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Goldman leads banks on fintech venture bets; Berkshire buys into Synchrony


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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Goldman leads banks on fintech venture bets; Berkshire buys into Synchrony

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said that Gary Cohn is "a reasonable candidate" for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve Board. In an interview with the Associated Press, Dudley said, "[Cohn] knows a lot about financial markets. He knows lots about the financial system." Dudley also said that while he thinks some changes to the Dodd-Frank Act are "completely appropriate," certain provisions are worth keeping.

Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wrote to President Donald Trump pressing him to make regulators delay a decision on the pending Chinese investor group's bid to acquire Chicago Stock Exchange Inc. Manchin is hoping for Trump to eventually block the deal.

Bloomberg News reports that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are the top banks that have betted on fintech firms that focus on capital markets businesses this year, according to management consultancy firm Opimas. Goldman Sachs invested on 15 of those fintech firms and JPMorgan invested on nine.

JPMorgan began trading on a new dark pool trading platform, called JPBX, in mid-July, Reuters reports, citing data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. JPMorgan's new dark pool allows clients to use the bank's algorithms to buy or sell stocks at a benchmark price reached over a period of time, the report adds.

In asset management news, Automatic Data Processing Inc. CEO Carlos Rodriguez accidentally sent an email intended for the company's general counsel to Pershing Square Capital Management LP CEO William Ackman earlier this August. In a regulatory filing, Pershing Square disclosed that in the missent email, Rodriguez stated that he did not find Ackman's statement that he was willing to work with Rodriguez to be "credible."

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. made investments valued at $520.7 million in credit card issuer Synchrony Financial and $418.1 million in real estate investment trust STORE Capital Corp. Berkshire also increased its position in Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and trimmed its stake in Wells Fargo & Co.

FINRA expelled brokerage firm Hallmark Investments Inc. and barred its CEO, Steven Dash, in connection with a scheme to sell shares to customers at fraudulently inflated prices. The regulator also suspended representative Stephen Zipkin for two years.

Northrim Benefits Group sold substantially all its assets to insurance brokerage firm Acrisure. Also, Anchorage, Alaska-based Northrim BanCorp Inc. sold its 50.1% interest in Northrim Benefits for $4.6 million.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: ANZ posts rise in cash profit; MS&AD Insurance to invest in Australian company

Europe: HSBC names ring-fenced bank CFO; Swiss Life to stay cautious on M&A

Middle East & Africa: Ghana shuts 2 troubled banks; Beltone Financial plans $1B investment fund

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.28% to 27,174.96, while the Nikkei 225 gained 1.11% to 19,753.31.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.48% to 7,389.17, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.38% to 1,000.20.

On the macro front

The retail sales report, the Empire State manufacturing survey, the import and export prices report, the Redbook, the business inventories report, the housing market index and the Treasury International Capital report are due out today.

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