Ben Lawsky Gains ‘Rogue Regulator’ Moniker After Standard Chartered; Hedge Funds’ Fight Over Madoff Claims: Roundup

Rogue bank or rogue regulator? That was the subject of some debate yesterday, after New York’s top banking regulator, Ben “long-arm-of-the” Lawsky, filed an order alleging that Standard Chartered Bank had conducted $250 billion in off-limits business with Iranian banks. According to The New York Times, the Department of Justice, Federal Reserve and the Treasury, among other authorities, had been debating the extent of Standard Chartered’s wrongdoing. In April, Mr. Lawsky’s deputies told federal authorities that DFS planned to move forward with the case, but it wasn’t until Monday morning that the state agency alerted the Feds that it was about to file the explosive order. 

The Standard Chartered exec who complained that “f—ing Americans” had no place telling the bank how to do business in Iran appears to be Richard Meddings, according to The New York Post.

We love it when the food fight between banks and politicians spills over to encompass…the entire cities of New York and London. Like when New York congressman Carolyn Maloney asked Jamie Dimon why JPMorgan executed trades that lost billions of dollars out of its London office. Why not New York? Or yesterday, when British lawmaker Mark Field painted reports of bad behavior at Standard Chartered as a battle in the war between the two cities. Reuters also heard complaints of anti-London bias in reference to the DFS order.

Two hedge funds are fighting a legal battle over whether they had a contract to trade $195 million in claims on Bernie Madoff’s bankrupt firm. Solus Alternative Asset Management says it struck a deal with Perry Capital over telephone and instant messages; Perry says there never was a deal.

Hedge fund manager Doug Whitman, on trial for insider trading, told government witness Roomy Khan that he had no use for her if she wouldn’t break the law, according to The Post. “You’re not going to be a slimeball, what do I want to talk to you for,” Whitman told Khan in a wiretapped conversation.

Knight Capital’s privately-financed rescue deal was a bitter pill for investors looking for too-big-to-fail profits.

The Japanese units of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan were among banks to pledge improvements in guarding client information in the wake of insider trading investigations that have roiled Nomura Holdings and other Japanese financial institutions. Also in Japan, measures to clamp down on loan-sharking were seen tied to a reduction in suicide for “economic reasons.” Now restrictions against non-bank lending may be pared back, and observers worry about the consequences.

Deutsche Bank’s on-again off-again efforts to sell its real estate fund group, RREEF, is putting the business at a competitive disadvantage, investors and consultants tell The Wall Street Journal.

That wasn’t Sandy Weill calling for the break-up of the country’s biggest banks. It was Sasha Baron Cohen, former Bear Stearns chairman Ace Greenberg told Bloomberg Television.