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14 March 2013
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  • Cypriot money-laundering audit reportedly hits snag
    Negotiations broke down between the Cypriot Finance Ministry and EU officials over how an audit of Cyprus' anti-money-laundering laws will be conducted. According to an earlier agreement, an independent auditor would perform the audit under supervision by the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism. Questions were raised about the committee's ability to supervise the work. Cyprus Mail (13 Mar.), Financial Mirror (13 Mar.), The Wall Street Journal (12 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • JPMorgan execs will face influential Senate committee
    This week, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will commence hearings on JPMorgan Chase's derivatives losses stemming from the "London whale." The committee, and its chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, have a reputation for long-lasting, in-depth reports on financial issues. "We don't have a legislative authority directly, but our investigations are aimed at trying to produce the background and the material for legislation," Levin said. Current and former JPMorgan executives, as well as three regulators, are set to testify. However, CEO Jamie Dimon was not asked to appear. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (13 Mar.), MarketWatch (13 Mar.), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog (13 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
 
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  Economics 
 
  • U.S. retail sales post biggest gain in 5 months
    Largely unaffected by higher payroll taxes and gasoline prices, retail spending in the U.S. rose 1.1% in February, double the growth that most economists expected. Consumers spent more money at service stations, auto dealers, building materials outlets, general merchandise stores and non-store retail businesses including Internet marketers, the Commerce Department said. Bloomberg (13 Mar.), Business Insider (13 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Increase in foreclosure starts signals challenges
    Between January and February, residential foreclosure filings in the U.S. increased 10%, to 71,488, according to RealtyTrac. The total was down 25% compared with February 2012. "Foreclosures have been contained as a threat to the housing market, but there's still hot spots in the foreclosure market in different states that need to be stamped out," RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said. Reuters (14 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China should make EU top priority for trade, politician says
    China should rank building an economic partnership with Europe above trade with the U.S., former European Commission President Romano Prodi told deputies to the Chinese National People's Congress. "I think that big Chinese companies need to be global, and for them it will be much easier to be global linking themselves with Europe than with the U.S.," he said. "Europe is much more open." China Daily (Beijing) (14 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: U.S. progress on climate change is slow but genuine
    President Barack Obama's nominees to head the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department suggest he is pursuing a "politically adroit" approach to climate change, rather than setting up a fight with Republicans, according to The Economist. "The president might, for example, announce at the same time the approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline extension, which would increase imports of a particularly mucky form of oil from Canada, and the adoption of limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants," the magazine notes. The Economist (tiered subscription model) (09 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • Short-term bank creditors could face losses under EU plan
    EU plans for handling the failure of banks had shielded short-term liabilities, but a proposal would impose losses on such creditors before tapping taxpayers. A document prepared by Ireland says debt with the same level of seniority should be treated as equally as possible, although it allows exceptions. Bloomberg (13 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • White hearing highlights SEC challenges
    Mary Jo White's testimony before the Senate banking committee has focused on challenges she might face if she becomes head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. White has addressed issues of stricter enforcement, high-frequency trading and resolving her possible conflicts of interest. "The American public will be my client, and I will work as zealously as is possible on behalf of them," she said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog (13 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. lawmaker plans to reintroduce bill for SEC user fees
    U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters says she will introduce a bill within days that would give the Securities and Exchange Commission authority to impose user fees to cover the cost of examining investment advisers. The legislation is identical to one Waters introduced last year; it failed to make it to a vote in the House Financial Services Committee before the congressional session ended in December. InvestmentNews (free registration) (13 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Financial Products 
  • Short-term currency fund is set to debut in April
    The Daniel Stewart Mercury Forex Currency Fund, scheduled to launch next month, will seek to generate gains from intraday and short-term currency trading in the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, the Canadian dollar, the British pound, the euro, the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar. IFAOnline.co.uk (U.K.) (13 Mar.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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