The Latest

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov says his country’s currency is just about ready to end its Ukraine-invasion-, passenger-jet-downing-, Western-sanction-, and oil-price-plummeting-induced freefall, even though none of the things causing it are going away any time soon. He didn’t elaborate, but we’re sure that Vladimir Putin’s finance minister has his ways. Read more »

JP Morgan Chase’s third-quarter results were published more than three hours ahead of schedule because of a mistake by Shareholder.com, the investor-communications company owned by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. “The root cause was a human error internally at Shareholder.com,” Ryan Wells, a Nasdaq spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. Shareholder.com provides companies with Internet services including website maintenance for investor relations. JPMorgan’s earnings press release and supplement appeared online at about 3:30 a.m. in New York. The bank had set 7 a.m. for release of the market-sensitive data. [Bloomberg]

As you may recall, a few years back, a couple of former Titan Capital Group assistants suggested via lawsuit that it was not appropriate for their boss to ask them to print out topless honeymoon shots of the his new wife and then to ask whether they liked them as much as he did. They additionally suggested that it was equally inappropriate for the boss’s brother, Marc Abrams, to say a few unkind things to one of them, who also happened to be his ex (including that she was a “dirty pig thief” and “rotten bitch” and so on).

Until about a week ago, Cristina Culicea and Danielle Pecile didn’t have much to show for their efforts, other than the photos, what with the lawsuit still pending. Then, news of the four-year-old lawsuit apparently made its way to Greenwich, and they at least got this: Read more »

Sure, Herbalife’s independent distributors are its entire raison d’etre, but their goddamned websites are giving Bill Ackman way too much ammunition. And since it’s apparently going to be sticking around, the diet-shake empire is going to do something about it. Read more »

The saintly Daniel Pollack will try to parse just how everyone wants to proceed once the rights against future offers clause Argentina’s been hiding behind is no more. For now, however, everyone wants to proceed exactly as they have been proceeding. Read more »

Opening Bell: 10.14.14

Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Face Up to $870 Billion Capital Gap (Bloomberg)
Too big to fail is likely to prove a costly epithet for the world’s biggest banks as regulators demand they increase debt securities to cover losses should they collapse. The shortfall facing lenders from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to HSBC Holdings Plc could be as much as $870 billion, according to estimates from AllianceBernstein Ltd., or as little as $237 billion forecast by Barclays Plc. The range is so wide because proposals from the Basel-based Financial Stability Board outline various possibilities for the amount lenders need to have available as a portion of risk-weighted assets. With those holdings in excess of $21 trillion at the lenders most directly affected, small changes to assumptions translate into big numbers.

Banks Get Ready for Triple-Threat Tuesday (MoneyBeat)
Third-quarter earnings season for the banking sector kicks off Tuesday with an unprecedented three banks—J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup—announcing their quarterly results on the first day. “That’s over 200 pages of information that need to be reviewed,” said CLSA bank analyst Mike Mayo, struggling to contain his joy [...] “I’m going to tell my wife, ‘Honey, I will not be home for dinner,’” Mr. Mayo said. Asked about his preparations for the big day, Mr. Mayo already has it all planned out: “Back-to-back spin classes to work off the trepidation. Maybe a squash game in there too.”

Ex-UBS Banker Tax Trial Rides on Underling’s Credibility (Bloomberg)
Jury selection is set to begin today in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Weil was indicted in 2008 on a charge that he conspired to help 17,000 U.S. taxpayers hide $20 billion in accounts from the Internal Revenue Service. Since his arrest last year in Italy, Weil, 54, has maintained his innocence and blamed others for the bank’s misconduct. He is the highest-ranking official among three dozen foreign bankers, lawyers and advisers charged in a seven-year U.S. crackdown on offshore tax evasion. The chief witness against him is Martin Leichti, former head of cross-border banking at UBS. Leichti’s testimony about any conversations the two men had might be crucial to establishing Weil’s state of mind, said Dan Levy, a former federal prosecutor in New York.

Venezuela Default Almost Certain, Harvard Economists Say (Bloomberg)
The economy is so badly managed that per-capita gross domestic product is 2 percent below 1970 levels, the professors wrote in an column published by Project Syndicate yesterday. A decade of currency controls has made dollars scarce in the country with the world’s biggest oil reserves, causing shortages of everything from deodorant to airplane tickets.

G20 watchdog toughens up new rule for securities financing (Reuters)
The Financial Stability Board (FSB), which coordinates regulation for the Group of Twenty (G20) economies, published on Monday its new rule for the first global minimum “haircut” or discount on collateral used to back securities financing transactions, toughening up its original draft proposal. “The regulatory framework for haircuts on securities financing transactions issued by the FSB today addresses important sources of leverage and the level of risk-taking in the core funding markets,” FSB Chairman Mark Carney said in a statement. From the end of 2017, banks must impose a haircut of at least 6 percent on the collateral they receive from non-banks as “insurance” on the value of securities being loaned. The FSB had originally proposed a minimum haircut of 4 percent. This means that for every $100 a hedge fund, for example, gets from a securities transaction, the bank must collect collateral worth at least $106.

Parrot Missing For 4 Years Comes Home Speaking Spanish (AP)
A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner — and the bird now speaks Spanish…the reunion was brought about by a Southern California veterinarian who mistook the African gray parrot for her own missing bird. Teresa Micco tracked Nigel’s microchip to Darren Chick, a Brit who lives in Torrance. Little is known about Nigel’s whereabouts the past four years, but Chick says the bird’s British accent is gone and it now speaks Spanish. It’s the fifth parrot reunion facilitated by Micco, who has been running ads for her own missing bird for nine months. Read more »

Write-Offs: 10.13.14

$$$Blankfein’s crotch explodes $100 bills in public” [Marni Halasa / earlier]

$$$ Morgan Stanley’s Pitch to Young Talent: We’re Not Like Those Other Banks [BusinessWeek]

$$$ Dutch Police Arrest Drivers Using Uber App in Amsterdam [Bloomberg]

$$$This is a brilliant crisis management move. It keeps people sticky. It shows good faith and just squashes so many (anti-Wall Street) evangelists.” [NetNet]

$$$ Bill O’Reilly Falafel Lawsuit Turns Ten [TSG] Read more »

Click Here

We all know that it is better to be safe than sorry. But JPMorgan is definitely pretty sorry about that whole 76-million-customer hack job. And now that it is, it has decided that it is better to be safe and sorry than not safe and still sorry, or something. Even if that costs an extra $125 million a year. Read more »