Popularized in films like Limitless, legal smart drugs called Nootropics are becoming more and more prevalent in board rooms and on Wall Street.Keep reading »
Lawsky Said to Seek BNP Executive Dismissals in Probe (Bloomberg)
New York’s top banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky is pressing BNP Paribas (BNP) SA to dismiss one of the bank’s top executives as part of settlement negotiations with the U.S. over alleged sanctions violations, according to a person familiar with the matter. Lawsky wants the bank to remove Chief Operating Officer Georges Chodron de Courcel, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Lawsky is also seeking the departure of another senior executive and about 12 other bank employees, the person added. Chodron de Courcel and the others haven’t been accused of wrongdoing.
BofA in Talks to Pay At Least $12 Billion to Settle Probes (WSJ)
At least $5 billion of that amount is expected to go toward consumer relief—consisting of help for homeowners in reducing principal amounts, reducing monthly payments and paying for blight removal in struggling neighborhoods, these people said. The North Carolina bank’s total tab to end government probes and lawsuits related to its precrisis conduct is increasingly likely to surpass the record $13 billion that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. paid last year to settle similar allegations, these people said. Bank of America has already struck a $6 billion settlement, by the Justice Department’s measure, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency. If finalized, a settlement on that scale would mark another major penalty for a large financial institution, as the Justice Department presses a number of cases against global banks.
S&P, RBS Lose Appeal on Ruling They Misled Australian Towns (Bloomberg)
Standard & Poor’s and a Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc unit are liable for investment losses on securities bought by Australian towns, an appeal court judge ruled today, upholding a 2012 verdict they misled investors. S&P’s rating of the securities was “unreasonable, unjustified and misleading,” Justice Peter Jacobson, who dismissed the appeal at the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney, wrote in a 473-page judgment.
Pimco hit ‘rough patch,’ moving ahead: Bill Gross (CNBC)
The Pimco Total Return Fund posted $4.3 billion in net outflows in May, its 13th straight month of investor withdrawals, according to Morningstar data. The fund has seen $59.6 billion in outflows since May of last year. “Pimco had a rough patch, I guess, towards end of 2013, now it’s not a rough patch,” Gross said in an interview with CNBC’s “Street Signs.” “We’re moving ahead. I couldn’t be more confident by the end of this year that Pimco will be close to the top of the pack in terms of the bond market. And those that are taking money out, well, hopefully they will be putting it back in real soon.”
Fake Cop Pulls Over Real Cop, Real Cops Say (AP)
Police say a man impersonating an officer face charges after signaling a real detective to pull over on a road in Florida. St. Johns County authorities say 20-year-old Matthew Michael Lee McMahon activated a red and blue light Monday while driving behind an unmarked sheriff’s car. Detective Chance Anderson pulled over and was shocked to see an unknown face behind the wheel of the other car. First Coast News reports that during his more than 10 years of service the detective has arrested several police impersonators. But none had ever ordered him to stop his car.
Fed officials put financial stability concerns on front burner (Reuters)
A pair of Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday warned that raising U.S. interest rates to fend off bubbles and other troubling signs of financial market unrest could undercut the Fed’s efforts to put the U.S. economy on a sounder footing. But they embraced broadly different approaches to address the possibility that, as policymakers from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on down have said, extremely loose monetary policy may be encouraging businesses and households to take risks that set the financial system up for another crash.
Bond Rally Is Squeezing the Trading at Big Banks (Dealbook)
In early May, a little more than a month into its second quarter, JPMorgan Chase warned that its trading revenue for the period was going to be down about 20 percent from the previous year. Then Citigroup said it expected trading revenue to decline by a similar amount in the second quarter. “The environment for all of the firms is quite difficult right now,” Gary D. Cohn, Goldman Sachs’s president, said last month.
High-Speed Trading Rules Coming From SEC, White Says (Bloomberg)
The SEC is aiming to bring more transparency to markets and address claims of unfair advantages held by traders who account for about half of U.S. stock executions and have been blamed for everything from the flash crash of May 2010 to market volatility during the European debt crisis. The agenda outlined yesterday could affect stock exchanges, brokerages and a class of proprietary traders who have so far escaped oversight.
The Taco Bell quesarito, a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla, is really happening (LA Times)
Taco Bell is officially adding the quesarito, a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla, to its menu Monday. The quesarito includes a beef burrito with rice, chipotle sauce and reduced-fat sour cream in a grilled quesadilla full of melted cheese. You can also order the quesadilla-burrito hybrid with shredded chicken or steak. “We’re constantly hearing stories about two great things coming together to create something extraordinary and that takes on a life of its own,” Chris Brandt, Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer, said in a release…Taco Bell started testing the quesarito back in February in Oklahoma City. According to Brandt, the quesarito is the bestselling product in a test market since the Doritos Locos Tacos.