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Inside Citigroup’s Attempt to Rally Wall Street to Pressure Gun Sellers [WSJ]
The bank wouldn’t lend to them or hold their deposits. It wouldn’t advise them on mergers, bond sales or stock offerings. Citigroup, its executives hoped, would be the first of many, the institution that rallied Wall Street around a plan to curb gun violence.
No one followed…. Citigroup executives believed putting pressure on retailers was the most effective strategy. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. went in another direction entirely, limiting their dealing with gun manufacturers. Wells Fargo & Co. said lawmakers, not banks, should regulate guns. Divided, they had little hope of harnessing the power of the nation’s 4,800 banks to keep guns out of the hands of mass murderers.

Consumer sentiment falls to record low in June as inflation persists [Yahoo!]
"The final June reading confirmed the early-June decline in consumer sentiment ... Consumers across income, age, education, geographic region, political affiliation, stockholding and homeownership status all posted large declines," Joanne Hsu, director of the Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement.
"About 79% of consumers expected bad times in the year ahead for business conditions, the highest since 2009," Hsu added. "Inflation continued to be of paramount concern to consumers; 47% of consumers blamed inflation for eroding their living standards, just one point shy of the all-time high last reached during the Great Recession."

Banks Face Risks From Geopolitics, Staff Turnover, OCC Says [WSJ]
Financial institutions are managing to comply with complex sanctions on Russia imposed by the U.S. and its allies following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, while facing growing competition for compliance professionals, at both the management and staff levels, according to the report. In particular, more cryptocurrency companies are looking to hire experienced compliance staff, including by hiring directly from the traditional finance sector, to help them navigate an evolving regulatory landscape.

West pushes Russia into its first foreign debt default since 1918 [CNN]
Moody's credit ratings agency said Monday that the missed deadline "constitutes a default" and it predicted that Russia would default on more payments in the future, given a decree on June 22 by the Kremlin that it would service its foreign debt in rubles, rather than the currencies the bonds were issued in.
Russia denied it was in default, saying the payments due Sunday had been made, in dollars and euros, on May 27 and the money was stuck with Euroclear, a clearing house based in Belgium.

Hong Kong’s Struggle to Lure Bankers Dims Its Role as a Global Finance Hub [WSJ]
Hong Kong officials have said they want to restore the city’s reputation as a commercial hub, but they are caught between adhering to Beijing’s strict pandemic controls and conceding to the demands of international businesses that the city end restrictions and join other developed economies in living with the virus…. Meanwhile, regional rivals like Singapore have reopened and flagship events in Hong Kong are being moved online or relocated. The struggle to hold in-person events this year and the lack of clarity around how the city plans to return to normal may hurt attempts to restore its standing as a hub.

Fresh Fed financial disclosures omit the officials who ignited ethics scandal. [NYT]
Though both sat in their policy roles for most of last year, when the Fed was debating market-critical topics like how to handle the onset of rapid inflation and when to pull back economic support, neither of their reserve banks published fresh disclosures to cover the end of their tenures. Instead, the banks published disclosures for the interim presidents who succeeded Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Rosengren.

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Dozens Likely Implicated In UBS Libor Deal (FT) bout three dozen bankers and senior managers will be implicated in the alleged rigging of Libor interest rates when UBS settles with global regulators later this week, according to people familiar with the matter. UBS is close to finalizing a deal with UK, US and Swiss authorities in which the bank will pay close to $1.5 billion and its Japanese securities subsidiary will plead guilty to a US criminal offence. Terms of the guilty plea were still being negotiated, one person familiar with the matter said on Monday, adding that the bank will not lose its ability to conduct business in Japan...Not all of the three dozen individuals will face criminal or civil charges and the level of alleged misconduct varies among them. While it also is not clear how many bankers will be criminally charged, people familiar with the investigation said the settlement documents will document an intercontinental scheme to manipulate the Yen-Libor interest rate over several years involving desks from Tokyo to London. Cerberus Seeks Sale of Gun Maker Freedom Group (WSJ) Private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP said it is seeking to sell the company that manufactures a gun used in last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. "We have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group…We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so," Cerberus said in a statement Tuesday. Cliff Talks Narrow (WSJ) President Barack Obama backed away from his long-standing call for raising tax rates on households making more than $250,000 a year, a development that inches the White House and congressional Republicans closer to a budget deal. Mr. Obama's move, a counter to Republicans' recent proposal to raise tax rates on income over $1 million, further narrows the differences between the two sides. During a meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) Monday the president proposed allowing Bush-era tax rates to expire for households making more than $400,000 in annual income, people familiar with the meeting said. Poland Finds It's Not Immune To Euro Crisis (NYT) During much of the region’s debt crisis so far, Poland has counted itself fortunate that the troubles began before the country had joined the euro currency union. By being part of the E.U.’s common market, but not bound by euro strictures, Poland has been one of the Continent’s rare economic good-news stories. But the deceleration in Polish growth, which has prompted the central bank to begin a series of interest rate cuts to stimulate the economy, has underscored the country’s exposure to slumping euro zone consumer markets. Hedge Fund Managers Convicted of Insider-Trading Scheme (Bloomberg) Level Global Investors LP co-founder Anthony Chiasson and former Diamondback Capital Management LLC portfolio manager Todd Newman were convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy for an insider-trading scheme that reaped more than $72 million. After deliberating a little more than two days, a federal jury in New York found both men guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud for a scheme to trade on Dell Inc. (DELL) and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) using illicit tips. The panel found Chiasson, 39, guilty of five counts of securities fraud, earning Level Global $68.5 million on inside tips trading on the two technology company stocks. Newman, 48, was convicted of four counts of securities fraud related to trades on inside information that earned his fund about $3.8 million. “We had all the evidence we needed,” said Felicia Rivera, a juror from Westchester County near New York City, said after court. Credit unions sue JPM for $3.6B (NYP) The nation’s credit-union watchdog sued JPMorgan for a second time yesterday over $3.6 billion of Bear Stearns mortgage bonds that imploded in the wake of the financial crisis. The suit brought by the National Credit Union Administration accuses Bear Stearns, the failed bank acquired by JPMorgan in 2008, of peddling toxic securities to four credit unions that later collapsed. The same government agency sued JPMorgan last year over $1.4 billion in mortgage-backed securities that led to losses for credit unions. That suit is still pending. In the latest complaint, the credit union regulator said Bear Stearns conspired with at least 16 outfits that cranked out toxic mortgages and securities sold to unsuspecting buyers. Those included notorious subprime mortgage outfits such as Countrywide Financial, New Century and People’s Choice Home Loans. Man wears 70 items of clothing at airport to avoid baggage charge (DS) A man took to putting on 70 items of clothing to avoid an extra baggage charge at an airport. The unidentified passenger turned up at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China, described as looking like a 'sumo wrestler'. According to Guangzhou Daily, the man's luggage exceeded the weight limit. He did not want to pay the extra baggage costs, and thus took out and wore more than 60 shirts and nine pairs of jeans. Wanting to board a flight to Nairobi, Kenya, he was stopped by the metal detector and had to undergo a full body search. AIG Raises $6.45 Billion as AIA Priced in Top Half of Range (Bloomberg) AIG sold 1.65 billion shares at HK$30.30 each, AIA said in a statement today. The shares were offered at HK$29.65 to HK$30.65 each. AIA fell 3.3 percent to close at HK$30.60 in Hong Kong, the most since July 23. It was the biggest decliner and most actively traded stock by both volume and value in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) with HK$56.6 billion ($7.3 billion) worth of shares changing hands today. Probe Sparks Split On Trades (WSJ) A regulatory investigation into whether stock exchanges have given unfair advantages to high-speed traders has sparked complaints against the exchanges, fueling a broader debate about how the market operates and is regulated. The Investment Company Institute, trade group for mutual funds, complained in a recent letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission that U.S. stock exchanges "facilitate strategies" for rapid-fire trading firms "that can lead to disorderly markets or that can benefit market participants at the expense of long-term investors." Buybacks Rule The Day (WSJ) American companies bought back $274 billion more shares than they issued in the year through September, according to Ed Yardeni, president of investment advisory firm Yardeni Research. And the spending spree looks set to continue, a sign that companies have the cash to put to work but don't yet see an economic case for using it to expand their businesses or create jobs. Dog swallows a foot of Christmas lights (Mirror) Charlie, a seven-year-old crossbreed dog from Southampton, was saved by surgeons from veterinary charity PDSA after wolfing down his family's Christmas lights recently. And the dog has a track record for getting his paws, and teeth, on household objects, having once eaten his owner Sharon Fay's scarf. Ms Fay, who aptly refers to her dog as the "light of her life", became concerned when she noticed bits of wire sticking out of Charlie's faeces in the garden. The 45-year-old said: "I hadn't even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage but it quickly became clear what had happened. "Back in March he ate one of my scarves and needed an operation to remove it, but I thought it was just a one-off incident as he hadn't shown any signs that he was going to be a repeat offender. I've had dogs all my life and have never known a dog act like this before." An X-ray immediately cast a light on Charlie's problem - the tangled remains of the decorations clearly showed up in his stomach and would have proved fatal if they were not removed. Vets rushed Charlie to the operating table and removed the Christmas decorations, also finding a shoelace.