Financial Daily Dose 12.20.2019 | Goldman nearing $2B deal with DOJ to resolve 1MDB scandal claims

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Goldman Sachs is reportedly in negotiations with federal prosecutors to resolve claims about its role in the Malaysian 1MDB scandal for upwards of $2 billion. A settlement—which “could include a guilty plea from Goldman’s subsidiary in Asia”—might be completed as early as late January 2020 – NYTimes and WSJ

Tucked within the spending bill that passed the Senate yesterday “are the most significant changes in more than a decade to the nation’s retirement system,” including a provision that pushes 401(k) plans to “replicate a feature of old-fashioned pensions by offering products with guaranteed income payments.” The law would also make it easier for smaller companies to band together to offer 401(k) plans “and spread the burden of administrative costs” – WSJ and MarketWatch and NYTimes

And since Congress does its work like a freshman turning in a final paper right before heading to the airport for winter break, we also have a House-approved version of the new USMCA, which now heads to the Senate for debate and likely approval – Law360 and NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch

Fresh off its EEOC settlement, Uber was hit with bad news in Europe on Thursday. A German court in Frankfurt ruled that the company—which imposed a nationwide ban on Uber in 2015—“could no longer submit ride-hail requests received on its app to car-hire companies because, among other things, it didn’t own a car-hire license itself, as required in Germany” – WSJ

St. Paul-based Ecolab will spin off one of its energy businesses while concurrently merging it with Texas’ Apergy Corp. to create a new upstream energy venture with a combined $3.5 billion in sales – StarTribune

Bloomberg takes a hard look at how Wall Street’s “Machine of Silence” has largely stamped out the spread of #MeToo that’s overtaken other industries, with the few examples of public shaming for outrageous comments and behavior only highlighting that “powerful parts of the finance industry haven’t caught up with the times” – Bloomberg

The Brits have named Financial Conduct Authority chief Andrew Bailey to succeed Mark Carney as the head of the Bank of England. Bailey will bring some recent experience with the central bank to the role when he assumes the role in March—his FCA is currently investigating the leaks of BOE audio files that were announced yesterday – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Sweden’s central bank—a “pioneer of negative rates” intended to boost the country’s inflation to the desired 2% target—are pulling back on its experiment, in part due to concerns that “a longer period of negative interest rates could lead businesses and households to take on too much debt, or force banks to charge to accept deposits, which could lead to a rush into cash” – WSJ and MarketWatch

Finra has filed Robinhood Financial $1.25 million for failing to “ensure that its customers received best prices for securities orders” by instead routing all trades to four securities firms that “paid it for order flow” – Bloomberg and Law360

It’s that time of year again when Morgan Stanley gets all big picture on us. Here’s the financial giant’s thoughts on the 10 major geopolitical risks facing us in 2020 – Bloomberg

The Financial Stability Board, a collection of global central-bank officials chaired by Fed Vice Chair Randal Quarles, is warning that a boom in the leveraged loans market “has created vulnerabilities in the global financial system”—particularly for the handful of big banks that arrange and hold the loans while simultaneously offering borrowers revolving credit facilities – WSJ

It’s holiday hiatus time around here again at the Daily Dose. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and we’ll see you in 2020. As is tradition, we’ll turn to Darlene Love to see us out – LateNight

MDR

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