Financial Regulatory Forum

Obama, New York law chief Cuomo target Wall Street bonuses

By Caren Bohan and Jonathan Stempel

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The White House and and New York’s top prosecutor attacked excessive Wall Street bonuses, as the nation’s biggest banks prepare to hand out awards critics say were made possible by taxpayer bailouts.

A senior U.S. official also confirmed President Barack Obama is considering a fee on financial services firms as part of the fiscal 2011 budget he will unveil in February.

The proposal reflects tougher approach the White House is taking toward Wall Street as it faces rising political heat over its support for the $700 billion financial bailout begun in the Bush administration.

Amid reports of some bank payouts that could average hundreds of thousands of dollars each, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said some Wall Street executives “continue not to get it” when it comes to big bonuses at bailed-out companies.

Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo asked the first eight banks to receive bailout money under the government’s much-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program to turn over data on expected bonus payouts in 2009.

New York Attorney General Cuomo seeks 2009 bonus data from Wall Street

By Elinor Comlay and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – New York’s attorney general asked eight major U.S. banks to turn over data on planned bonuses for 2009, amid a growing public outcry over payouts in light of the industry’s role in the near-collapse of the financial system and recession.

Andrew Cuomo made the demand Monday to the banks that were first to receive federal bailout money in the fall of 2008: Bank of America Corp, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp and Wells Fargo & Co.

These banks have all repaid infusions taken from the government’s much-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), though some of the U.S. investment in Citigroup has been converted into common stock.

REUTERS SUMMIT-Key banker sees cost of U.S. bank failures rising

FDIC spokesperson Roberta Valdez shows identification to gain entry at a California National Bank branch in downtown Los Angeles October 30, 2009. The failed bank was seized by U.S. authorities and acquired by U.S. Bancorp. (File Photo) REUTERS/Sam Mircovich   (UNITED STATES BUSINESS) By Karey Wutkowski
NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) – The cost of U.S. bank failures will continue to rise sharply and will likely exceed the government’s current expectations, a leading investment banking executive said on Monday.

James Dunne, senior managing principal of Sandler O’Neill, said he believes up to 1,000 banks will fail during the current crisis and the total bill will surpass the government’s latest projection of $100 billion.

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U.S. pay czar may issue rulings before Oct. 30 deadline

By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s pay czar said on Tuesday he may publicly release his rulings on the compensation packages for top earners at bailed-out firms before his Oct. 30 deadline.

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US Congress to probe compensation at rescued companies

WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress will soon probe executive compensation at companies such as American International Group Inc and Bank of America Corp receiving significant taxpayer funds, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel said on Wednesday.
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Bank of America, U.S. SEC say execs not liable on Merrill bonuses

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis in this  February 11, 2009 file photo. Bank of America Corp shareholders voted to oust Lewis as chairman of the board on April 29, 2009 after months of mounting criticism of his stewardship of the largest U.S. bank. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made a third and perhaps final push to convince a federal judge to approve a settlement over the alleged misleading disclosure of Merrill Lynch & Co bonuses, saying executives should not be charged.

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FDIC warns U.S. banks they may need more home-equity reserves

By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) – A U.S. regulator said on Monday banks may need to boost their reserves for losses on home equity loans, after housing prices fell by roughly one-third from their 2006 peak. (more…)

Bank of America board loses three more members

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp said on Friday three directors had resigned, the latest in a series of departures at the bank at a time when it is shaking up its board at the behest of the government.
The largest U.S. bank said John Collins, who runs a Boston-based venture capital firm; William Barnet, who runs a real estate investment firm; and Gary Countryman, chairman emeritus of Liberty Mutual Group, had all resigned.

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