Daily Archives: March 20, 2017

Trump tapping Kelly Conway’s husband for DOJ’s civil division?

The WSJ report has more details:

George Conway, the husband of senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, is set to be nominated to run the Justice Department’s civil division, according to people familiar with the matter, a job that would put him at the forefront defending the controversial immigration executive order and other lawsuits against the Trump administration.

Mr. Conway, a partner at Wall Street law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, had also been in the running for other jobs at the Justice Department.

He has worked on major securities law cases and deal litigation, according to his law firm biography.

NY AG hires a public-corruption prosecutor who worked under Preet Bharara to target the Trump administration

New York state’s attorney general, to date one of the most vocal antagonists of President Donald Trump, is preparing to escalate his office’s litigation against the president’s administration.

Democrat Eric Schneiderman has hired one of the top public-corruption prosecutors under former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to focus specifically on issues involving the Trump administration. Howard Master, who prosecuted the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s case against longtime New York state Assembly SpeakerSheldon Silver , is expected to work on both continuing and new White House-related matters for the attorney general, as well as on high-level public-corruption cases.

The hiring of Mr. Master, whose title will be senior enforcement counsel, signals Mr. Schneiderman’s continued intent to take on the Republican president.

Read on.

Another Senior Russian Official Has Died

As AP reports, a top official of Russia’s space agency has been found dead in a prison where he was being held on charges of embezzlement.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, Yulia Ivanova, told the state news agency RIA Novosti that the 11 other people in Vladimir Evdokimov’s cell were being questioned.

Investigators found two stab wounds on Evdokimov’s body, but no determination had been made of whether they were self-inflicted.

Evdokimov, 56, was the executive director for quality control at Roscosmos, the country’s spaceflight and research agency.

He was jailed in December on charges of embezzling 200 million rubles ($3.1 million) from the MiG aerospace company.

Source: Zerohedge

Credit unions harmed by rules meant for Wall Street

As a member-owned cooperative, a credit union’s success is literally tied to the financial health of the people who walk through its doors every single day.

This symbiotic structure is why credit unions remain the safest and most consumer-friendly option in banking. It’s also a clear example of why you didn’t see the government bailing out credit unions after the 2008 financial crash, unlike the big banks.

Unfortunately, the federal government seems to have forgotten who was responsible for that crisis.

Regulations written in Washington and created to police the bad behavior of Wall Street have inexplicably been slapped onto credit unions, too.

These massive one-size-fits-all regulations — again, crafted for the largest financial institutions in the world — have forced the credit union, with limited resources as a not-for-profit financial institution, to increase loan rates to members, reduce dividends, reduce staff and not expand into new products and services for our members. In addition, I conservatively estimate that the credit union spends 20 percent of our staff time keeping up with all of the changing regulations and updating our policies and procedures. This equates to over $100,000 a year being allocated to regulation. Time and money that would be better spent serving our members.

Read on.

Homeowner suing Wells Fargo after his house was ransacked and locks were changed

It still happening..

The end of John Barber’s unpleasant foreclosure process seemed to be in sight.

Barber had arranged to sell his Easton home through a short sale, which occurs when a bank approves a sale for less than the mortgage balance.

He started packing in anticipation of moving out but said some treasured items, including a coin collection and an antique firearm, were stolen when the bank took the premature step of sending a company to secure the home while he still was living there.

Barber notified police and sued Wells Fargo. The lawsuit alleges he “discovered that his home had been broken into, the locks changed, the premises ransacked, and a large quantity of personal property belonging to him was missing.”

Read on.

Lobby launches ‘candidate school’ for bankers to run for office

Bankers who want to run for office are in luck. A powerful lobbying group has launched a training camp designed to help bankers become politicians.

The American Bankers Association started taking applications on Tuesday for its first-ever “candidate school.” The pilot program is open to any banker who wants to run for state or federal office.

The biggest bank lobbying group described it as a “comprehensive two-day program” that will take place, naturally, in Washington, D.C.

Read on.

Freshman lawmaker linked to company accused of million-dollar marketing scam

Freshman Rep. Brian Mast is linked to a Florida marketing company under investigation by federal regulators for allegedly pocketing millions of dollars in a patent scam.

World Patent Marketing and its owner, Scott J. Cooper, are accused by the Federal Trade Commission of defrauding thousands of clients in the last few years to the tune of millions of dollars, and then harassing customers who threatened to report the scam.

Read on.

‘The Spider Network’ book weaves compelling tale about the global financial crisis

In “The Spider Network,” Wall Street Journal editor David Enrich spins a tale about a global conspiracy to manipulate the Libor interest rate benchmark.

To many readers, a non-fiction book about a complex conspiracy to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, might sound like fodder for a good nap.

But in the hands of journalist David Enrich, the true tale of former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes becomes a page-turning crime drama that engages – and educates – readers from beginning to end.

In “The Spider Network,” the author weaves together the vast web of players who blatantly worked to skew the benchmark that is used to set interest rates for everything from home equity loans to complex derivatives. Their goal was to nudge rates in the direction that boosted their trading portfolios – and earn them fat bonuses.


Wells Fargo execs’ “revoked” bonuses showed up in stock awards

Wells Fargo got some good press earlier this month when the chairman of the board stomped his foot, thrust an index finger into the air, and declared the bank would award no cash bonuses to eight top executives for 2016, collectively depriving them of $32 million in compensation. It was a rare and dramatic showing of spinal integrity for the red stagecoach. Of course, as you may recall, the announcement included the explicit proviso that no one did anything improper, necessarily. But the board didn’t need to use words to communicate its displeasure – cash would do just fine.

But something funny happened in the intervening weeks: Those callously withheld cash bonuses miraculously transformed themselves into equity awards. CEO Tim Sloan, whose overall pay increased 17 percent to $13 million, saw his stock award grow $2.5 million as his $1 million cash bonus from 2015 disappeared. CFO John Shrewsberry’s $850,000 cash bonus vanished as his stock award grew by $1 million, according to Wells Fargo’s 2017 proxy filing.

Read on.