*how Ken Lewis managed to stay this long is beyond me. Oh thats right, this is America.
BofA restructures management as prelude to finding CEO successor
Bank of America hired Sallie Krawcheck, a former chief financial officer at Citigroup, and made other moves as it restructures its senior management before a push to find a successor for CEO Kenneth Lewis. "These changes are designed to drive enhanced performance and to ensure that our strategies and franchise are positioned for maximum success in the coming years," Lewis said. Five executives are emerging as candidates to succeed Lewis, although the timing of the succession is not yet clear. Bloomberg (8/4)
*now this is a joke. Stress tests anyone?
Fed plans to create teams to review banks' practicesThe Federal Reserve plans to create teams of experts in various fields to bolster its reviews of the lending practices and overall health of the nation's financial institutions. Daniel Tarullo, governor of the Fed, plans to explain the overhaul when he testifies today before the Senate Banking Committee. "This program will be distinct from the activities of on-site examination teams so as to provide an independent supervisory perspective," according to Tarullo's prepared remarks. Bloomberg (8/4)
*GE at $3 here we come?
Close look at GE Capital's leveraged loans raises concerns
General Electric assured markets that it is holding more than enough in reserves to cope with GE Capital's loan defaults. But a close look at the financial unit's $38 billion leveraged-loan portfolio raises questions about whether that is true. The company is holding 1.2% of its exposure in reserves, but leveraged loans are trading at 81 cent on the dollar in the marketplace, suggesting GE might need substantially more reserves. CNNMoney.com/Fortune/BreakingViews.com (03 Aug.)
U.K.'s FSA looks into high-frequency trading, dark pools
The Financial Services Authority launched a sweeping review of equity markets in the U.K., including alternative trading platforms -- such as dark pools -- investment strategies and other practices. "We are talking to people in the market about market structure. It's not an investigation as such. It's just using market contacts to find out what's going on," the FSA said. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (04 Aug.)
Fidelity Investments also warns about leveraged ETFs
Fidelity Investments joined a growing number of U.S. financial companies in alerting customers about risks presented by leveraged exchange-traded funds. "Leveraged products are complex, carry substantial risk and are intended for short-term trading," the mutual fund company said in a statement posted on its Web site. Some brokers are restricting sales of leveraged and inverse ETFs or rejecting orders altogether. The Wall Street Journal (04 Aug.)