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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily Briefing - 14 September 2018

Daily Briefing - 14 September 2018

Jamie Dimon's level of self-confidence is such that he can pick the tenth anniversary of the northern financial crisis to suggest that (a) he will in fact run for US president in 2020 and (b) he is smarter that Donald Trump. As Dealbreaker notes with relish, Jamie's year-long trolling of Donald Trump paid off yesterday when the US president took to Twitter to suggest that '[The] problem with banker Jamie Dimon running for President is that he doesn't have the aptitude or 'smarts' & is a poor public speaker & nervous mess — otherwise he is wonderful. I've made a lot of bankers, and others, look much smarter than they are with my great economic policy!' As Dealbreaker comments: "Again, you can elect to see this as Jamie just having a relaxed honest chat with one of those cool chill bro types who work at the FT. We will be smarter though, and point out that this was something JPM's comms people set up, Jamie delivered on, and the timing was planned well in advance. Jamie also took the opportunity to suggest that unlike Donald, he actually earned his money. What is not to love about this?

We suggested earlier this week that Thomas Borgen could not survive long at Danske Bank in any normal world, and notes showing up in the FT yesterday indicate Danske Bank is preparing to throw Mr Borgen under the bus. Someone at Danske Bank seems to be sharing notes from the internal investigation with the press. These memos appear to show that Borgen was aware of the extraordinary numbers at the bank's Estonian branch. "A person involved in the investigation called the minutes one of the most important documents from the probe. 'This was the point at which a decision was made not to stop this business,' the person said." This suggests that Mr Borgen knew all about the supercharged Estonian branch and allowed operations to continue, even as JPMorgan severed its correspondent banking operation with Dankse in Estonia over doubts about the branch's customers. Even Deutsche Bank had to explain to Dankse that it has to recuse itself as correspondent bank. "In that connection, a senior employee from the correspondent bank in question assessed that out of 10 non-resident customers from the Estonian branch, the correspondent bank would be comfortable only with servicing one given the customers' characteristics," the report said.

What is behind Blackstone's acquisition of a major stake in new Baltic bank Luminor? Lithuania and Estonia are fairly much on the frontlines of all things digital. Lithuania is pitching itself as the blockchain-friendly northern territory which Estonia pitches itself as a digital-first leader. Majority joint owners of the bank Nordea and DNB will sell a 60 percent stake of Luminor to Blackstone but will continue to hold a smaller stake. "We want to be among Luminor's minority shareholders because we believe that the company is valuable to its customers, employers and shareholders," DNB CFO Kjerstin Braathen said. "The bank has a strong digital focus, very competent employees and a comprehensive representation in the Baltic states." Blackstone said in a statement that the transaction represented the largest majority stake acquisition of a "universal bank by private equity in the last decade globally".


JPMorgan Chase and Danske Bank scored three stars, and Deutsche Bank, Nordea and DNB scored two stars in the 2017 Benchmarking report. The maximum score is five stars.

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