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Money Stuff: Wells Fargo Swapped Some Digits

by
Matt Levine
Money Stuff
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Wells Fargo FX

  • Federal prosecutors announced a $72.6 million settlement with Wells Fargo for overcharging business FX (foreign exchange) customers. FX sales specialist would select the best rate for the Bank and the worst rate for the customer, known a practice known as "Range of Day" pricing internally.
  • How "Range of Day" works
    • A customer requests an FX trade
    • The bank says they'll execute the trade by the end of the day, but rather than charging the customer the market rate, they look at the price range of the currency (e.g., euros could trade as low as $1.16 and as high as $1.17).
    • They use the highest price of the range and charge that to customers, making a nice profit on the trade.

SPAC SPAC SPAC

  • Investors are pulling cash out of SPACs at increasingly higher rates, which casts doubt over claims that listing through a SPAC offers greater deal certainty than traditional IPO.
  • Some SPACs have heavy redemptions but are followed by wild price rallies driven by day traders (who hope to "squeeze" short-sellers) and social media platforms.

Zillow

  • Sean Gotcher, a real estate agent in Vegas, posted a TikTok video saying an unnamed company is manipulating housing prices in his home market by amassing an inventory of homes and then driving up their value.
    • Zillow came under fire because of this, though they were probably not the ones doing it.
    • Then again, it would make sense for Zillow to do this in order to sell houses for a higher price.

Future Receivables

  • West VA governor Jim Justice has offered a $300 million payment and half the value of his family coat business to settle loans with now-defunct Greenshill Capital.
    • The family is in talks with Credit Suisse, which manages investment funds that were Greenshill's main source of cash for its lending business.

Activision

  • Yesterday, Activision settled with the EEOC for $18 million for alleges sexual harassment and gender discrimination, but that's just 1 party of the 4 they are in trouble with.
    • They are also being sued by the CA Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing and their shareholders (for alleged securities fraud).
    • And they are being investigated by the SEC.
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