Banks Financing Mexico Drug Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal (Bloomberg Markets Magazine)
Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet. They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. Law enforcement officials also discovered something else. The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia and BofA. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.
Fannie-Freddie Bailout Could Cost Taxpayers $1 Trillion (CNBC)
That's gonna leave a mark.
Banks Assess Financial Hit (WSJ)
"This is wrong, and we have one last chance to do something about it," the American Bankers Association wrote in an email to its members, urging them to write opposition letters to members of Congress. Financial-industry lobbyists are aiming at Republicans who voted in favor of the Senate version, hoping to change their position when the final bill comes up for a vote. "You keep playing until the whistle blows," says ABA spokesman Peter Garuccio.
New York Fed probes Wall Street exposure to BP (Reuters)
After poring over documents and asking banks about their exposure to BP over the past two weeks, the Fed found no systemic risk, and hasn't asked firms to alter their credit relationships with BP, the sources told Reuters. "The Fed gave banks' exposure to BP a passing grade," said one of the sources on condition of anonymity.
Volcker Rule May Give Goldman, Citigroup Until 2022 to Comply (Bloomberg)
Rules curbing banks’ investments in their own funds would take effect 15 months to two years after a law is passed, according to the bill. Banks would have two years to comply, with the potential for three one-year extensions after that. They could seek another five years for “illiquid” funds such as private equity or real estate, said Lawrence Kaplan, an attorney at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP in Washington.
The SEC's Russian Roulette (WSJ)
On Jan. 6, 2009, Ukragro Corp. of Zhitomir, Ukraine, made an initial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell stock to the public. Its sole employee and owner was a 79-year-old massage therapist. The company had no revenue, $100 in assets and planned to open a string of health spas. Public records on file at the SEC show that the agency asked no questions and the application cleared through the commission eight days later. Over the past two years, eight other start-ups reviewed by the SEC have been similarly headed by people in Ukraine or Russia, with no revenue or operations and minimal assets.
Niall Ferguson: Europe Banks Make Me Nervous (CNBC)
"I've been nervous about European banks for quite a long time," Ferguson said in an interview. He added that he was "amazed" about how long it took markets to realize that there was a problem with European banks, which were more leveraged than US banks, and that the assumption had always been that European governments would never do something like the US did in the case of Lehman. "But that assumed that European governments had very deep pockets… the Greek crisis revealed the limit of this largesse," Ferguson said.
New York State May Tax Out - Of - State Hedge Fund Execs (Reuters)
A spokesman for Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said by telephone on Monday that it means hedge fund managers would be treated the same way as other commuters.