Tag Archives: Wall Street

A top financial regulator wants banks to self-report their crimes

lol!

Nobody would look at how the government handled white-collar fraud cases after the financial crisis, when big bankers who sent the economy into chaos escaped criminal charges and often got promoted, and see some kind of model. Nobody, that is, except for James McDonald, the new enforcement chief at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an obscure US agency that oversees the $483 trillion derivatives market.

In a Monday night speech in New York City, McDonald announced a new initiative to provide significant benefits to financial institutions that “self-report” crimes and cooperate with investigators. In exchange, he said, companies might see civil penalties slashed, and in some instances, cases dropped altogether. A former federal prosecutor, McDonald noted the idea originated in gang prosecutions—he’s done a lot of those—where it made sense to let individuals report on higher-level colleagues in exchange for leniency.

“We’re committed to giving companies and individuals the right incentives to voluntarily comply with the law in the first place—and to look for misconduct and report it to us when they see it,” McDonald said, according to an official transcript.

In a vacuum, this initiative doesn’t sound that bad. McDonald seems to be committing his agency to real police work: going up the chain to find the highest-level individual who can be prosecuted for wrongdoing. And only those companies disclosing all known facts and continuing to actively investigate—including rooting out those responsible—would be eligible for a reduced fine. Oh, and they would have to make sure the misconduct didn’t happen again, either.

Read on.

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Trump’s pick for key bank regulator is another Wolf of Wall Street

Joseph Otting signed legal papers admitting the bank he ran forged documents to push Americans out of their homes. He also bought a mansion.

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump’s choice to lead a key bank regulation agency spent the first half of this decade running a bank that illegally foreclosed on hundreds of thousands of Americans, often using forged and fraudulent documents.

 

In 2013, halfway through Joseph Otting’s time running OneWest Bank, Otting purchased a Las Vegas “resort lifestyle home” with a “heated pool,” “double doors forged of wrought iron and glass,” “professional-grade theater,” and “far-reaching views of both the golf course and the mountains” for more than $2 million. Today, as he awaits confirmation to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the house stands as a monument to the money he made from pushing people out of their homes.

Read on.

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs bosses receive $314m windfall, boosted by Donald Trump

Living the thug life…

The bosses of two of Wall Street’s biggest banks received a $314m (£241m) windfall last year as the value of their shares soared after Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

Jamie Dimon, who is chairman, president and chief executive of JP Morgan, and Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, each saw their stock and options rise by more than $150m, new figures compiled by consultancy Equilar for the Financial Times show.

US bank shares jumped in the aftermath of Mr Trump’s win on 9 November, as investors predicted Wall Street-friendly policies and increased spending from the new administration.

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U.S. attempt to limit Wall Street bonuses fizzles out quietly

The regulatory agenda released by the Trump administration on Thursday contained a signal that the U.S. government has halted its work on restricting Wall Street executives’ bonuses and other pay incentives.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law called for federal banking and securities regulators to create limits on incentive-based compensation at big financial companies and prevent executives from receiving outsized rewards for overly risky gambles.

Last year those regulators, many appointed by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, rolled out a 500-page rule over many weeks that would require senior executives to return bonuses earned by making decisions that materially hurt their banks.

But in the biannual White House agenda on regulation, the rule was listed under the heading “long-term action,” instead of one denoting regulators were making progress toward a final version. In Washington-speak that meant the rule was dead.

The move followed President Donald Trump’s campaign pledges to lighten federal regulations that hurt liquidity and strangled business.

Read on.

Here’s why Wall Street has a hard time being ethical

This article was a few years ago but nothing has changed today…

A new report finds 53% of financial services executives say that adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm. A former Wall Street trader describes why

My first year on Wall Street, 1993, I was paid 14 times more than I earned the prior year and three times more than my father’s best year. For that money, I helped my company create financial products that were disguised to look simple, but which required complex math to properly understand. That first year I was roundly applauded by my bosses, who told me I was clever, and to my surprise they gave me $20,000 bonus beyond my salary.

The products were sold to many investors, many who didn’t fully understand what they were buying, most of them what we called “clueless Japanese.” The profits to my company were huge – hundreds of millions of dollars huge. The main product that made my firm great money for close to five years was was called, in typically dense finance jargon, a YIF, or a Yield Indexed Forward.

Read on.

Trump’s message to bankers: Wall Street reform rules may be eliminated

President Donald Trump told a group of chief executives on Tuesday that his administration was revamping the Wall Street reform law known as Dodd-Frank and might eliminate the rules and replace them with “something else.”

At the beginning of his administration, Trump ordered reviews of the major banking rules put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, and last week he said officials were planning a “major haircut” for them.

“For the bankers in the room, they’ll be very happy because we’re really doing a major streamlining and, perhaps, elimination, and replacing it with something else,” Trump said on Tuesday.

“That will be the minimum. But we’re doing a major elimination of the horrendous Dodd-Frank regulations, keeping some obviously, but getting rid of many,” he said.

Read on.

Top Wall Street lawyer takes aim at SEC in new book

One of Wall Street’s top lawyers is taking aim at one of Washington’s biggest regulators.

In his new book, “Going Public: My Adventures Inside the SEC and How to Prevent the Next Devastating Crisis,” veteran lawyer Norm Champ recounts his tumultuous five years at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Champ, now a partner at Kirland & Ellis, laments a “culture of fear and paranoia” spurred by anonymous complaints and backbiting. He ultimately stopped regulators from sharing information about investigations.

Read on.