Friday, May 25, 2012

Fewer women among Wall Street's top ranks

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance this morning.

Women on Wall Street. The percentage of women among the top ranks of the largest U.S. banks has fallen from 20 percent to 12 percent since 2007, Reuters says, the latest being JPMorgan Chase's chief investment office head Ina Drew. Another notable departure is Sallie Krawcheck at Bank of America, who left late last year.

Wells documents. Wells Fargo has given the SEC emails and documents related to mortgage-backed securities that the bank initially resisted handing over, the Wall Street Journal reports. The SEC is looking into the quality of the loans banks packaged and sold to investors. The subpoenas of Wells Fargo were part of 300 the agency has filed.

Lehman probe ends. The SEC has ended its probe into how Lehman Brothers represented itself ahead of its bankruptcy without finding conclusive evidence of fraud, Bloomberg reports. The decision ends a three-year investigation.

Shorting Facebook. Even as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan prepared to help underwrite Facebook's IPO, they were also lending shares to hedge funds to short, the Wall Street Journal says. It's another example of the myriad conflicts of interest Wall Street banks face.

S.C. investments. The hedge fund that provided one of the worst returns for the South Carolina pension fund was also paid the most in fees, Bloomberg reports.

More risks at JPM. The chief investment office at JPMorgan Chase that posted losses exceeding $2 billion also includes a group that makes bets on distressed companies, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bank says it is funded with company debt and equity, not deposits, but it's still on shaky ground under the terms of the Volcker Rule.