Daily Archives: June 15, 2016

Bank Of America Set To Fire 8,000 As Banker Layoffs Accelerate

A few months ago we pointed out that mass layoffs were coming for bankers due to declining revenues and more difficult market conditions, and now we’re seeing the first major wave of that come to fruition.

Bank of America has announced that it will fire as many as 8,000 employees within its consumer division the FT reports.The core reason given for the headcount reduction in this instance is that digital banking is picking up the pace, and has reduced the need for “back office staff” and bank tellers.

This is a trend that BofA highlighted in its In its Q1 earnings press release, as the bank showed thatmobile banking users had shot up 15% y/y.

The bank has already slashed headcount by more than 10,000 in 2015, and has cut almost 40,000 from its consumer division alone since 2009 (bringing the total at the end of Q1 to 68,400). The layoffs are in line with what has been happening to its retail branch count, which has fallen by about 1,400 over the past seven years. Thong Nguyen, president of retail banking told a conference in New York this week that the numbers would “probably go down to the low 60s”, implying as many as 8,000 layoffs are on the horizon.

Read on.

New Evidence Donald Trump Didn’t Pay Taxes

New questions about the integrity of Donald Trump’s income tax returns, and new indications that he does not pay income taxes, arise from rulings in two tax appeals that Trump filed in the 1990s. Trump lost both cases.

Trump’s 1984 federal income tax return included a Schedule C, the form used by sole proprietors, the decision in the first case shows.

Trump listed no income on that form, yet he deducted $626,264 as expenses. His New York City tax return also showed no income, but listed slightly less in expenses: $619,227.

No receipts, invoices, or other documentation were provided when Trump was under audit or during his appeal from what he argued was an unfair demand for more tax.

“The record does not explain how Petitioner [Trump] had significant expenses without any concomitant income from his consulting business,” wrote H. Gregory Tillman, the city administrative law judge who heard the case on April 29 and May 28 of 1992.

Jack Mitnick, the lawyer and accountant who prepared Trump’s tax returns for more than two decades, was Trump’s only witness. Mitnick testified that he was “thoroughly familiar” with the Trump tax returns and all aspects of the finances of Trump Tower, which were central to the appeal.

But when shown a photocopy of Trump’s 1984 tax return, Mitnick testified that “we did not” prepare that return, referring to himself and his firm, and he said did not know who did. However, Mitnick did not dispute that it was his signature on the photocopy.

The original tax return was never found, the judge noted.

Read on.


Community lenders “baffled” to see major trade groups push “Wall Street” agenda

The battle lines surrounding the potential reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Macare becoming firmly drawn, with the Community Mortgage Lenders of Americadenouncing and rejecting a recent letter from several of the largest trade groups in housing that called for the Federal Housing Finance Agency to leave Fannie and Freddie reform to Congress, rather than allowing the government-sponsored enterprises to rebuild capital.

The strong response from the CMLA comes days after the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors, American Bankers Association, National Association of Home Builders, and the National Housing Conference sent a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt imploring him to not make any further amendments to the GSE conservatorship agreements, including ones that would enable the GSEs to rebuild their dwindling capital base.

Read on.

Peter J. Wallison, member of the FCIC: New Questions About the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission


• The report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) is frequently cited as the authoritative source for the causes of the 2008 crisis, but its key findings are contradicted by documents in its own files that were never disclosed in its final report.

• By 2008, most mortgages in the US were subprime or otherwise weak. Of these risky loans, 76 percent were on the books of government agencies, principally Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

• The FCIC claimed that Fannie and Freddie bought these loans primarily because they were profitable, and not because of the government’s housing policies—particularly the affordable housing goals.

• However, the FCIC documents discussed in this paper show that Fannie and Freddie knew these loans would be unprofitable and in some cases loss-producing.

• As a government study commission, the FCIC failed in its obligation to report fairly on all the evidence it collected, not just the evidence for the story it wanted to tell.


Here is Mr. Wallison’s report. Click Read on.

Has Libor scandal cost three bankers their lives? Mystery deaths of three financiers in London, New York and Siena linked to interest rate-rigging


  • In March 2013 David Rossi, 51, who worked closely with Deutsche Bank, was found dead in Siena, Italy
  • In January 2014 William Broeksmit, 58, from Deutsche Bank, died in London 
  • In October 2014 Calogero Gambino, 41, another Deutsche Bank employee, died in New York 
  • Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $2.5billion (£1.76billion) to settle claims against it over the Libor scandal 


Three bankers, all with ties to Deutsche Bank, committed suicide within the space of 18 months and there is growing speculation their deaths may have been linked to the Libor scandal.

Last year Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $2.5billion (£1.76billion) to resolve investigations in Britain and the US into the activities of its traders.

Meanwhile in Siena, Italy, authorities exhumed the body of banker David Rossi, 51, and reopened their investigation into his death in March 2013.

Mr Rossi, who worked as a communications director at the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, was found dead in an alley beneath his office in the city.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3638560/Mystery-suicides-international-bankers-deaths-three-financiers-London-New-York-Siena-linked-Libor-scandal.html#ixzz4Bcr2nCbJ


Goldman Sachs investment banker, 24, dies suddenly after Connecticut triathlon

Police are investigating the sudden death of a 24-year-old Goldman Sachs investment banker who collapsed Sunday after competing in a Connecticut triathlon.

Samuel Fisher, a Harvard grad who was living in New York City, died not long after he completed his part of a swimming and running race in a charity competition.

He swam almost a mile and then rested 90 minutes while his Goldman Sachs teammates did the bike portion of the competition.

Read on.

Feds offer big reward for details about banker’s murder

The FBI is looking for a hot tip on a cold case.

The feds on Tuesday offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the 2011 murder of banker Maurice J. Spagnoletti — killed in a hail of 11 gunshots as he sat in his Lexus in rush hour traffic in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A New Jersey native, Spagnoletti, 57, was just hired as chief executive of Doral Bank and had begun to question some deals within the troubled financial institution, according to a lawsuit filed by his widow in 2013.

“He was shot to death and left to die alone on a lonely highway in Puerto Rico, and that night of pure horror will live with me until the day I die,” the widow, Marisa Spagnoletti, said at a Tuesday press conference after the FBI, with its bounty, said it was in the “final stages” of its probe.

Read on.