Friday, April 22, 2016

This Week in Bank Failures

Arrest: Authorities in Singapore have arrested a banker in the 1MDB case and are holding him in isolation while the investigation continues. Swiss investigators this week have suggested that 1MDB, nominally an investment fund based in Malaysia, is fundamentally corrupt. Investigations are also ongoing in Malaysia, Luxembourg, and the United States.

Cuts: Wall Street banks cut costs in the first quarter, with total expenses down about 10 percent from the year before, but the cost-cutting was not fast enough to keep ahead of falling revenue. With most giant banks reporting a decline in profits in the quarter and economic conditions remaining unfavorable for banking, executives are wary and more cuts are surely on the way, if not necessarily right away.

Risk: Continuing low energy prices do not present a direct systemic risk to U.S. banks. Only a few banks have more than 2 percent of assets in energy projects.