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Bank of America's trading practices have been probed, filing shows

Bank of Amrica probedThe U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have both held investigations into whether Bank of America (BAC.N) engaged in improper trading by doing its own futures trades ahead of executing large orders for clients, according to a regulatory filing.

The June 2013 disclosure, which Reuters recently reviewed on a website run by the securities industry regulator FINRA, sheds light on the basis for a warning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 8.


Sam’s Club Will Layoff About 2,300 Employees

sams' clubSam’s Club, the membership-only warehouse unit owned by Walmart, is laying off about 2,300 employees in its largest wave of job cuts in four years, the Wall Street Journal reports. It is one of several retail chains to announce steep job cuts in January.

The layoffs come amid an effort to compete with rival Costco and online competition like Amazon, which has its own club-like service called Amazon Prime. Assistant managers will comprise nearly half the layoffs as the unit looks to slim down its managerial staff.


JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon pay rises to $20m in 2013

Jamie DimonThe chairman and chief executive of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, will be paid $20m (£12.1m) for the past year's work.

Mr Dimon's pay was cut to $11.5m in 2012 following huge trading losses. This was half the $23m he received in 2011.

JP Morgan's profits fell 16% last year, after costs resulting from legal issues dented the bank's figures. For 2013, Mr Dimon was paid $1.5m as a basic salary, and an additional $18.5m in shares, the company said. Over the past year, JP Morgan has paid around $20bn to regulators for various violations relating to the US financial crisis.


85 richest people own 46% of world's wealth

wealthResearch conducted by the British charity Oxfam has concluded that the combined wealth of the world's 85 richest people is equivalent to that owned by the bottom half of the world's population.

Separately, the report, titled "Working for the Few," claims that the richest 1% on the planet — more than the 85 people whose bounty is comparable to the collective wealth of the poorest half — are rich to the tune of $110 trillion. "The top 1% have 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population," the study says.


Mystery in lower jobless rate: Why are adults dropping out of work force?

nemployedThe US unemployment rate fell significantly in December, but the big reason for the shift isn’t necessarily a comforting one for the economy.

The jobless rate dropped to 6.7 percent of the work force, the lowest level since October 2008. But the shift came only partly because unemployed people were finding work. Rather, the main driver of the change was people who exited the labor force by ceasing to look for work.

And this wasn’t a one-month anomaly. Rather, the trend of people opting out of the labor force has become a post-recession norm.


Why SAC Capital's Steven Cohen Isn't in Jail

Steven CohenManhattan on the morning of Nov. 8. The legal team represented Steven Cohen’s hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, which had agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle criminal charges that it had engaged in securities fraud. The hearing was the culmination of a long legal struggle between SAC and the government that has dramatically altered what was once one of Wall Street’s most powerful firms.

Eight former or current SAC employees have been charged with insider trading. Six of them have pleaded guilty; one, Mathew Martoma, is due to go on trial on Jan. 6, and another, Michael Steinberg, was convicted on Dec. 18 of insider trading in two technology stocks. Separately, Cohen was charged in a civil case with failing to supervise his employees by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is seeking to bar him from the securities industry.


Regulators seek to curb Wall Street trades with Volcker rule

Volcker ruleU.S. regulators toughened key sections of the Volcker rule's crackdown on Wall Street's risky trades on Tuesday as they finalized one of the harshest reforms after the credit meltdown.

The rule - named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who championed the reform - generally bans banks from proprietary trading, or speculative trading for their own profits.


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