UBS Settles With U.S. Mortgage Regulator (WSJ)
UBS said its second-quarter results, set to be released in full on July 30, now include pre-tax charges for litigation matters totaling about 865 million Swiss francs ($919 million). About 700 million francs of the charges are being booked to the bank's corporate center, which houses a legacy investment banking businesses now being unwound as UBS looks to focus on private banking. UBS is one of a number of banks that have been pursued by the federal regulator for U.S. mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, for allegedly selling defective mortgage-backed securities in the lead up to the U.S. financial crisis. ... The bank estimates that its operating profit before tax was roughly 1.02 billion francs in the second quarter to June 30, while net profit was about 690 million francs.
Resigned to reform, Wall St tries a different tack in DC (Reuters)
Bank executives, lawyers and lobbyists now portray themselves as concerned parties trying to help stretched technocrats, who face the task of writing hundreds of complex rules to regulate high finance. ... "We can't - and I think we are trying not to - say, 'Oh, this is going to hurt our firm or this is going to hurt the industry,'" David Viniar, former Goldman Sachs CFO said at an industry conference last year. Instead, banks should address questions like, "What will be good for growth? What will be good for the free flow of capital? What will be good for the markets?" he said. "And we need to convince people that's really what we care about."
Detroit Gap Reveals Industry Dispute on Pension Math (DealBook)
“When the taxpayers find out, they’re going to be absolutely furious,” said Jeremy Gold, an actuary and economist who for years has called on his profession to correct what he calls “the biases embedded in present actuarial principles.” ... These methods, actuarial watchdogs say, build a strong bias into the numbers. Not only can they make unsustainable pension plans look fine, they say, but they distort the all-important instructions actuaries give their clients every year on how much money to set aside to pay all benefits in the future.
Japan's Abe vows to keep focus on economy after big election win (Reuters)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, fresh from a strong election victory, vowed on Monday to stay focused on reviving the stagnant economy and sought to counter suspicions he might instead shift emphasis to his nationalist agenda. The victory in parliament's upper house election on Sunday cemented Abe's hold on power and gave him a stronger mandate for his prescription for reviving the world's third-biggest economy.
Kate Middleton in Hospital to Have Royal Baby (ABC)
"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour. The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge," the palace said in a statement today. ... It's unknown when the baby's name will be revealed. Harry's name was announced the day he left the hospital, but several days passed before William's name was made public.
Royal baby: Arrival will offer 'boost' to economy, says City (Telegraph)
Economists have decided that the arrival of Baby Cambridge does not pose a threat to the UK's tentative recovery - and could even offer a small, temporary "boost" to growth.
A Shuffle of Aluminum, but to Banks, Pure Gold (NYT)
Hundreds of millions of times a day, thirsty Americans open a can of soda, beer or juice. And every time they do it, they pay a fraction of a penny more because of a shrewd maneuver by Goldman Sachs and other financial players that ultimately costs consumers billions of dollars.
Wall St reshapes commodities business to fend off regulation (Reuters)
Brad Hintz, a Wall Street analyst at Sanford Bernstein & Co in New York and a former treasurer of Morgan Stanley, said Wall Street was seeking ways to preserve its commodities business role. "The banks have essentially been told by the Federal Reserve they're allowed a certain number of sins," Hintz said. "Just not as many as there used to be." At the same time, various investigations - ranging from probes of alleged U.S. electricity price manipulation to aluminum hoarding - have led to more political scrutiny of the banks' commodities dealings than at any time since 2008. In that year, Wall Street faced accusations of helping to stoke oil prices to a record peak of almost $150 a barrel in the lead up to the financial crisis.
Four-week rally in US crude rekindles ‘flash crash’ fears (CNBC)
Although bullish momentum may continue to favor U.S. crude, WTI appears over-priced at current levels near $110 a barrel and a well-overdue reversal should bring the market closer in line with fundamentals, according to traders, strategists and analysts contacted by CNBC. Any softness in scheduled U.S. or China economic data releases this week may be the catalyst for the pullback, they added. "Any commodity that has a fundamental value shift can correct quite dramatically," said Thomas McMahon, director and CEO of Pan Asia Clearing Enterprise and the former CEO of the Singapore Mercantile Exchange.
Extended Stay Files for Public Offering (WSJ)
Extended Stay America Inc. on Monday filed plans to sell shares to the public, marking a quick turnaround for the once-troubled lodging company as its owners look to take advantage of a rising stock market. The hotel chain has enlisted Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to work on the offering. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering haven't been determined, the company said Monday. People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal late Sunday the IPO could come sometime toward the end of this year. A partnership of private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP BX +1.80% and investment firms Centerbridge Partners LP and Paulson & Co. acquired the business for $3.9 billion in 2010 during a bankruptcy auction. The group upgraded the properties while riding an industry and economic recovery.
GlaxoSmithKline says Chinese laws may have been violated (FT)
GlaxoSmithKline said on Monday that some of its China executives appear to have violated Chinese laws, as the British drugmaker also pledged to reduce its prices in the country amid a high-profile investigation by Chinese police into alleged bribery and corruption. ... Abbas Hussain, GSK’s president of international operations, said that certain senior China-based executives “appear to have acted outside of our processes and controls which breaches Chinese law”. The statement marks the first time the UK drugmaker has admitted to possible wrongdoing by its China staff.
Boomer Sex With Dementia Foreshadowed in Nursing Home (Bloomberg)
Banker jumps out of his seventh-floor window following fight with co-op board over dogs — and lives (NYP)
An investment banker and husband of a powerful Manhattan real-estate broker — who was distraught over an ongoing battle with his co-op board involving the family’s three dogs — jumped out the window of his seventh-floor Upper East Side apartment yesterday. ... The jump would have surely killed Silberman instantly if he hadn’t hit a second-floor awning, which broke his fall, law-enforcement sources said. ... Ender said Silberman was beside himself with worry about his three French poodles: Prince Polo, Princess Jasmine and Prince Bonbon.