European interest rates get no cut
FRANKFURT — The European Central Bank withheld the stimulus of an interest rate cut Wednesday, keeping up the pressure on eurozone politicians to take decisive action – even as growth predictions worsened and fears intensified that Spain may need help bailing out its banks.
The 23-member governing council left its benchmark refinancing rate unchanged Wednesday at a record low 1.0 percent.
Regulator faults JPMorgan controls
WASHINGTON — JPMorgan Chase had weak controls in place to contain risk in its investment division that suffered a $2 billion-plus trading loss, a key federal regulator said Wednesday.
U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry told the Senate Banking Committee that the nation’s largest bank began reducing the amount of hedging it was doing to minimize potential losses at the end of 2011.
Curry’s agency is examining JPMorgan’s risk-containment policies in the weeks before it suffered the trading loss.
A Federal Reserve official told the Senate panel that a draft rule that seeks to prevent banks from trading for their own profit might have flagged JPMorgan’s risks earlier.
Facebook glitches will cost Nasdaq
NEW YORK — The Nasdaq stock exchange said Wednesday that it plans to hand out $40 million in cash and credit to reimburse investment firms that got ensnared by technical problems while trading Facebook stock.
FINRA, the financial industry’s self-regulatory group, will review claims for compensation.
Facebook went public May 18 amid great fanfare. But computer glitches at the Nasdaq plagued the day. They delayed the opening of trading by a half-hour and kept some investors from buying shares in the morning, selling them later in the day, or even from knowing whether their orders went through. Some investors said they were left holding shares they didn’t want.
In other news
THE LABOR Department said Wednesday that U.S. worker productivity – the amount of output per hour of work – fell at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the first quarter. That’s faster than the initial 0.5 percent annual decline for the period estimated last month.
THREE VOTING members of the Federal Reserve’s policy committee signaled Wednesday that they would support further action by the Fed if the economy weakens. Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to testify today on Capitol Hill and could provide further guidance on Fed policy.
– From wire reports