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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Happy Friday, Viewfinders. Here is a look at some of my breakfast reading this morning.

The fight over a banking union in Europe

European Union leaders keep talking about forming a banking union. And they're still a long way from having one. Rebecca Christie and Jim Brunsden of Bloomberg News have a good overview of what's bogging things down. My take: Can you imagine Germany ever letting outsiders decide whether to shut down Deutsche Bank? A true banking union for Europe might be necessary, but also unrealistic.

Norris on the government investigations at JPMorgan Chase

Floyd Norris of the New York Times says "one thing stands out" when he reads through the long list of legal problems in JPMorgan Chase's disclosures: "Most of them stem from activities outside traditional commercial banking. In other words, they were caused by activities other than the ones that justify the bank's receiving the benefit of deposit insurance or a possible bailout if it gets into trouble again." Read through the end to see what former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker told him.

Another settlement coming in the Libor scandal

ICAP, the London-based brokerage firm, is negotiating a fine with U.K. and U.S. authorities to settle allegations that it helped manipulate the London interbank offered rate. Barclays, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland previously have reached settlement deals. It seems awfully weird that no U.S. banks have been penalized for manipulating Libor, even though it's well known that some clearly were in on the rig.

Housing bubble indicator: Flippers are back

From Beth Braverman of the Fiscal Times: "As housing analysts start to worry about the sustainability of the recent run-up in the real estate market, a troubling trend has returned, harking back to the days of the housing bubble: house flipping."

South Florida has the most incredible news stories

What an amazing lead sentence. This comes from the Miami Herald: "Only in Miami: The Bolivian government's top anti-corruption cop is locked up in a downtown jail cell, accused of shaking down a foreign businessman here for $30,000 in exchange for making criminal charges brought against him back home go away." You mean that's illegal? Even in Miami?

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