California government cuts off Wells Fargo (NYP)
The state of California suspended all business ties with Wells Fargo for a year, the state’s treasurer announced Wednesday — dealing another blow to Chief Executive John Stumpf in the wake of the sham-account scandal that has imperiled his position at the bank. The announcement, by California Treasurer John Chiang, also demanded that the company separate the CEO and chairman positions — a move that shareholder activists have been demanding for years in order to increase board independence.
Lawmakers Won’t Let Wells Fargo Forget Its Scandal (Bloomberg)
Stumpf will see how little Congress has been placated when he treks back to Washington Thursday to testify before the House Financial Services Committee. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen even got a taste of the furor at a House hearing Wednesday when lawmakers urged her to break up the bank. Politicians said they will continue to pursue lengthy investigations into Wells Fargo and use it to push legislative proposals that could be harmful to the financial industry.
Commerzbank to Cut 9,600 Jobs and Suspend Dividend (Bloomberg)
Commerzbank AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke plans to reduce about one in five jobs, suspend dividends and shrink securities trading in the biggest overhaul since the German lender’s bailout. Under the draft plan, Commerzbank will cut 9,600 jobs, merge its Mittelstandsbank, catering to small and medium-sized companies, with the corporates and markets unit and scale back securities trading operations, the Frankfurt-based bank said in a statement on Thursday. The restructuring plan through 2020 will cost about 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).
Fed's Lockhart wants to see more improvement before hiking U.S. rates (Reuters)
Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said he expected the Fed would raise interest rates "before long". "However, I did support the consensus view that before taking the next move, it makes sense to see a little more evidence of progress toward our statutory policy objectives," he said in reference to the Fed's most recent policy statement from its September meeting.
Man Bitten On Penis By Spider For The Second Time This Year (HP)
A builder in Australia has been bitten on his penis by a poisonous spider for the second time this year. The two-time loser, known only as “Jordan,” was bitten Tuesday while sitting on a port-a-potty at a worksite in Sydney, according to the BBC. It marked the first time he had used a portable toilet since April 27 when he was ― yes, you guessed it! ― bitten on his penis by a poisonous spider. “I was sitting on the toilet doing my business and just felt the sting that I felt the first time,” Jordan told the BBC. “I was like ‘I can’t believe it’s happened again.’ I looked down and I’ve seen a few little legs come from around the rim.” The first time, Jordan was bitten by a redback spider, the Aussie cousin of the infamous black widow spider. However, he is not sure if the same type of spider bit him on Tuesday...Adding insult to obvious injury, the new spider bite was in “pretty much the same spot” as the last one.
Deutsche Bank can only be saved by the German government, strategist says (CNBC)
Only a substantial intervention by the German government can stop the collapse of the country's largest lender, Deutsche Bank, according to Stefan Müller, the CEO of Frankfurt-based boutique research company DGAW. "Deutsche Bank doesn't realize that something serious needs to happen," he told CNBC via telephone on Thursday morning. "(CEO John) Cryan clearly showed that he has no idea how to survive."
Ex-BlackRock Fund Manager Charged With Insider Trading (WSJ)
Mark Lyttleton, a former BlackRock Inc. fund manager, was charged with three counts of insider trading Thursday. The Financial Conduct Authority said the charges relate to trades in shares and a call option between Oct. 2, 2011 and Dec. 16, 2011 and that a court hearing was held in London earlier Thursday...Mr. Lyttleton, 45, was arrested along with his wife in April 2013. He had resigned a month earlier from BlackRock, where he worked for more than a decade and managed a $3 billion U.K. stock fund.
Judge in AIG trial tells evasive Greenberg to be ‘direct’ (NYP)
A New York state judge got testy with former AIG boss Maurice “Hank” Greenberg on Wednesday after the 91-year old billionaire evaded questions about his role in planning two questionable transactions at the heart of a 11-year-old securities fraud trial. “If we don’t want this trial to last a year, we are going to have to get some direct answers,” Justice Charles Ramos told Greenberg in Manhattan state court.
Seattle man asks police to help find briefcase full of cocaine (UPI)
According to the Seattle police department blotter, a man brought the briefcase to officer Doug Jorgenson saying another man left the briefcase behind after walking his dog. Jorgenson opened the briefcase in hopes of identifying the owner and found four large bags and 27 smaller ones filled with cocaine. In addition, the briefcase contained a scale, 50 diazepam pills, and a small amount of marijuana as well as a 19-year-old man's ID card and cellphone. The 19-year-old later approached officers outside of a Seattle Seahawks game inquiring about the missing briefcase. "It contained some important work paperwork and he really needed it back," he said, according to officers.