The Only Bank This Hip-Hop Mogul Will Use (WSJ)
Signature Bank is a throwback to a simpler time in banking, a low-profile firm with a plain-vanilla business model focused on lending and deposits. Then again, it is also one of the country’s quirkiest and fastest-growing banks, with an unusual collection of high-profile fans. Among the bank’s admirers are former Congressman Barney Frank, who recently joined its board, and hip-hop producer Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo, who calls himself a Signature customer for life after the bank stood by him when he was facing money-laundering charges...One banker says he spends as many as three days a week on the golf course—with [CEO Joe] DePaolo’s blessing. Mr. DePaolo also pays his bankers on an “eat what you kill” basis, meaning they get paid largely based on how much business they bring in and retain. Nearly 150 of the firm’s senior bankers report directly to him. “If they feel frustration, they can yell at me. If they feel they need to physically punch something...they can hit me,” said Mr. DePaolo.
El-Erian Says Jobs Report Could Be Key to Fed’s Timing (Bloomberg)
“If they see solid jobs growth -- in excess of 200,000 -- and second if they see wages finally move up, that is a signal they better get going,” El-Erian said Sunday in a Fox News broadcast interview.
Fed Appears to Hold Line on Rate Plan (WSJ)
Federal Reserve officials emerged from a week of head-spinning financial turbulence largely sticking to their plan to raise U.S. interest rates before the end of the year. During the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual economic symposium [in Jackson Hole], many policy makers signaled that stock-market volatility and China’s woes haven’t seriously dented their view that the U.S. job market is improving, and that domestic economic output is expanding at a steady, modest pace.
Senators Start Asking Questions About Hedge Funds Betting on Lawsuits (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds have been speculating on lawsuits, a new form of financial engineering that some business interests say encourages wasteful courtroom warfare. Now two top Republican senators—Chuck Grassley of Iowa and John Cornyn of Texas—have a few questions of their own. The lawmakers announced a move to start "examining the impact of third-party litigation financing is having on civil litigation." Their starting point is not one of enthusiasm.
VMA 2015: Kanye West says he's running for president in 2020 (The Verge)
"Two thousand and fifteen. I will die for the art, for what I believe in. The art ain't always gonna be polite. Y'all might be thinking right now, 'I wonder, did he smoke something before he came here?' The answer is yes, I rolled up a little something to knock the edge off...It's about ideas bro, new ideas bro. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac settlements loom on horizon (NYP)
Shares of the mortgage-financing giants jumped on Friday after an influential analyst said he believes the White House may be moving closer to settling multiple lawsuits stemming from the government bailout of Fannie and Freddie in 2008. Several shareholders, including Fairholme Capital Management and Perry Capital, sued over the government’s 2012 decision to change the terms of the bailout and sweep most of Fannie and Freddie’s profits to the US Treasury rather than collecting a set dividend. On Friday, Dick Bove, an analyst at Rafferty Capital Markets, suggested a settlement is near because government lawyers recently asked to see heavily redacted documents in the case between the US and preferred shareholders, led by mutual-fund giant Fairholme.
Meet the Private Watchdogs Policing Finance (WSJ)
About a dozen financial institutions, including HSBC Holdings PLC, Credit Suisse Group AG and Standard Chartered PLC, operate under the watchful gazes of such monitors. Their use has shot up over the last five years as more companies are required by government officials to hire outside consultants to check on their work. The boom in demand has created a lucrative cottage industry made up of former prosecutors and small consulting firms. Top monitors charge rates of up to $1,200 an hour, according to industry executives.
BNY Mellon Aims to Fix Pricing System (Bloomberg)
BNY Mellon has been unable to provide pricing for certain mutual funds and exchange-traded funds since Aug. 24 after the software was corrupted during an upgrade, Hassell said on the call. The breakdown has prevented the bank from issuing net asset values, the equivalent of a closing price. The bank said 20 mutual fund companies and 26 exchange-traded fund providers experienced some pricing problems.
Gold Isn't the Safe Haven Investors Thought It Would Be (Bloomberg)
It’s been a tough two years for investors in gold, which first fell into a bear market in April 2013. More than $52 billion has been wiped from the value of physical bullion funds since then. Money managers last week raised their net-long position to the highest since June just before futures capped the worst slump in a month. Stubbornly low inflation along with the prospect of tighter U.S. monetary policy has kept a lid on the metal, which doesn’t pay interest or offer returns, unlike competing assets.
Mexican Man Says 19-Inch Penis Is Destroying His Life (HP)
Roberto Esquivel Cabrera of Saltillo told Mexican newspaper Vanguardia that he would like to be considered disabled because the member leaves him unable to work, forcing him to live on assistance and scavenge for food. His social life is dismal as well, he says. Women are too scared to be with him, according to the newspaper. His penis is reportedly 48.2 centimeters (nearly 19 inches) long and the tip's circumference is 25 centimeters (nearly 10 inches). Cabrera apparently provided doubters with a medical imaging photo of his penis, and the picture has rapidly circulated through Spanish-language media, including Telemundo and La Opinion. Cabrera is being tested at a local health center as doctors try to figure out what to do, Vanguardia wrote. Cabrera said he wanted at least to be recognized by Guinness World Records, but an official told the UK's Daily Star that the organization has no such category.