Friday, June 8, 2012

Mainstream investors joining activists in pushing for change

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

Investor revolt. Mainstream investors are increasingly joining shareholder activists this year to lobby corporate boards for change, The New York Times says. Not only labor unions are individuals, but mutual funds and other institutional investors, have pressed for change at companies like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Chesapeake Energy.

Abandoned homes. Abandoned bank-owned homes continue to be a problem, contributing to blight in cities around the country, Reuters says. And right now, most cities don't have the wherewithal to deal with them.

More capital. The Federal Reserve unanimously voted to support a draft proposal that would raise most banks' required common equity capital levels to 7 percent of risk weighted assets, from a previous standard of 2 percent, shocking bankers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Moreover, the largest banks will have to maintain a capital cushion above and beyond that, but the specific levels haven't been proposed.

Europe. Spain's banks appear headed toward an urgent and major bailout, industry groups warn, according to Bloomberg. The country's and continent's leaders are still divided on how to address the hundreds of billions in problem mortgage loans.