Anthony Scaramucci, SkyBridge Capital II LLC founder and a member of President Donald Trump's transition team, will not be serving as his liaison to the business community after all. A source for The New York Times says Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon broke the news to Scaramucci yesterday — and that the decision was linked to the sale of SkyBridge and the time it would take to clear him of potential ethics conflicts.
The holding company of asset manager Hamilton Lane Advisors LLC has filed for an IPO. The proposed maximum aggregate offering price is now listed at $200.0 million and Hamilton Lane hopes to list the stock on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol HLNE.
In banking news, six Democrat senators again wrote to Wells Fargo & Co., this time regarding reports employees were tipped off when internal compliance officers were about to visit. In the letter, Sens. Robert Menendez, Sherrod Brown, Jack Reed, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen and Catherine Cortez Masto asked why Wells provided advanced notice when other banks reportedly do not. They asked that the company identify employees who came up with and implemented the practice. And they wanted to know if CEO Tim Sloan, "a 29-year veteran of Wells Fargo, serving as Chief Administrative Officer in 2010, and Chief Operating Officer from November 2015," had known about the practices — and why he didn't stop them as soon as they were discovered.
That letter is not the San Francisco-based company's only headache. A proposal for Seattle to end its ties with Wells has moved forward for full council consideration, The Washington Times reports. The proposal takes issue with the company's business practices — and its funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline in particular. Advocacy org Food & Water Watch had tagged Wells as one of 17 institutions banking the pipeline, which, as of early December, had included Citigroup Inc., SunTrust Banks Inc. and TD Securities (USA) LLC.
And JPMorgan Chase & Co. will settle Lehman Brothers' post-bankruptcy estate's disputes with $797.5 million, The Wall Street Journal reports. In exchange, the estate drops its objection to JPMorgan's claim that Lehman still owes it $30 billion.
But the New York-based company lost a separate case in appeals court. Reuters reports a panel decided to revive three antitrust lawsuits by hedge fund manager Daniel Shak and traders Mark Grumet and Thomas Wacker. The suits allege JPMorgan manipulated a silver futures market back in 2010 and 2011.
In Maryland, Bowie-based Old Line Bancshares Inc. is acquiring Damascus-based DCB Bancshares Inc. in a $40.7 million stock deal to create a $2 billion-asset bank.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota's credit union scene, Employees First Credit Union of St. Paul has merged into Woodbury-based Ideal Credit Union.
Finally in broker-dealer news, Lazard Ltd reported a drop in fourth-quarter net income to 96 cents per share, compared with the year-ago period's $1.18 per share. Operating revenue rose 15% year over year to $685 million, with the financial advisory segment recording a revenue increase of 22%.
And CME Group Inc. reported fourth-quarter 2016 EPS of $1.10, up from the year-ago period's 86 cents. The quarter also saw it record $12.9 million in restructuring, severance and retirement expense.
Asia-Pacific: US Fed officials hold target rate; KB Kookmin eyes stake sale in Kazakh bank
Europe: NN makes €2.5B Delta Lloyd offer; Deutsche posts Q4'16 loss; MPs OK Brexit bill
Middle East & Africa: Banque du Caire eyes listing; Nigeria nears $1B eurobond sale
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.57% to 23,184.52, and the Nikkei 225 was down 1.22% to 18,914.58.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.26% to 7,126.17, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.41% to 927.61.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the productivity and costs report, the Gallup good jobs rate report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
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