Brokers Attack SEC’s Plan as Trojan Horse Designed to Hurt Them (Bloomberg)
Wall Street brokers are in rebellion against a plan to test ways of encouraging more trading of the smallest U.S. stocks, saying the effort was hijacked by exchanges seeking an edge over their rivals. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s pilot program is meant to spur trades in about 30 percent of publicly traded U.S. companies. One of its provisions -- called a trade-at rule -- is really a stealth attempt to hurt brokers that run private trading systems that compete with the likes of the New York Stock Exchange, representatives from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C) said today at an industry conference. “The exchanges who have a hand in this and seek to benefit from the onerous version of a trade-at basically put the screws to us,” Michael Masone, legal counsel for equities at Citigroup, said at an event sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
Bloomberg says Dodd-Frank regulations are ‘stupid laws’ (NYP)
The Dodd-Frank regulations put in place after the financial crisis are “stupid laws” that the banking industry will just ignore anyway — just like Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new 25-mile-per-hour speed limit, the financial data company CEO said Monday. “The world adjusts to stupid laws,” he said at an industry conference on Monday. “They just don’t pay attention to it and you get burned later on. That really is what happens, like a 25-mile-an-hour speed limit.” Instead, the government should have let the industry craft the bill and let Congress “tweak a little bit,” he said.
Rivals Outdo Gross in Race For Bond Cash (WSJ)
Of the torrent of cash that left Pacific Investment Management Co. in the past six weeks, only a trickle appears to have followed Bill Gross to his new home. Since Mr. Gross joined Janus Capital Group Inc. on Sept. 26, his new fund has attracted about $430 million in new money, or less than 1% of the $50 billion that has left his old fund at Pimco in the past two months...While it is impossible to know where the new cash is coming from, rival firms Vanguard Group Inc. and TCW Group Inc. saw record flows into their bond funds in October, the companies said Monday.
Veterans Accuse Six Banks of Aiding U.S. Foes (WSJ)
More than 200 veterans and their families filed a lawsuit Monday accusing six major banks of helping Iran move tens of millions of dollars to groups targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq during the war. The suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, comes less than two months after the first U.S. jury verdict in a civil terrorism-finance case put banks on notice that they could face civil liability for doing business with certain clients. Monday’s lawsuit alleges that banks ignored the risk that some of the billions of dollars they helped Iran secretly funnel through the U.S. financial system would wind up in the hands of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and its proxies that orchestrated attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq. The banks— HSBC Holdings PLC, Barclays PLC, Standard Chartered PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and Credit Suisse Group —declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday.
Sriracha crust? Pizza Hut unveils huge changes (CNBC)
As Pizza Hut seeks to recharge its domestic business, the Yum Brands unit is betting on a massive menu expansion, a revamped digital experience and a nationwide rollout of skinny pizzas it plans to announce on Monday. The new menu includes 10 new crusts, such as honey sriracha, and themed ones like "Get Curried Away;" sauce additions like garlic parmesan; and premium ingredients, including fresh spinach and cherry peppers harvested from the Peruvian highlands.
70 snakes stolen in 'professional hit' (UPI)
Steve Mussard, a worker at Rugby Reptiles, said the thieves broke into the store Tuesday night and stole 40 royal pythons and 30 boa constrictors. Mussard said the snake rustlers also damaged security cameras and unplugged the CCTV system during the heist. "The police have said this is a professional hit," Mussard told the Coventry Telegraph. "They have been stolen to order -- they knew what they were getting was valuable. They have left the corn snakes and the really big snakes and lizards that couldn't be carried anyway."
US judge says Citigroup can process Argentina's next bond payment (Reuters)
A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that Citigroup could process an expected $85 million interest payment by Argentina on bonds issued under its local laws following its 2002 default. U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York said Citigroup could process the Dec. 31 payment it receives on U.S. dollar-denominated Argentine law bonds. The judge, meanwhile, called off a Dec. 9 hearing previously scheduled for arguments on whether the bank could regularly process payments Argentina makes on the bonds. Briefing will also be deferred until 2015, Griesa said.
More Bank Settlements Coming in Widening Currency Case (Dealbook)
...as of late Monday, it was unclear how many banks the trading commission would act against. The agency has held settlement talks with the same six banks that are settling with the British regulator — Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, the Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and HSBC — but hurdles remain. Some of the banks still need to receive approval from their boards before settling with the trading commission, the people said, and at least one bank continues to negotiate with the agency.
Seinfeld to Zuckerberg: You’re on to something (MarketWatch)
In a post on his new account on Friday where he tagged Zuckerberg, Seinfeld thanked the 30-year-old billionaire for record traffic during the season five premiere of his web show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” The high numbers, he said, were due in large part to referral traffic from Facebook. “I think you might really have something here,” he said in the post.
Husband In Midst Of Divorce Sends Corvette Into Delaware River (AP)
A man going through a divorce sent the red Corvette his wife drives plunging into a river, triggering a search for a possible victim inside, police said. Officers were called on Monday afternoon about a car in the Delaware River. A witness told them that a man had driven to the riverbank, gotten out and then let the car run into the river, police Inspector Scott Small said. "I guess he was angry with her and drove her vehicle into the Delaware River," Small said. Marine units found the 1990 Corvette in about 30 feet of water, where it was pitch black, and felt around inside to make sure it was unoccupied, Small said. They then attached a tow line so the car could be pulled from the river less than two hours later. Small said investigators later determined that a 50-year-old man had gone to the residence of his wife, who is cooperating with police, and taken the car. He said the description given by the witness matches the husband.