Weil's View on Finance

Jonathan Weil joined Bloomberg News as a columnist in 2007, and his columns on finance and accounting won Best in the Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2009 and 2010.
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Hello, View fans. Here is a look at what I've been perusing this morning.

The newIRS rules for same-sex marriages

Robert Wood of Forbes has an interesting observation about the IRS decision to let all legal same-sex marriages count for federal tax purposes. The new ruling takes effect Sept. 16, but taxpayers can proceed before that date with refund claims for prior open years. He writes: "There's an interesting serendipity about this Sept. 16 date. After all, if your 2012 tax return is on extension from April 15, your filing deadline is Oct. 15, 2013. Through September 15th, you can chose to file your 2012 return either as married or not married. That's a one-time unique choice." Sometimes it pays to be late.

Hiddenrisks at big Chinese banks

Aaron Back of the Wall Street Journal digs into Chinese banks' quarterly results, as well as their off-balance-sheet risks: "The most recent earnings for China's banks depict a financial system under rising but manageable strain. It's what investors can't see that should worry them more." Nonperforming loans are rising, and it's anyone's guess what the fallout might be if their so-called wealth-management products start defaulting.

Larry Summers and the campaign to lead the Fed

Felix Salmon of Reuters says Larry Summers "would be the most political Fed chair in living memory," and that's not a compliment. He writes: "A non-independent central bank is a bad thing; a bullying central bank chairman who's determined to get his own way is also a bad thing. (The Fed is run by a diverse board of governors for a reason.) But put the two together, and you get a uniquely toxic combination, a way to fulfill all the craziest conspiracy theories of Ron Paul." It increasingly looks like the bully will get the job.

More on the probe of JPMorgan's hiring practices in China

The hiring program now under investigation was called "Sons and Daughters," according to this morning's New York Times, and "the results were clear: Children with elite pedigrees faced lower standards." You see? China and the U.S. aren't so different after all.

GE getting out ofretail lending

From the Wall Street Journal: "General Electric Co. is preparing to spin off one of its most important financial assets -- the unit that issues store credit cards for 55 million Americans -- as it retreats from one of the high-growth businesses that defined the modern conglomerate." The move would make GE less dependent on financial services and more focused on industrial operations. That would be good on two levels: GE would pose less risk to the financial system, and industrial companies command higher valuations from investors anyway.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Weil at jweil16@bloomberg.net