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It is quite literally proverbial that the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. The wisdom of—or at least adherence to—this axiom is demonstrated every four or eight years as alleged wrongdoers flock to the doors of the Justice Department seeking expiation, no matter how demonic the current attorney general. It was so four years ago, as companies preferred to strike a deal with Loretta Lynch rather than try to figure out what the Jeff Sessions era might bring, and it is so again. For in spite of the brave face—nay, palpable and growing enthusiasm—shown for the increasing likelihood of a Democratic sweep into power early next year, there are rumblings of concern that even if Bill Barr is not succeeded by Elizabeth Warren or her ilk, Joe Biden’s Justice Department—and its other regulatory efforts—won’t be quite as accommodating as Donald Trump’s, even if it is less erratic and focused on protecting POTUS at all costs.

And so David Solomon is eager to make a deal, even if that deal is quite a bit less favorable and much more expensive than initially expected. And his firm’s co-conspirator in the 1MBD scandal, Elliott Broidy, is even more so, given his close ties to the potential outgoing president. Purdue Pharma definitely doesn’t want to find out how much more or less accommodating the next administration might be. Even Warren Buffett—Trump-hating, tax-paying Warren Buffett—isn’t ready to try his luck with a friendlier, less-Iran-obsessed face in the White House.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to pay roughly $4.1 million to settle allegations that a Turkish subsidiary violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday alleged that Berkshire’s indirect subsidiary—Iscar Kesici Takim Ticareti ve Imalati Limited Sirket—sold cutting tools and related inserts to two third-party Turkish distributors between 2012 and 2016, knowing that the goods would be shipped to a distributor in Iran for resale to end-users there.

Berkshire to Pay $4.1 Million to Settle Allegations of Violating U.S. Sanctions on Iran [WSJ]
Goldman Sachs to Pay $2.8 Billion, Admit Wrongdoing to Settle 1MDB Charges [WSJ]
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead to 3 criminal charges [AP]
Ex-Trump Fundraiser Broidy Pleads Guilty to Illegal Lobbying [Bloomberg]
Financial Firms Gear Up for Biden and an Emboldened Consumer Watchdog [WSJ]
Senate Bill Would Outlaw Bank Discrimination for the First Time [NYT]
U.S. banks sweat regulatory exposure from pandemic loans [Reuters]
Wall Street donors keep their distance from cash-strapped Trump in campaign’s final days [CNBC]


By US government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wall Street May Not Have Biden’s Ear, But Two Guys Who Hate It Do

Gary Gensler and Ted Kaufman are not the kind of people big finance want to see in positions of influence.

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Dimon 2024!

It begins anew.

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Mike Bloomberg Decides Being A Billionaire Is Way Better Than Being President

It’s yet another way in which he’s intellectually superior to the man he won’t be succeeding.

james mcdonald

Former CNBC Talking Head Suddenly Not Interested In Showing His Face

In fairness to James McDonald, television is a much more welcoming venue than an SEC hearing room or courthouse.

merrick garland

Merrick Garland Gets Busy

The Justice Department has a new squad of crypto-cops, a new taste for white-collar criminal enforcement, a new demand for cyber-ransom notifications. And if you happen to know where all of Tether’s money is, it would appreciate a call on that, as well.