Here’s a selection of stories involving banks that appeared just this weekend in the New York Times:
For the banks, it can be a lucrative partnership. At first blush, processing automatic withdrawals hardly seems like a source of profit. But many customers are already on shaky financial footing. The withdrawals often set off a cascade of fees from problems like overdrafts. Roughly 27 percent of payday loan borrowers say that the loans caused them to overdraw their accounts, according to a report released this month by the Pew Charitable Trusts. That fee income is coveted, given that financial regulations limiting fees on debit and credit cards have cost banks billions of dollars.
What many Cypriots find most frustrating is that their crisis, like those in Ireland and Iceland before them, was concentrated in the banks. There is no sovereign debt crisis and, before the banking collapse, their economy was relatively healthy. Why, they wonder, should they suffer for the misdeeds of a few bankers? Why cover losses that should be borne, at least in part, by private investors?
There is little question, though, that JPMorgan helped enable an acquisition that was regarded as foolish by many people and that severely weakened Monte dei Paschi. Later, Deutsche Bank of Germany and Nomura of Japan undertook transactions with previous management at Monte dei Paschi that helped it conceal losses of 730 million euros, raising further questions about the conduct of investment banks.
It’s like this pretty much every week.