‘Best banker in America’ blamed for Wells Fargo scandal
An out-of-control sales culture, a defensive boss obsessed with stamping out negative views about her division and a group chief executive who called her the “the best banker in America” were to blame for Wells Fargo’s devastating sales scandal, an internal investigation found. In the report, carried out by the bank’s chairman Stephan Sanger and three other independent directors, Carrie Tolstedt is blamed for ignoring the systemic nature of the problem which was pinned instead on individual wrongdoers and accused of obstructing the board’s efforts to get to the bottom of what was going on.
Exclusive: The Malaysian firm funneling money to Pyongyang
Over the past two decades, North Korean-born Han Hun Il, the founding chief executive of a Malaysian conglomerate, funneled money to the leadership in Pyongyang, a North Korean defector, speaking out for the first time, told Reuters. Han’s conglomerate, Malaysia Korea Partners (MKP), worked in partnership with Jang Song Thaek, one of the most powerful people in the North until his execution in 2013, according to Lee Chol Ho. Lee worked as a trader for Han for nine years until he defected to Seoul in 2010. The new disclosures come at a time when United Nations sanctions monitors are intensifying scrutiny of both Han and MKP.
Banks scramble to replace old systems as IT ‘cowboys’ ride into the sunset
Bill Hinshaw is not a typical 75-year-old. He divides his time between his family – he has 32 grandchildren and great-grandchildren – and helping U.S. companies avert crippling computer meltdowns. Hinshaw is a member of a dwindling community of IT veterans who specialize in a vintage programming language called COBOL. The financial sector, major corporations and parts of the federal government still largely rely on it because it underpins powerful systems that were built in the 70s or 80s and never fully replaced. And therein lies the problem: if something goes wrong, few people know how to fix it.
Wider Image: A daughter’s freedom weighed against her siblings’ lives
As the village wells dried up and her livestock died in the scorched scrubland of southern Somalia, Abdir Hussein had one last chance to save her family from starvation: the beauty of her 14-year-old daughter, Zeinab. An older man offered $1,000 for her dowry, enough to take her extended family to a town where international aid agencies are handing out food and water to families fleeing a devastating drought. Zeinab refused. “I would rather die. It is better that I run into the bush and be eaten by lions,” said the slender dark-eyed girl in a high, soft voice. She wants to be an English teacher. She wants to finish school. She does not want to be married. The exchange is typical of the choices facing Somali families after two years of poor rains.
Oil surplus or scarcity? Shale boom makes it even harder to predict
The shale oil boom has transformed the U.S. and global energy sector to such an extent that it has upended traditional supply dynamics and made forecasts far more polarized. Investment banks, have warned that huge spending cuts caused by a plunge in oil prices since 2014 would lead to a supply crunch in the next two years. Yet Goldman Sachs, the only bank to make more than $1 billion a year from commodities trading, believes a looming recovery in U.S. output on the back of higher oil prices combined with an avalanche of new conventional projects will create a substantial surplus by 2019.
Reuters photo of the day
A girl stands near candles inside Al-Saleeb church during Palm Sunday in al-Qassaa, Damascus, Syria April 9, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki