When Bigger Isn’t Better: Banks Retreat From Global Ambitions (WSJ)
After nearly two decades of breakneck expansion into ever more countries and ever more businesses, global banks are in retreat. For most of them, it is no longer a viable strategy to try to be all things to all customers around the world. A McKinsey & Co. review of 10 global banks, conducted for The Wall Street Journal, found that those lenders were present on average in 65 countries in 2008. By last year, the average footprint had shrunk to 55 countries. And the McKinsey research doesn’t include Citigroup, which has unveiled plans in recent years to exit retail-banking businesses in at least 20 nations.
Economic Scars Help Explain Bizarre 2016 Race (WSJ)
What the country is experiencing “is the difference between a car crash and having your house burn down,” says Democratic pollster Peter Hart. “A car crash is something that fades as the three or six months mark goes by. Your house burning down is never forgotten. It is always there and there is no half-life.”
Fed's Bullard says global markets seem well-prepared for summer rate hike (Reuters)
"My sense is that markets are well-prepared for a possible rate increase globally, and that this is not too surprising given our liftoff from December and the policy of the committee which has been to try to normalize rates slowly and gradually over time," Bullard told a news conference after speaking at an academic conference in Seoul.
Treasury eyes Deutsche Bank in auction rigging probe (NYP)
Investigators probing the $13 trillion market for US Treasurys are zeroing in on a second Wall Street bank, The Post has learned. Deutsche Bank, led by co-CEO John Cryan, has emerged as a focus of the probe into whether traders rigged auctions for government debt, according to sources. No bank has been accused of wrongdoing, but investigators are narrowing their focus after requesting documents and communications from all of the 22 primary dealers in Treasurys. That group includes the biggest Wall Street banks and their counterparts in Europe and Asia.
Stoned Man Calls Cops After Mistaking Dog Bite For Gunshot Wound (HP)
The alleged victim told the first cop to arrive on the scene at his mobile home in Groesbeck, 40 miles east of Waco, that he’d been shot in his left buttock while sitting on the porch. But after a brief investigation, the Groesbeck Police Department officer realized that wasn’t actually the case. Instead, it emerged that the man had been smoking marijuana on the porch when a thunderstorm passed over. His dog spooked and nipped him in the butt.
Nuns With Guns: The Strange Day-to-Day Struggles Between Bankers and Regulators (WSJ)
At a Barclays PLC town hall after Dodd-Frank rules began to go in place, bank compliance executives shared images of how each group thinks of the other, said someone familiar with the meeting. To represent bankers, compliance executives showed an image of the Wild West: cowboys on horses with guns. On the other side, to show how bankers view compliance officials, the executives revealed a picture of nuns carrying guns, an indicator that the group was seen as ultraconservative but still dangerous. Barclays declined to comment. Each side needs the other, said Dan Gallagher, Securities and Exchange Commissioner until October 2015, and now president of regulatory consultancy Patomak Global Partners LLC, who has criticized what he calls a “crazy quilt” of regulation. “The industry is more than ever yearning for guidance and interaction,” he said. And “after the crisis, the regulators had a lot of egg on their face as much as the firms,” he said, so “the government needs the compliance people in place. They’re part of the oversight system.”
Citigroup Says Saudi Arabia Is Best Emerging Market for Deals (Bloomberg)
Saudi Arabia’s planned privatizations, including a share sale in the world’s biggest oil company, represent the biggest investment banking opportunity in emerging markets, according to Citigroup Inc. Implementation of the kingdom’s plans to restructure the economy -- known as Vision 2030 -- "could translate into a fantastic wallet for the investment banks," Omar Iqtidar, Citigroup’s head of investment banking in the Middle East, said in an interview in Dubai. "We are seeing momentum picking up, with skeptics increasingly converted into believers of the restructuring," he said.
Euro-Area Economic Confidence Rises as ECB Stimulus Kicks In (Bloomberg)
ECB officials meeting in Vienna on Thursday are expected to keep their ultra-loose policy unchanged again after they expanded quantitative easing by a third to 80 billion euros ($89 billion) in March and cut the deposit rate further below zero. Vice President Vitor Constancio said last week that he’s optimistic the ECB will reach its inflation goal by 2018, reflecting the upgraded stimulus and rising oil prices.
Paper Points Up Flaws in Venture Fund Based on Virtual Money (Dealbook)
A group of computer scientists released a paper on Friday describing a number of security vulnerabilities in a novel cryptocurrency crowdfunding project that has raised more than $100 million. The authors of the paper argue that the money that has been put into the project, known as the Decentralized Autonomous Organization, could be frozen or stolen by attackers as a result of flaws in the way that the venture, known as the D.A.O., was set up. The money is all in a digital currency called Ether, which is a newer alternative to Bitcoin and exists entirely online.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' lair listed on AirBNB (UPI)
An AirBNB listing is offering fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the opportunity to spend a night in the reptilian crime fighters' secret lair. The listing posted by the group's very own Leonardo allows up to six guests to rent the Turtles' three bedroom lair in Manhattan for just $10 a night. "This high-tech dojo is fully loaded...a glow in the dark basketball court, a retro arcade, more video games with a pretty sweet tv wall...anything for hanging ninja-style," the listing states.