Just because fines from enforcement activity decreased 7.2% last year and continue to decline this year does not mean the Securities and Exchange Commission is not policing the market, says Stephanie Avakian, co-director of enforcement. "Any assessment that suggests our effectiveness should be measured solely based on the number of cases we bring over any particular period of time is misguided," she says.
Shipments of goods from China to the US are at a four-year high as Chinese exporters rush to land deliveries before the latest US tariffs bite. A 10% levy applies to a range of Chinese goods starting Monday -- 25% starting next year -- although US retailers such as Walmart and Target have indicated they will not increase consumer prices in the near term.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the IRS should revise guidance clarifying taxpayers' obligations involving virtual currencies. "Since the emergence of virtual currencies, the IRS has struggled with how to treat virtual currencies for tax purposes and the amount of guidance necessary to assist taxpayers in understanding their tax obligations," Brady said in a letter to acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell must decide whether to raise interest rates or to heed warnings from the bond market. Investors are anticipating a quarter-point increase next week and another by year-end.
In 2017, the $100 bill passed the $1 bill in circulation popularity for the first time. The reason may be that many people are choosing to save large bills, stashing them at home instead of in financial institutions, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond says.
Banks needing to vet third-party vendors to meet risk requirements have turned to standardized questionnaires, but concerns remain that the questionnaires need tweaking and that vendors are reluctant to share detailed information.
Wells Fargo plans to eliminate up to 26,500 positions during the next three years through layoffs and attrition. The reduction accounts for 5% to 10% of the workforce, which had about 265,000 jobs at the end of the second quarter.
Banks and financial-technology firms are reaching out to consumers ages 21 to 37 with bigger rewards and fewer fees. JPMorgan Chase is offering 60,000 reward points for opening a premium checking account, and fintech Empower is offering a free mobile checking account.
The parent of Rockland Trust has agreed to a $727 million acquisition of the parent of Blue Hills Bank, making Rockland Trust one of the biggest banks with a Massachusetts headquarters. The deal needs regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first half of next year.
A lawsuit filed by two employees alleges racial and gender discrimination at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The lawsuit is being discussed in the Ohio gubernatorial race, in which former Director Richard Cordray is the Democratic nominee.
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