Joy At Bank of America, Possible Pain At JPMorgan

The New York Post reports that Bank of America is to pay back its $45bn of US government bailout money before the end of the year, leaving just Citi and Wells Fargo as the only two major banks still in debt to the taxpayer.

The bank will use $26.2bn in 'excess liquidity', $18.8bn raised through securities sales, and $4bn from planned asset sales to end its US federal bailout nightmare. The smart money feels that this move will make it easier for the bank to land a new CEO, as the compensation restrictions imposed on BofA (as a major bailout recipient) will be lifted once the funds have been repaid.

In the meantime, Bloomberg reports that, according to Sandford C. Bernstein analyst John McDonald, JPMorgan may lose as much as $3bn in revenues in the event that derivatives trades move to exchanges. The US Congress is currently considering legislation to increase oversight, which may result in certain trading restrictions.

And The Independent reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has basically been told to grow up, and stop gloating over the appointment of  Frenchman Michel Barnier as the EU new financial markets Commissioner. Sarkosy said earlier this week that Barnier would rein in the 'free-wheeling Anglo-Saxon' banking risk model, but Angela Knight, the CEO of the British Bankers Association, has retorted that the French President has 'undermined the EU with his statements, and put a question mark over the impartiality of his nominated commissioner that will not be easily dispelled'.

The Financial Times reports that UK banks are thought to have around $5bn in exposure to Dubai World, with Royal Bank of Scotland believed to be the most exposed - to the tune of between $1bn and $2bn.

Finally, The New York Daily News reports that 73-year-old cabaret singer Cynthia Crane, whose family is said to have been 'wiped out' by Bernie Madoff, is putting on a one-woman show - John Denver, Bernie Madoff & Me - which opens in the Big Apple on Monday.

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