Your daily dose of financial news

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Law360 starts us off with Part II of its exclusive interview with SDNY Judge Jed Rakoff who, though “a little more prone to speak out than some of [his] colleagues, apparently shuns the “lone crusader” label – Law360

Consumer prices in the US were up (slightly—0.2%) in February, the first rise since October, which may help reassure the Fed that the economic recovery is indeed chugging along—an important element in any move on interest rates – WSJ

Citi’s Sunday news release regarding the Argentina debt crisis was confirmed yesterday, as Judge Griesa allowed the bank to process a $3.7 million quarterly interest payment due at the end of the month as part of the winding down of its custody business in Argentina. The ruling allows Citi to make that exit while remaining in good standing with the Argentine government – Law360

The SEC’s “bad actor” waivers are in the news again, just a week or so after Chair Mary Jo White forcefully defended the Commission’s process of granting them.  California Rep. Maxine Waters is expected to announce new legislation today that would shed more light on the waiver process, requiring the SEC to keep public records of all waiver requests and denials and give the public an opportunity to comment on such requests. The bill is expected to face long odds for actual passage – NYTimes

More on the SEC this morning—specifically its endorsement of the White House and Labor Department’s support of a rule requiring broker-dealers to adhere to the fiduciary duty standard, including the challenges it will face in moving ahead with such a proposal (complete with a nice little shot at lawyers tucked in the middle of the piece) – NYTimes

Troubled mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial has agreed to sell servicing rights to an additional $25 billion of Fannie & Freddie-held loans, this time to Nationstar  – WSJ

A former senior derivatives trader at Dutch lender Rabobank’s London desk pleaded guilty yesterday to a conspiracy charge and admitting that for 5 years he conspired with others to rig the Libor rate.  Rabobank agreed to pay more than $ 1 billion in civil and criminal penalties in October 2013 for its role in Libor manipulation – Law360 and Reuters

Yesterday we noted Paul Volcker’s forthcoming proposal to streamline the financial regulatory process in the U.S.;  Volcker offered highlights from his plan at the Federal Reserve conference at GWU last week and was joined by former Rep. Barney Frank, law professors, and industry professionals who noted regulatory strides made since 2008 but expressed concerns about the risk inherent in a fragmented and still largely opaque financial sector – NYTimes

The Fed and FDIC issued word yesterday that three foreign banks—BNP Paribas, HSBC Holdings, and the RBS Group—need to address “specific shortcomings” in their living wills (the plans designed to keep their own hypothetical bankruptcies from cratering down the US financial system).  The banks join 11 US-based firms facing the same predicament and will have the rest of the year to revise their planning – Law360 and WSJ

So apparently Groupon and the Weather Channel have a bit of an Orwellian streak – WSJ

Anyone who’s seen a Valspar commercial knows that chameleons can change color.  But a tiny new Ecuadorian frog species appears to be the first vertebrate that can change its skin texture.  It’s a big, strange world out there – NYTimes

 

MDR

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