Programming note | Trump tax cuts juice top banks to the tune of $32 billion | Analysis: Dimon's anti-regulation rhetoric loses its luster
January 17, 2020
Modern Money SmartBrief
News and trends shaping the future of finance
Editor's Note
Programming note: Modern Money SmartBrief will not be published Monday, Jan. 20. Publishing will resume Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Also, be sure to watch your inbox in the afternoon next Tuesday through Friday for special editions of Modern Money SmartBrief recapping all the financial news coming from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Top Stories
Trump tax cuts juice top banks to the tune of $32 billion
The top six U.S. banks, some of which posted record profits earlier this week, have so far enjoyed a $32 billion boost from the tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump in late 2017. The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, paid an average effective tax rate of 18% in 2019.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (1/17) 
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Analysis: Dimon's anti-regulation rhetoric loses its luster
Record-breaking earnings among some of the largest US banks are shining a skeptical spotlight on claims by industry leaders like Jamie Dimon that financial regulations are too onerous, writes Tom Braithwaite.
Financial Times (subscription required) (1/17) 
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"Lockup" for economic data to cut off computers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is changing the "lockup" procedure for economic data to keep the information secure from algorithmic traders before public release, including removing computers, which can provide machine-readable news, from the Washington newsroom March 1. Commissioner William Beach says the change follows a 2014 recommendation from the Labor Department inspector general.
Reuters (1/16),  Financial Times (subscription required) (1/16),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (1/16) 
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Trump to nominate Waller, Shelton to Fed board
President Donald Trump will nominate St. Louis Fed official Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton, a gold standard proponent and former Trump presidential campaign advisor, to the Federal Reserve board.
Financial Times (subscription required) (1/16) 
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The Future of Finance
Sezzle gets lending license, fine from California regulators
Pay-later company Sezzle has been given approval by California for a direct-to-consumer lending license, freeing it to make small, interest-free installment loans. The California Department of Business Oversight also charged Sezzle a $28,200 penalty for previous illegal loans and said it must refund $282,000 to consumers.
Reuters (1/16) 
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BofA aims to double its high-net-worth advisers in 2020
Bank of America Private Bank is focusing on ultra-wealthy investors in 2020, with plans to grow its advisers to 600 and its markets to 40. Last year, the wealth division added 64% more households and grew assets under management to a record $288 billion.
Reuters (1/16) 
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House Democrats seek info on alternative data use in credit decisions
Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee have asked the Government Accountability Office for information on how alternative data such as utility bills is used to make credit decisions and whether any of those practices might conflict with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act. The GAO has been reviewing the use of alternative data in the fintech sector.
Crowdfund Insider (1/16) 
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Sustainable Finance
McKinsey: Climate risk could upend financial markets
Financial markets could receive a shock if investors, companies and regulators continue to operate in "the context of a relatively stable climate," according to a report from McKinsey.
Financial Times (subscription required) (1/16) 
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Digital Assets
DeFi tax specialists in high demand as firms try to decipher rules
Niche startups that specialize in the intersection of decentralized finance and tax accounting are in high demand as firms in the space grapple with unclear definitions of what is and isn't taxable in the world of digital asset trading.
CoinDesk (UK) (1/17) 
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US bank regulators warn of possible cybersecurity attacks
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are encouraging banks to be vigilant with their cybersecurity controls, saying there is heightened risk of an attack. The warning does not list any specific threat but other federal agencies have warned Iran might target US financial institutions amid tensions between the countries.
American Banker online (free content) (1/16) 
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Data of the Day
US retail sector posts steady holiday sales
US consumer spending continued to increase through the end of the holiday shopping season. Retail sales, including transactions in stores, online and in restaurants, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in December compared with November, according to the Commerce Department.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (1/16) 
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You know there are moments such as these when time stands still and all you do is hold your breath and hope it will wait for you.
Dorothea Lange,
documentary photographer, photojournalist
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