Daily Archives: January 12, 2017

JPMorgan Ordered to Pay Damages for Firing Whistle-Blower

JPMorgan Chase inappropriately retaliated against a former employee who raised questions about the bank’s sales tactics and investment products, the Labor Department found.

The bank was ordered to pay back wages and damages to Johnny Burris, a former broker at one of its Arizona branches. A letter released on Tuesday by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the department, said that JPMorgan had violated provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley law designed to protect whistle-blowers.

A spokeswoman for JPMorgan, Patricia Wexler, said the bank planned to appeal the findings. Ms. Wexler noted that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the industry’s self-funded regulator, had previously ruled against Mr. Burris when he told an arbitration panel that he was fired as retaliation.

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MERS, MERSCORP’s Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is Part of Trump’s Transition Team

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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius  was MERS counsel…

National Law Journal-

The Trump camp continues to draw DOJ transition officials from the nation’s largest law firms. The newest members are McGuireWoods partner J. Patrick Rowan, the former head of the National Security Division; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius partner Ronald Tenpas, the former head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division; and Morrison & Foerster partner Jessie Liu, who served as a top official in the National Security and Civil Rights divisions.

[(sub. req.)NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL]

Senators Seek More Info About Wells Fargo’s Overdraft Income

A group of Democratic senators asked Wells Fargo’s chief executive for more details about the bank’s recent boost in income from overdraft charges and whether it is related to its sales-practices scandal, according to a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Senate Banking Committee Democratic senators led by Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked why the San Francisco bank’s income from overdraft fees increased at a rate roughly five times higher than its peers as noted in a recent Financial Times article.

“Wells Fargo’s overdraft income has increased disproportionately to the rest of the banking industry in the same way that Wells Fargo’s cross selling exceeded that of its competition,” according to the letter. It added that compensation incentives for overdraft services in some cases were structured similarly to those for banking accounts and credit cards.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said the bank hasn’t made any changes to its practices that would result in more or higher overdraft fees for customers. She added that the bank hasn’t had any banker incentive compensation or sales goals related to overdrafts.

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Another Goldman insider joins the Trump team

NEW YORK — Dina Powell, a Goldman Sachs partner with deep ties to both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, is leaving the bank to join the Trump administration in a senior role that will focus on entrepreneurship, economic growth and the empowerment of women, people familiar with the matter said. She is expected to work closely with President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her highly influential husband, Jared Kushner.

Powell, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and a major advocate for women, would instantly become one of the more powerful people in Trump’s Washington. Ivanka Trump and her husband are expected to be among the president-elect’s most trusted advisers. Kushner on Monday was named a senior adviser to the incoming president.

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Sen. Sessions pleads ignorance on corporate fraud

Jan 10 2017

In his attorney general confirmation hearings today, Sen. Jeff Sessions was asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., whether he would appoint a special prosecutor to administer the multiple Justice Department investigations against Deutsche Bank, given their financial ties to president-elect Trump. Sessions responded by saying he didn’t know how to respond, because “I’m not aware of that case.”

He should be.

Like practically every major financial institution, Deutsche Bank stands accused of peddling securities during the housing bubble backed by toxic mortgages, without telling investors about the risks. Other settlements over similar misconduct by Citigroup, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase have led to billions of dollars in fines.

But Deutsche Bank is notable, because it is Trump’s lender of last resort for his many real estate properties. Trump has borrowed at least $2.5 billion from Deutsche Bank since 1998, including $364 million in mortgages for four properties in the past few years. With not only the mortgage securities fraud investigation but other legal cases pending, it is natural to speculate whether Trump would use his powers as president to intervene. And a special prosecutor would at least grant nominal independence to the cases.

Read on.