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While You Were Working – April 19

James Gorman's regulatory wish list, Larry Fink is nervous, Oops at the OCC and fun with Brexit charts

4 min read

Modern Money

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman

James Gorman has a wish list for regulators - Photo credit: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

James Gorman sent regulators his wish list

James Gorman is having a good week. The Morgan Stanley CEO is basking in the glow of a strong earnings report, so he decided to let regulators know how he thinks they should be doing their jobs. Annual stress tests are too big of a burden, so let’s do those every other year. That 5% leverage ratio? Let’s knock it down to 3%.

Of course the affable Aussie is trying to be pushy or anything. Gorman says his suggestions are “pragmatic, sensible, just obvious things that could be done to make the thing more transparent and more realistic about the way the real world operates.” Are you listening Randal Quarles, Chris Giancarlo, Jay Clayton and Jeb Hensarling?

The OCC kept its streak alive

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has conducted an internal review that found it miiiiiight not have handled its investigation Wells Fargo’s fake accounts very well. Seeing as how the OCC was alerted about possible issues with the accounts back in 2010, the findings of the review are a statement of the obvious. But the review should spark one follow-up question:  When was the last time the OCC handled any investigation in a timely, thorough and appropriate fashion? Seriously…

It’s always something

BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink says the Trump administration’s inability to deliver quickly on its various fiscal, regulatory and economic policies represents a threat to markets. That is all well and good, but at some point someone on Wall Street needs to write a white paper, paint a picture or do a podcast or something and describe exactly what the idyllic, non-threatening policy landscape needs to look like for people Fink to be satisfied and say they are confident.

  1. Loose monetary policy? Check.
  2. Pro-business President? Check.
  3. Anti-regulation Congress? Check.
  4. Light touch/no touch regulators? Check.

For years, the complaint was about how there was so much “uncertainty” about policies. Now there is certainty, but the timing is the problem?

Fun with Brexit charts

I love me a good chart. And if you believe what you read about the Presidential Daily Briefing, Donald Trump is a chart guy too. A good chart is constructed in the most simple of manners because the whole point of a chart is to be able to digest information at a glance without having to read a bunch of text. Accuracy is always important and simplicity is genius. With that in mind, have a look at this chart from Bloomberg about the places where banks claim they with be sending UK-based workers because of Brexit:

It seems simple enough, until you take a close look at the info for UBS and Morgan Stanley. Why did the maker of this chart feel the need to position them so they would have to criss-cross each other on the chart? Why not just put UBS beneath Morgan Stanley and have simple lines going straight across the chart from the name of the bank to the proposed relocation destination? Does the criss-cross make the chart look more complex or intriguing? Or maybe it just needed that nice ribbon look.

And it gets worse when you click into the story and see the additional maps used to support the chart. Apparently UBS is talking about sending some of its employees to Madrid (aka “The Lucky Ones”). But the chart makes no mention of Madrid at all. Aye caramba!   

WYWW Appetizers

I can’t imagine why Emirates Airlines needs fewer flights to the US.

Mbappe… Mbappe… Mbappe. AS Monaco and Juventus advanced to the Champions League semi-finals.