Wells CEO on Sales Scandal: Employees to Blame (WSJ)
...Mr. Stumpf, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, wouldn’t comment on who was ultimately responsible for the practices and sales-driven culture that led employees to open as many as two million accounts without customers’ knowledge. Mr. Stumpf said that at the bank, “There was no incentive to do bad things.” Rather, Mr. Stumpf appeared to lay blame for the problems with the employees involved than with any flaw in Wells Fargo’s systems or culture. He said that some employees won't “honor” the bank’s culture and that the bank had changed its sales goals to put in more discipline and to take “more risk off the table.”
Wells Fargo may take more disciplinary action over sales abuses (Reuters)
Wells Fargo & Co may take additional disciplinary action over sales abuses that led to $185 million in penalties and the firing of 5,300 employees, Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry said at an industry conference on Tuesday. He said the bank will "take a big wide fresh look at who knew what and when and what else might have been done." Shrewsberry said the review would impact people "at all levels of the organization."
Buffett's Deafening Silence on Wells Fargo (Bloomberg)
At age 86, does Buffett have it in him to make good on those words from a quarter-century ago: "lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless"?
More investors leaving U.S. northeast for Florida: Sternlicht [Reuters]
More financial executives are decamping to Florida for lower taxes, real estate investor Barry Sternlicht said on Tuesday, revealing that he is one of those who recently made the move. "There's a massive exodus from Connecticut," Sternlicht said, naming himself and billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones as the most high-profile recent deportees, at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference on Tuesday. Sternlicht said, without naming anyone, many Wall Street workers were doing the same thing. "As of July 1," Sternlicht said, "I've become a resident of Florida." Asked whether his departure was fueled by high taxes, he said "Yeah."
Australian woman paid $370 for goldfish surgery (NYDN)
A woman in Australia paid hundreds of dollars to save her pet goldfish's life after it swallowed a pebble. Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Services shared photos of the goldfish and detailed the $372 surgical procedure that involved applying an anesthetic agent to dislodge the pebble. "I treat fish like they're any other pet," owner Emma Marsh, 21, told The Courier Mail. Marsh said she noticed 'Conquer' the goldfish choking after swallowing the nearly half-inch-long pebble. Veterinarian Emma McMillan said the size of the pebble could've made it life-threatening to Conquer had it not been removed.
Blackstone CEO Schwarzman: Market is 'a little expensive for my taste' (CNBC)
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman said Tuesday that stocks look slightly overvalued as low interest rates give them a lift. "If you have interest rates where they are then you will pop up all asset classes. So it's a little expensive for my taste," he said Tuesday at the Delivering Alpha conference sponsored by CNBC and Institutional Investor. Schwarzman said Fed policymakers may act soon, joking they could raise rates just because they are "bored." "They'll probably start later this year," he said, adding that a hike will "move markets."
Fed's Brainard Tells Trump to Back Off After Criticism of Yellen (Bloomberg)
Donald Trump’s week began with a call to CNBC. He shared, among other things, his thoughts on monetary policy. “She should be ashamed of herself,” he said of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. He accused her of keeping interest rates “artificially low” to help the president. Speaking in Chicago later on Monday, Fed Governor Lael Brainard responded. Obliquely. “The institution is designed to ensure that independence from the executive branch is absolutely the focus of the deliberations of the FOMC,” she said. Or, loosely translated from Fedspeak: “Back off.”
Britain’s New 5-Pound Note Is Chewable, Washable and Cleaner [NYT]
Printed for more than a hundred years on cotton paper, a new 5-pound note, introduced on Tuesday by the British central bank, now comes in polymer, a thin, flexible plastic film that makes it stronger, safer and more resistant to counterfeiters...The person leading the effort is Victoria Cleland, 46, the bank’s chief cashier, whose signature is on every new £5 note...She said the notes had also been carefully tested in the laboratory by health and safety experts to assure that pets or children accidentally chewing on them would not become ill. “A number of notes get returned each year and are chewed by pets, including parrots,” she said, before quickly adding: “We wouldn’t encourage people to swallow the notes.”
Eight-year-old rugby player tramples other kids, draws ‘beast mode’ comparison to ex NFL star Marshawn Lynch (NYDN)
A video emerged from the USA Sevens Facebook page that showed an eight-year-old rugby player demolishing everyone on the field. The boy delivers stiff arm after stiff arm and cannot be stopped. Dubbed ‘little beast mode’ after Lynch, the youngster bowled over his opponents, who were determined to bring the big threat down. However, it appears that their best efforts were not enough to contain him. Before Lynch retired, he made a name for himself as one the NFL’s most feared runners after an incredible run against the Saints in an NFC Wild Card matchup in 2011.