Currencies

Nomura rounds up markets’ biggest misses in 2016

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Banks

RBS falls 2% after failing BoE stress test

Royal Bank of Scotland shares have slipped 2 per cent in early trading this morning, after the state-controlled lender emerged as the biggest loser in the Bank of England’s latest round of annual stress tests. The lender has now given regulators a plan to bulk up its capital levels by cutting costs and selling assets, […]

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Currencies

Euro suffers worst month against the pound since financial crisis

Political risks are still all the rage in the currency markets. The euro has suffered its worst slump against the pound since 2009 in November, as investors hone in on a series of looming battles between eurosceptic populists and establishment parties at the ballot box. The single currency has shed 4.5 per cent against sterling […]

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Banks

Carney: UK is ‘investment banker for Europe’

The governor of the Bank of England has repeated his calls for a “smooth and orderly” UK exit from the EU, saying that a transition out of the bloc will happen, it was just a case of “when and how”. Responding to the BoE’s latest bank stress tests, where lenders overall emerged with more resilient […]

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Currencies

China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

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Categorized | Financial

Warren blasts SEC approval of Cohen fund


Posted on April 21, 2016

Left to right: Elizabeth Warren, Steven Cohen, Mary Jo White©Bloomberg

Elizabeth Warren (left), Steven Cohen, Mary Jo White

Senator Elizabeth Warren has accused a US regulator of making a “mockery” of its mission by permitting hedge fund manager Steven Cohen to register a new fund.

    In a strongly-worded letter addressed to Mary Jo White, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Warren called the regulator’s approval of Mr Cohen’s new Stamford Harbor Capital last month an “unacceptable outcome” and “the latest example of an SEC action that fails to appropriately punish guilty parties, deter future wrongdoing, and protect investors”.

    Mr Cohen was banned from supervising funds that manage outside investor money until 2018 after an insider trading scandal that ensnared SAC Capital, a hedge fund group that he controlled. SAC pleaded guilty to insider trading in 2013 and paid a $1.8bn fine. Mr Cohen was never charged with criminal wrongdoing.

    While Mr Cohen will not supervise the activities of anyone acting on its behalf, and is not breaching the terms of his SEC agreement, he owns Stamford Harbor, and it shares the same management team as his family office, Point72 Asset Management, which manages Mr Cohen’s fortune.

    That approval, along with a settlement that specifically provided for a structure that accepts outside money, “make a mockery of the SEC’s core mission to ‘protect investors’,” according to Ms Warren.

    She also asked for a list of other individuals banned from managing funds but who were indirectly involved with SEC-registered funds.

    “I urge the commission to put procedures in place that ensure that future settlement agreements cannot be so easily undermined,” she wrote.

    Ms Warren has risen to prominence in part by accusing Wall Street of getting special favours in Washington.

    Steven Cohen lays groundwork for new fund

    Banned hedge fund billionaire registers Stamford Harbor with SEC

    Mark Herr, Point72’s spokesman, said the SEC’s conditions with Mr Cohen were clear.

    “We are not going to manage one dollar of outside money prior to January 1 2018,” he said. “We are fully meeting and continue to meet the letter and spirit of the agreement.”

    The SEC also noted that Mr Cohen would be subject to close inspection.

    “As the only law enforcement agency to charge Steven Cohen, the SEC imposed important restrictions, including a supervisory bar plus the additional oversight requirements in the settlement that are even stronger than typical remedies available under the securities law,” Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement.

    “Under the settlement’s significant requirements, the SEC will scrutinise his trading activity closely going forward to protect investors,” he added.