Barclays dilemma: What’s Barclays to do? Hire an investment banker to replace Bob Diamond, and it looks like business as usual. Hire an executive whose background is in retail banking, and the new chief executive may not be equipped to manage the investment banking business. One solution would be to spin off the investment banking arm, a possibility that the Times of London reports the firm is considering. British Parliament continues its Libor hearings, with Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker testifying today. Former Barclays CEO Martin Taylor says he deserves some blame for, uh, not firing Mr. Diamond more than 10 years ago.
Whither Europe: The euro zone may be sinking faster than the bucket brigade of policymakers can bail; the result would be a stark division between southern and northern Europe. Spanish bond yields climbed, and the government prepared to launch a new round of austerity measures. That includes asking regional government’s to explain how they intend to recoup expenditures such as the $325 million Valencia sank into a “mega movie studio.” Italy’s borrowing costs were also spiking.
Earnings season begins today, as Alcoa is set to announce second quarter results. That means a fuller accounting of JPMorgan’s recent trading losses when the bank reports on July 13, and the first post-IPO look at Facebook’s books on July 26. It’s also likely to mean another jolt to investor confidence, as results are expected to be disappointing.
Rogers to testify: Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers will testify before North Carolina regulators in the monkey business at the utility’s executive suite last week. If you weren’t following, Duke Energy and Progress Energy completed a merger last week that placed former Progress CEO Bill Johnson at the helm of the Duke. Briefly. After several hours on the job, Mr. Johnson resigned—taking a $44.4 million severance package with him—and Mr. Rogers stepped back into Duke’s top position.
Making an example of: A panel of arbitrators employed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, had the temerity to rule against Merrill Lynch and award a customer settlement of more than $500,000. The arbitrators were subsequently executed.
Facebook fever: At least 160 mutual funds own Facebook stock, The Wall Street Journal reports, even those whose stated strategies don’t typically lead to investments in risky tech offerings.
Bad bet on banks: Workers at the five largest U.S. lenders lost more than $2 billion on company stock held in their 401(k) accounts, according to Bloomberg. Bank of America employees lost $1.37 billion as shares fell 58 percent.
Coming clean: The brother of the man believed to be the leader of a deadly Mexican drug cartel used a Bank of America account to launder money, according to an FBI agent. The bank is not accused of any wrongdoing.
Live from Vegas: JPMorgan’s new head of VIX trading is tweeting from the World Series of Poker.