Wells Fargo’s Sales Culture Attracts Regulatory Attention (WSJ)
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the San Francisco Federal Reserve are each probing the bank’s sales culture, people familiar with the matter said. The regulators want to know if the bank has pushed its employees too hard to meet sales quotas and not done enough to prevent questionable behavior, the people said.
World's Biggest Pension Fund Loses $64 Billion Amid Equity Rout (Bloomberg)
The 135.1 trillion yen ($1.1 trillion) Government Pension Investment Fund lost 5.6 percent last quarter as the value of its holdings declined by 7.9 trillion yen, according to documents released Monday in Tokyo. That’s the biggest percentage drop in comparable data starting from April 2008. The fund lost 8 trillion yen on its domestic and foreign equities and 241 billion yen on overseas debt, while Japanese bonds handed GPIF a 302 billion yen gain.
Morgan Stanley: Get Ready for a Period of Low Returns in the Market (Bloomberg)
Chief Cross-Asset Strategist Andrew Sheets is warning asset managers that the efficient frontier - the mix of stocks, bonds, and other instruments that produces the best risk-adjusted return - is about to collapse.
Forget Going Public, U.S. Companies Want to Get Bought (WSJ)
All told, the dollar volume of U.S. IPOs this year has dropped 63% from the total in 2014 to $36 billion. At the same time, more than $2.3 trillion worth of merger and acquisition deals have been announced this year, a record pace that is up 46% from the total volume of 2014.
Brazilian police hunt Santa Claus who stole Sao Paulo helicopter (Reuters)
Brazilian police are hunting for a Sao Paulo Santa Claus who kicked off the Christmas shopping season by stealing a helicopter. The thief rented the aircraft late Friday from an air taxi service at the Campo Marte airport in Sao Paulo for a Black Friday "surprise," the Sao Paulo state security secretariat said on Saturday. During the flight, the Santa forced the pilot to fly to a small farm outside of Sao Paulo city, where they were met by a third person, the secretariat said. The pilot was tied up and the two perpetrators flew away. After several hours, the pilot managed to escape and alert police. There has been no sign of the helicopter, a Robinson model 44, authorities said.
BTG Pactual CEO André Esteves Resigns After Arrest (WSJ)
Billionaire banker André Esteves resigned Sunday as chairman and chief executive of BTG Pactual, Brazil’s largest independent investment bank. The announcement was made after Brazil’s Supreme Court agreed Sunday to a request by federal prosecutors to keep Mr. Esteves in jail indefinitely. Mr. Esteves, BTG’s controlling shareholder, was arrested last week as part of an investigation into corruption at state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA. His attorney said Mr. Esteves denies any wrongdoing.
Private equity looks to tap hedge fund growth (FT)
Private equity groups and others are increasingly turning to hedge funds as they seek to capitalise on the maturing industry’s rich fees and growth. Credit Suisse is restarting a business that buys minority stakes in hedge fund management businesses, and Goldman Sachs is near to closing its second fund to do the same, both in private equity-style vehicles. They are joining the likes of Blackstone, Affiliated Managers Group and Dyal Capital Partners at Neuberger Berman, some of which have been buying such stakes for a decade, and are up against strategic buyers from the private equity industry including KKR and Carlyle, which buy stakes or entire funds outright.
Fed to take up 'too big to fail' emergency lending curb (Reuters)
The Federal Reserve Board will consider on Monday a proposal to curb its emergency lending powers, a change demanded by Congress after the central bank's controversial decision to aid AIG (AIG.N), Citigroup (C.N) and others in 2008. A proposed rule, to be considered by the Fed's Washington-based board in an open meeting, would require that any future emergency lending be only "broad-based" to address larger financial market problems, and not tailored to specific firms.
Cyber security agency booms in the wake of financial data breaches (NYP)
The business of insuring Wall Street against cybercrime is booming this year with a flood of financial firms signing up for protection against malicious hackers in the wake of massive breaches at JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity, among others. Crystal & Co., which has about 10,000 customers, is signing up clients for insurance policies that can top $1 million a year as companies seek protection against spiraling costs in the event their computers get ransacked, according to the firm’s founder and chief executive.
Trucker Goes Missing With 40,000 Pounds Of Meat (AP)
According to troopers, a trucker loaded $110,000 worth of meat into a trailer during a scheduled pickup and drove off. He was supposed to deliver it by Monday to a company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- but never showed up. A spokesman for Nicholas Meat says the customer notified him Tuesday about the missing product, which would have been enough to make 160,000 burgers. Police later discovered the driver used a fake ID to get the delivery contract...The investigation continues.