Friday, February 22, 2013

Visa Launches Visa Ready Partner Program

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Visa reported QE December 2012 financial results on February 6

Visa Introduces Visa Ready Partner Program

* Accelerates the deployment of innovative payment solutions globally
* Enables financial institutions and merchants to take advantage of new payment technologies, such as mobile NFC payments, mobile point-of-sale acceptance solutions
* Visa Ready symbol will identify new payment devices and solutions approved by Visa

FOSTER CITY, Calif. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Feb. 22, 2013 -- Visa today launched a new partner program designed to accelerate the introduction of innovative payment solutions globally and further drive the global migration from cash to electronic payments. The Visa Ready Partner Program paves the way for mobile device manufacturers, technology partners, mobile network operators, and others, to easily navigate the complexities of the payments ecosystem, and to gain access to Visa IP, licenses and best practices.

"The pace of innovation in the payments industry requires a new approach that ensures innovative payment methods can be tested, approved and commercialized quickly," said Jim McCarthy, global head of product, Visa Inc. "While it is critical that we ensure new payment methods are secure and reliable, it is equally important to allow great ideas to become new ways to pay and be paid."

The Visa Ready Partner Program is designed to provide innovators a path to ensure that devices, software and solutions used to initiate or accept Visa payments are compatible with Visa's requirements, which may vary by country. It also provides a framework for the collaboration with Visa, as well as guidance and best practices to access the power of the Visa network. Mobile point-of-sale acceptance (mPOS) providers, mobile NFC-enabled device manufacturers, and chip and platform providers are among the stakeholders that are already playing a critical role in enabling new ways to pay and that will benefit from the Visa Ready Partner Program.

For financial institutions and merchants, the Visa Ready Partner Program will make it easier for them to adopt new, innovative payment methods that are approved by Visa and can help them drive business growth by expanding the use and acceptance of electronic payments globally. The program will use existing approval and certification processes from payments industry standards bodies and will rely on labs certified by EMVCo and the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SCC) to conduct testing of new payment solutions.

At launch, the Visa Ready Partner Program encompasses Visa's existing program for the approval of mobile NFC-enabled devices, as well as a new program to enable mobile point-of-sale acceptance solutions that meet local requirements. In addition, Visa has developed the Visa Ready symbol to identify payment devices and solutions approved for use with Visa payments.

Read more at Visa Introduces Visa Ready Partner Program

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Bank Failures 2013 - FDIC Seizes Covenant Bank of Chicago


Bank Failures 2013 continue with the FDIC seizing Covenant Bank, Chicago, IL on Friday, February 15, 2013. This is the third bank failure of the year. Banks have now been closed in Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington in 2013.

#3 Covenant Bank, Chicago, IL
* Liberty Bank and Trust Company, New Orleans, LA assumed all of the deposits and purchased most of the assets
* As of December 31, 2012, the bank had approximately $58.4 million in total assets
* FDIC estimates the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $21.8 million
* The last bank closed in the state had been Citizens First National Bank, Princeton, on November 2, 2012

The FDIC closed 51 banks in 2012 in the following states: Alabama 1, California 1, Florida 8, Georgia 10, Illinois 8, Indiana 1, Kansas 1, Maryland 2, Michigan 1, Minnesota 4, Missouri 4, New Jersey 1, North Carolina 1, Oklahoma 1, Pennsylvania 2, South Carolina 2, Tennessee 3.

Florida, Georgia, and Illinois accounted for 26 total or 51% of all bank failures in 2012. Florida, Georgia, and Illinois accounted for 45 total or 49% of all bank failures in 2011.

USA Failed Banks by Year Bank failures skyrocketed in 2009 and 2010 to 140 and 157, respectively - a 2-year total of 297 compared to 32 from 2004 through 2008. Bank failures in 2011 continued at a high rate of 92. The 2012 closings decreased to 51. The total 2013 closings are currently estimated at 22. The 2013 annual bank failures are extrapolated from the weeks reported and failures year-to-date.



Cost of Failed Banks The total estimated losses to the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund for 2013 bank closures year-to-date are $52.6 million. The total estimated losses in 2012 were $2.47 billion.



Losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) in 2013 to-date:
1 Covenant Bank, Chicago, IL $21.8M
2 Westside Community Bank, University Place, WA $20.3M
3 1st Regents Bank, Andover, MN $10.5M


Failed Credit Unions

The NCUA has seized 2 credit unions in 2013:
Closed and Liquidated
* New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church Credit Union of Milwaukee, WI (January 7, 2013)
Placed into Conservatorship
* NCP Community Development Federal Credit Union of Norfolk, VA (February 8, 2013)

The NCUA has reported satisfactory progress of 4 credit unions previously placed in conservatorship:
* Arrowhead Central Credit Union of San Bernardino, CA
* Texans Credit Union of Richardson, TX
* Keys Federal Credit Union of Key West, FL
* AEA Federal Credit Union of Yuma, AZ

The NCUA closed 17 credit unions in 2012 in the following states: California 2, Colorado 2, Kansas 1, Michigan 1, New York 2, North Carolina 1, Ohio 1, Oregon 1, Pennsylvania 1, Texas 2, Vermont 1, Wisconsin 2.

$XLF $SPY $DIA $QQQ $IWM $MACRO $FED

Bank Ratings: U.S. Bancorp Tops, Morgan Stanley Last

Bank Ratings Through December 31, 2012

The 10 Largest USA Banks have reported fourth quarter 2012 financial results, i.e., financial performance for the quarter ending 12-31-12 and financial position at 12-31-12. There were several changes in the quarterly ratings: 4 upgrades and 2 downgrades. The median score is "D" and the average score for the quarter ending December 2012 is "C+", an increase from the average score of "C" for the prior quarter ending September 2012.

Largest USA Banks Rankings The 10 Largest USA Banks ratings are presented below in a percentage format. The ratings range from A+ (100%) to G- (0%).



Rating, Bank, Change
A     U.S. Bancorp
A-    Wells Fargo
A-    Capital One
A-    PNC Financial Services, upgrade from B+
B+   BNY Mellon, upgrade from B
B-    Citigroup, upgrade from E+
C+   Bank of America, downgrade from B-
D     JPMorgan Chase
D     Goldman Sachs, upgrade from F-
G     Morgan Stanley, downgrade from E-
B+   Average

Above Average U.S. Bancorp is the sole leader at "A", followed by Wells Fargo, Capital One, and PNC Financial Services at "A-". These 4 banks have moved positively beyond the 2008 financial crisis. BNY Mellon and Citigroup are next at "B+" and "B-", respectively.

Average Bank of America is at the average of "C+".

Below Average JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are next at "D", which is the median rating. Trailing the field is Morgan Stanley at a dismal "G".

Based on fundamental analysis of both financial position and performance on a short-term and long-term basis, the largest 10 USA banks rankings have been updated with a composite score. There is no subjectivity involved from quarter to quarter, just objective data. The ratings are the result of the output from a model, with the latest quarterly financial statement data input.

The score can range from a high of A+ to a low of G-, a total of 21 tiers. The median score is D in this rating system. The average score can vary each quarter.

Financial position is weighted more than financial performance. Therefore, the rating is primarily a gauge of financial position, balance sheet strength, which indicates the ability of the bank to withstand a downturn in financial performance from internal and/or external events. The rating is secondarily a gauge of financial performance, both short-term and long-term. A measure of financial safety and soundness, not future financial performance, is the predominant intent of the ratings.

$XLF $USB $PNC $WFC $BK $BAC $JPM $C $MS $GS $COF

AIG Earnings Review: Closes Door on Financial Crisis

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AIG reported QE December 2012 financial results on February 21

AIG Weathers Storm Sandy, Posts Profit

Self-proclaimed "leading international insurance organization" American International Group (AIG) reported a beat on Non-GAAP core operating earnings per share of $0.20 versus an expected loss of -$0.08 for the quarter ended December 2012. This is well below the prior year EPS of $0.77 (revised) but encouraging nonetheless as Hurricane Sandy losses were recognized this quarter. Non-GAAP profit was $290 million compared to $1.5 billion a year ago. Read more and see charts at Seeking Alpha.

About AIG

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide propertycasualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

AIG Earnings Preview: Slow Quarter Expected

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AIG reports QE December 2012 financial results on February 21

AIG Earnings Preview: Slower Quarter On Deck

Self-proclaimed "leading international insurance organization" American International Group (AIG) reports quarter ending December 2012 earnings on Thursday, February 21, after market close. CEO Robert Benmosche is expected to deliver investors a slower quarter for both GAAP and Non-GAAP earnings per share. Read more and see charts at Seeking Alpha.

About AIG

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide propertycasualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Capital One Sells Best Buy Credit Cards to Citigroup


Capital One reported QE December 2012 financial results on January 17

Capital One To Sell Best Buy Card Portfolio

Capital One and Best Buy End Credit Card Partnership

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) today announced that it has reached an agreement to sell the portfolio of Best Buy private label and co-branded credit card accounts, with current loan balances of approximately $7 billion, to Citi. In addition, Capital One and Best Buy have agreed to end their contractual credit card relationship early.

The sale of the loans to Citi, which is subject to customary closing conditions, and early termination of the Best Buy partnership are expected to be finalized in the third quarter of 2013. Upon closing, Capital One expects that the proceeds from the sale will approximate the book value of the accounts, resulting in no significant gain or loss on the transaction.

"We have a proven, scale partnerships infrastructure and a great portfolio of partners," said Capital One's Bill Cilluffo, EVP, Card Partnerships. "Our partnerships business continues to deliver strong contributions to our results and serves as a platform for future growth potential."

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $212.5 billion in deposits and $312.9 billion in total assets outstanding as of December 31, 2012. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Capital One To Sell Best Buy Card Portfolio

$COF $C $BBY $XLF

MetLife Reports Respectable Earnings

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MetLife reported QE December 2012 financial results on February 13

MetLife Earnings: Where Do We Go From Here?

Global insurance provider MetLife (MET) reported respectable Non-GAAP financial results in operating earnings per share ($1.25), net revenues ($18.36 billion), operating income ($1.97 billion), and operating earnings ($1.40 billion) for the quarter ending December 2012. This is a beat of $0.07 on Non-GAAP earnings per share. Read more and see the charts at Seeking Alpha.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

$MET $XLF

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

MetLife to Acquire Pension Administrator Provida in Chile

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MetLife reported QE December 2012 financial results on February 13

MetLife to Acquire BBVA’s Chilean Pension Business for Approximately $2 Billion

Transaction Significantly Contributes to MetLife’s Emerging Market Strategy; Transforms Business in Chile

NEW YORK -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Feb. 1, 2013 -- MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement with BBVA to acquire AFP Provida S.A. (“Provida”), the largest private pension fund administrator in Chile. Under the terms of the agreement, MetLife will conduct a public cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Provida, and BBVA has agreed to transfer its 64.3% stake to MetLife. Assuming all publicly-held shares are tendered, the purchase price, which MetLife will fund from its existing cash balances, would be approximately $2 billion.

In addition to the purchase price payable by MetLife in the tender offer, Provida shareholders are expected to receive from Provida, prior to the closing, dividends representing excess cash as well as the proceeds from the sale of Provida’s minority stakes in other businesses in Mexico and Peru, which are not being acquired by MetLife.

The acquisition of Provida aligns with MetLife’s strategic focus, which includes capitalizing on growth opportunities in emerging markets. The transaction also includes a small asset management business in Ecuador.

With this acquisition, MetLife is delivering on a key component of our strategy – expanding our presence in emerging markets,” said Steven A. Kandarian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of MetLife, Inc. “MetLife is a leader in both life insurance and annuities in Chile, and Provida will further strengthen our position by adding the country’s top pension franchise. The acquisition also supports our focus on shifting our business mix to less capital intensive products. We expect it to be immediately accretive to earnings.”

With the acquisition of Provida, MetLife’s operating earnings from emerging markets are expected to grow from 14% today to approximately 17%. At current exchange rates on an unaudited IFRS accounting basis, net income for the businesses to be acquired, based on information publicly filed by Provida, was approximately $189 million for the 12 month period ended September 30, 2012. The transaction, which is anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2013, is expected to provide operating earnings accretion of approximately $0.05 per share in 2013 and $0.15 per share in 2014.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

MetLife to Acquire BBVA’s Chilean Pension Business for Approximately $2 Billion

$MET $XLF

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

MetLife No Longer Designated Bank Holding Company

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MetLife reported QE December 2012 financial results on February 13

MetLife Sheds Bank Holding Company Status with Approvals from the Federal Reserve and FDIC

NEW YORK -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Feb. 14, 2013 -- MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it has received the required approvals from both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to deregister as a bank holding company.

MetLife completed its sale of MetLife Bank’s depository business to General Electric Capital on January 11.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

MetLife Sheds Bank Holding Company Status with Approvals from the Federal Reserve and FDIC

$MET $XLF

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

PNC Financial Services Names New CEO

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PNC Financial Services reported QE December 2012 financial results on January 17

William S. Demchak To Succeed James E. Rohr As PNC Chief Executive Officer

Rohr to Become Executive Chairman

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) Board of Directors today elected President William S. Demchak as director and announced that he will succeed Chairman James E. Rohr as chief executive officer. PNC expects Demchak to become president and chief executive officer and Rohr to assume the new position of executive chairman effective at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 23, 2013.

The board acted today in response to Rohr's desire to step down as chief executive officer at the 2013 Annual Meeting and retire from the company and the board next year. Rohr, 64, will serve as executive chairman for one year to ensure a smooth transition.

"Bill has demonstrated exceptional leadership since joining PNC in 2002," Rohr said. "As president, he drove customer growth by successfully aligning our businesses to deliver the entire company for our clients. His candor and work ethic have earned him the trust of employees and investors, and the confidence of PNC's board. He deserves the opportunity to steer PNC into the future."

Demchak joined PNC in 2002 as chief financial officer. In 2005, he became head of Corporate & Institutional Banking. He was promoted to senior vice chairman in 2009 and named head of all PNC businesses in 2010. He was elected PNC president in April 2012. Prior to joining PNC, Demchak served as head of Structured Finance and Credit Portfolio for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Demchak is a director of BlackRock, Inc. He earned his undergraduate degree at Allegheny College and an MBA at the University of Michigan.

About PNC Financial Services

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

William S. Demchak To Succeed James E. Rohr As PNC Chief Executive Officer

$PNC $XLF

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Visa Earnings Rise

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Visa reported QE December 2012 financial results on February 6

Visa Earnings Push Higher

Visa (V) reported record gross revenues ($3.399 billion), net revenues ($2.85 billion), and record operating income ($1.80 billion) for the quarter ending December 2012. Net income ($1.293 billion) was the second best ever, as was GAAP earnings per share ($1.93). However, a tax benefit of $0.11 was included in earnings per share. Margins were solid. Total transactions volume increased +6% worldwide over December 2011. Read more and see charts at Seeking Alpha.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Max Keiser: Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It Economy

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Max Keiser

Keiser Report: Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It Economy

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the global yellow cake baking, talcum powder shaking, perpetual war making, balloon boy chasing, fake it til you make it economy in which spoof trading and a shadow banking system collateralized by a combination of liar loans and temporary workers consuming genetically modified food-like products produces such heroes for our times as Robb U, the guy who was handed $6 million in loans based on having a YouTube music video with a million plus views.

In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to former Scotland Yard fraud squad detective, Rowan Bosworth-Davies of Rowans-Blog.blogspot.co.uk about justice departments and regulators going after the 'little guy' because he is 'easier' to get than the too-big-to-fail.



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