‘Curse of Dick Fuld’: Ken Watanabe, chief executive officer of Nomura Holdings and the driving force behind the bank’s purchase of Lehman Brothers European and Asian operations, resigned as the company indicated that insider-trading offenses committed within the company go beyond those identified by Japanese regulators. Mr. Watanabe leaves Nomura three weeks after Robert Diamond, who led Barclays (BCS) to acquire Lehman’s U.S. business, resigned from the British bank on the heals of a settlement to end an investigation into the firm’s efforts to manipulate interbank lending rates. Deal Journal’s Alison Tudor calls it the “Curse of Dick Fuld.”
Simple Sandy: Former Citigroup (C) chairman and CEO Sandy Weill went on CNBC yesterday and said we’d all be better off if banks split off their investment banking units. That was a little like Joe Camel swearing off cigarettes, a friend quipped, for Mr. Weill was the driving force behind the creation of the “supermarket” banking model in the 1980s and 1990s. But the banking boss has been simplifying his entire life lately, selling off his penthouse at 15 Central Park West last year, and spending more time in California. “I think that simpler is better. But my life is still not very simple,” Mr. Weill told CNBC’s Robert Frank.
Drab banking: “There’s no sexiness, there’s no fun, there’s no intellectual intrigue” in banking these days, a former Credit Suisse and Bear Stearns trader tells Bloomberg.
Geithner didn’t know…About the “specific conversation” in which a Barclays employ told the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that the British lender wasn’t posting an honest Libor rate as early as 2008. Mr. Geithner, who headed the New York Fed at the time and is now Treasury secretary, told the House Financial Services Committee yesterday that he thought the FRBNY took appropriate action by sharing its Libor-related concerns with U.S. and U.K. regulators.
New odds on Grexit: Citigroup economists hung a 90 percent chance on Greece leaving the euro in the next 12 to 18 months.
Pain in Spain: Banco Santander, Spain’s largest lender, said profit fell 93 percent in the second quarter as the bank set aside more cash to offset soured loans.
Libor-ated: Employees at Lloyds Banking Group have received subpoenas as parts of investigations by regulators across the globe into the manipulation of Libor and other interbank lending rates, the company said yesterday in announcing second-quarter earnings. Until those investigations have run their course, the bank doesn’t see a need to set aside funds to settle civil lawsuits arising from the matter, executive George Culmer told investors on a conference call.
Look out below: Zynga plummeted 37 percent in trading after the close of New York markets yesterday, as the firm announced disappointing second-quarter results. Key Zynga partner Facebook announces earnings today.
Tax hole: The official in charge of multinational effort to tax offshore accounts questioned a report released last week that rich individuals are hiding as much as $32 trillion. “I was wondering where the equivalent of 450 Bill Gates are hiding from everyone,” OECD official Pascal Saint-Armans told Reuters.