The last two years were just a warm-up. Read more »
Update: These are the numbers being rumored, which people are said to be “generally pleased” with, though the official ones are not expected until later this week. Read more »
Barclays Seen Facing $2 Billion in Misconduct Costs (Bloomberg)
The U.K.’s second-largest lender may incur a 700 million-pound charge to settle a foreign-exchange probe with regulators and a further 200 million pounds relating to a U.S. investigation into its private-trading venue, Chirantan Barua, an analyst at Bernstein in London, said in a note today. The bank could reach settlements by the end of 2014, he said.
Banks Woo Treasury Sanctions Pros to Navigate Complex U.S. Rules (Bloomberg)
Companies including HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. are beefing up compliance expertise to ensure they or their clients don’t violate the set of programs the Treasury Department has more than doubled to 37 over the past decade. At least eight people of a staff of about 200 have left the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in the past year, including no fewer than six in 2014. As sanctions become the key weapon of economic pressure the U.S. is using to achieve its security and foreign policy goals, companies are rushing to hire employees versed in the intricacies of the Treasury’s rules. For banks, investment firms and the consulting companies helping them steer clear of violations, the stakes are higher because fines are getting bigger and the list of banned individuals and businesses has swelled to about 5,800.
Banks Retreat From Market That Keeps Cash Flowing (WSJ)
A critical part of the plumbing that keeps money flowing through the financial system is experiencing turmoil as new regulations prompt banks to step back from the multitrillion-dollar “repo” market. The large and opaque market for repurchase agreements helps keep finance and trading moving, allowing hedge funds, investment banks and other financial firms to borrow and lend short-term funds, often overnight. But there have been increasing signs of trouble. Big banks, which act as middlemen between borrowers and lenders, have been pulling back. In recent weeks, senior bankers have said they are reluctant to participate in the market because of regulatory requirements that make repo trading more expensive.
Using Software to Keep Pro Athletes and Startup Millionaires From Going Broke (BusinessWeek)
Wealthfront recently announced another publicity-friendly program, this time with a different group of millennials in mind: pro athletes. The company has an agreement with the San Francisco 49ers to offer investment advice to the organization’s employees and alumni, with the team covering fees on the first $100,000 each person invests. The idea is that rookie athletes aren’t so different from startup founders when it comes to their finances. Both might be about 23 years old, earn a salary of a few hundred thousand dollars, and wonder what to do with incentives that can reach into the millions—like a signing bonus or endorsement deal for the player, or equity for the coder. As part of the 49ers deal, Wealthfront will offer seminars on how to handle these windfalls. Professional athletes are notoriously bad at managing their finances. A 2009 Sports Illustrated investigation found that 78 percent (!) of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress within two years of retiring.
CrossFit Flirting: Talk Burpee to Me (NYT)
On a recent Saturday night at the Promenade Bar and Grill in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, the gym buddies Festa Radoni, 26, and Ellen Gerlach, 29, flexed their biceps, comparing muscles as a male friend snapped photos. “She’s much better at pull-ups,” Ms. Gerlach said, laughing as she elbowed Ms. Radoni. Over in the corner, Caley Crawford, 25, in five-inch green heels and polka-dot shorts, hung out in a squat position while sipping her drink and chatting. Nearby, two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch — move quickly from ground to overhead — with two men who, like everyone else at the evening’s event, do CrossFit, a popular high-intensity strength and conditioning program that involves lifting very heavy weights. “Her grip strength is unreal,” one of the men said later of one of the women. He sounded awed. It was a fairly tame evening out with Team Dangerous, a kind of interfraternity council for CrossFit gyms in the five boroughs, whose other events — among them a prom (dress code: “gym flair”) — have been known to devolve into tequila-fueled handstand push-ups in the street or a penalty of 10 burpees (an explosive squat-push-up-leap combination) for whoever stopped drinking beer. The two-year-old group’s stated mission is to combine fitness and social activities with charity, but it mostly functions to widen the dating pool for CrossFitters. “I don’t want to jinx myself, but that’s very true,” admitted a co-founder, Jason Lucking, 27, who is British, tall and flirtatious (he was, by several accounts, a credible copy of the Australian actor Chris Hemsworth at a CrossFit Halloween party). Read more »
$$$ Argentine Bonds Extend Losses as No Progress Seen in Debt Talks [Bloomberg]
Then provides baseless speculation by people who literally have no idea before concluding that eh, he could’ve done a better job.
Our friends at The Wall Street Journal did the heavy lifting, forcing the SEC to unredact the testimony of a dozen unfortunate souls questioned by the SEC, so it would be churlish not to enjoy all of the awkwardness, bad jokes, requests for corporal punishment and, of course, invocations of Fifth Amendment rights available therein. Read more »
Today, a company called Sexy Business Funding posted a Web video advertisement in which a husky-voiced narrator named Ca$handra offers loans of as much as $750,000 while images of exotic dancers, jars of marijuana, and piles of hundred-dollar bills flash across the screen. The idea is to entice owners of strip clubs, pot dispensaries, tattoo shops, and other businesses that may scare off traditional Main Street lenders. “Sexy Business Funding recognizes adult businesses as legitimate, law-abiding companies that deserve the same borrowing opportunities as any other business from any other industry,” the company said in a press release…The company has provided $43 million in financing to 1,420 businesses, according to its website. [BusinessWeek] Read more »