A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…
Gold? Silver? Or Bronze?: From a commodity standpoint, which type of Olympic medal would you prefer? As the medal count keeps climbing in Sochi, OpenMarkets offers an analysis of which medal … err, metal … is really most valuable.
When Wall Street helps: Great story about a former JPMorgan hedge fund banker halting his finance career to lead the charge in funding research to cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy to save his son. Ilan Ganot did what any dad would do; and his friends in finance have stepped up to help.
Branding and fees breed breakage: Consumers have not forgotten the financial crisis. And traditional banks increasing fees for basic services like checking and ATMs equates to inviting customers to leave. So when beloved, non-financial brands like Starbucks and Google unveil financial services offerings, it is no wonder they capture market share. (read more…)
A roundup of all the best financial news and analysis from Day 2 of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Global bank capitalization much improved since crisis: Despite talk that little has changed, banks’ capital positions are much better than they were before the financial crisis, Bank for International Settlements General Manager Jaime Caruana said on CNBC. The quality of capital also has improved, a factor that is sometimes overlooked, Caruana said.
Mixed messages from ICBC: Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, talked with CNBC Thursday in Davos and ruled out the possibility that the bank would repay investors for losses related to a fund product that soured. But that doesn’t jibe with what local media reports back in China. Shanghai Securities News quotes an unnamed ICBC official as saying, “ICBC won’t ignore the issue of its reputation. … The ICBC has not shirked its responsibility and pushed these investors to go chase China Credit Trust Co Ltd for payment. (read more…)
Three thoughts on the $13 billion settlement JPMorgan Chase has tentatively agreed to with the U.S. Justice Department:
This is what happens when the Wall Street-Washington revolving door is removed from regulating: JPMorgan initially offered 1$ billion to settle. Then reportedly upped its offer to somewhere around $3 billion. Regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would have jumped at any of those dollar figures, accepted a settlement whereby JPMorgan wouldn’t admit any wrongdoing, and called it a day.
But the dynamics at the Justice Department are different. Most of the people at DoJ neither came from Wall Street, nor expect their next job offer to come from Wall Street. That meant they could play hardball. DoJ not only upped the price tag to $13 billion (with some help from the FHFA), but they refused to grant the banks immunity from criminal prosecution – a reportedly key contention during the negotiations. (read more…)
The 5-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy has sparked numerous retrospectives of the financial crisis (and the response to the crisis). Here are 12 of the better reads out there:
Bloomberg makes the most of some great access it got to former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.
Hamilton Place Strategies dives deep on the issue of “Too Big to Fail”
Phil Angelides, the chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, counts down 5 things that must be done to prevent another crisis.
BreakingViews delivers a 5-part series on the crisis that is one of the few that includes a look back on the Northern Rock debacle.
InvestmentNews weighs in with a view from the perspective of financial advisors.
The Economist tracks the some critical changes in the finance landscape with some nifty charts.
The Brookings Institution thinks things are safer now.
Buried beneath headlines the past few months about the “fiscal cliff” and sequestration was at least one nugget of positive information for the U.S. economy: Foreclosure starts declined in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Home mortgage foreclosure rates have been a key indicator in the U.S. economic recovery. Foreclosures hit a five-year low in October, according to Lender Processing Services and HOPE NOW. In December, 3.4% of mortgaged homes were in foreclosure, down from 4.2% in December 2011. Rates in each state vary according to local economic conditions.
States with the highest percentages of homes in foreclosure are in the Northeast, Northwest and Florida. In December, Florida had the nation’s highest rate of homes in foreclosure at 11.6%. In December, Florida’s unemployment rate was 7.9%, just above the U.S. rate of 7.8%.
States with the lowest percentages of homes in foreclosure are in the Plains States. At 0.5%, Wyoming had the lowest rate of homes in foreclosure in December; the unemployment rate was 4.9%. (read more…)