweep” of all of the GSEs’ profits was unwarranted, unwanted and maybe even illegal.

In what appears to be a syndicated column, spotted on DelawareOnline.com, Will writes about the “misadventures of Fannie and Freddie,” and it’s clear from reading Will’s piece that not only does he think the GSEs current status is unsustainable and unhealthy, he also thinks the creation of Fannie and Freddie was a giant mistake.

Will’s piece starts out:

Gigantic government’s complexity and opacity provide innumerable opportunities for opportunists to act unconstrained by clear law or effective supervision. Today’s example, involving the government’s expropriation of hundreds of billions of dollars, features three sets of unsympathetic actors — a grasping federal government, a few hedge funds nimble at exploiting the co-mingling of government and the private sector, and two anomalous institutions that should never have existed.

Read on.


Originally posted on Clouded Titles Blog: BREAKING NEWS! It is with great sadness that I report to you that Kings County, New York Judge Arthur Schack has died at age 71. He was a champion of the truth and will be notably remembered for being reversed in the HSBC BANK USA NA v Taher case because…


Trump train: Trump becomes presume Presidental nominee, Cruz throws in the towel, and Kasich stays in the race


Blocking Wall Street’s Revolving Door


The Wall Street investment bank Lazard held its annual shareholder meeting April 19 at Bermuda’s luxurious Elbow Beach Hotel. Bermuda is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and, less flatteringly, as an offshore tax haven. Headquartered in New York City, Lazard is incorporated in Bermuda.

Like a tax shelter that lacks economic substance, Lazard’s shareholder meeting seemed empty of meaningful content. There was no discussion of the company’s performance, as is customary at other shareholder meetings. I felt like the only attendee who was not affiliated with the company.

Lazard’s corporate secretary ran through the entire meeting agenda in less than five minutes. Lazard’s board of directors and a number of other executives attended the meeting but did not speak. My job: to present an AFL-CIO-sponsored shareholder proposal. as required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulations.

The AFL-CIO’s shareholder proposal asked Lazard to ban the payment of unvested equity to senior executives if they enter into government service. Known as “government service golden parachutes,” this unvested equity would normally be forfeited after an executive’s voluntary resignation.

Paying executives to enter government service fosters a “revolving door” between Wall Street and financial regulators. Government service certainly rates as commendable, but financial regulators should be free from any perceived bias due to extra compensation received from their previous employers.

As Sheila Bair, the former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, has put it, “Only in the Wonderland of Wall Street logic could one argue that this looks like anything other than a bribe…We want people entering public service because they want to serve the public. Frankly, if they need a [golden parachute], I’d rather they stay away.”

At the annual meeting, I also delivered a petition signed by more than 44,000 individuals that called on Lazard to stop this questionable pay practice. The petition was organized by the AFL-CIOPublic Citizen, and Americans for Financial Reform and targeted to Lazard, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. The AFL-CIO has shareholder proposals to ban government service golden parachutes pending at all these firms.