While You Were Working - April 26

Treasury’s Phillips urged a slower walk on Basel III

Not that any of the Basel III rules will ever be accused of being implemented at light speed, one high-ranking official from the US Treasury Department said policymakers should slow their roll, lest they end up crafting rules that are too tough for banks that might be looking to compete in a global marketplace.

Craig S. Phillips, counselor to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, spoke this morning at ISDA’s 33rd Annual General Meeting in Miami and offered the following insights:

“The initial iteration of the fundamental review of the trading book and the Net Stable Funding Ratio — both Basel standards — were widely recognized as being miscalibrated. … We do support their adoption in principle, but they have to be thoughtfully implemented on top of the capital and liquidity regimes that we have present here in the U.S.”

The tricky thing about the Basel rules is that the longer it takes to finalize them, the more likely it is that certain critical dynamics – such regulators’ appetite to implement them – will ebb and flow.

More fun at Wells Fargo

It looks like the Labor Department is getting into the act and conducting its own investigation of Wells Fargo’s retirement-plan services. The probe represents the third such inquiry; word got out last month that the SEC and Justice Department are also conducting their own investigation into the bank’s wealth-management unit.

One of the issues the Labor Department is investigating is whether Wells Fargo employees preyed on customers with low-cost employee 401(k)s and convinced them to roll them over into Wells Fargo products with higher fees. If that happened, then chances are those Wells Fargo employees violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

My favorite new term of the week

I sure hope “De-REITing” becomes a thing. It just sounds so saucy.

It probably does make financial sense for some REITs to seriously consider flipping into a C corp. But how annoyed are you if you work at a REIT that only recently went public. All that paperwork for your IPO … for nothing.

Shouting from the rooftops

Today, it is Gillian Tett.

Deutsche Bank is whacking jobs

One key reason floated for the rather dramatic and back-stabbing way former Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan was replaced was that he wasn’t turning around the bank fast enough. Now, it looks like what he really wasn’t doing fast enough was firing people.

WYWW Appetizers