Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said Friday that Bank of America BAC will buy Signature Bank SBNY on Monday, as bigger systemic banks continue in their efforts to rescue distressed smaller banks.
The CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management has recently campaignedfor an unlimited systemwide guarantee on deposits, in contrast to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who reaffirmed the $250,000 insurance cap this week.
Until a full deposit insurance isachieved, the cost of capital for smaller banks will rise, forcing them to merge or be bought by bigger institutions, in Ackman's view.
I am hearing that Bank of America is going to buy Signature Bank on Monday. Unless and until we can protect uninsured deposits, the cost of capital is going to rise for smaller banks pushing them to merge or be acquired by the SIBs. I dont think this is good for America,Ackman wrote on Twitter.
Benzinga has contacted Bank of America for comment on Ackman's remarks.
Read next:Elon Musk Reacts As Bill Ackman Flags First Republic's Risk Spreading To Largest Banks: '…Astounding'
Goldman SachsAnalyst Remains Optimistic: The hedge fund manager also said Twitter that First Republic Bank FRC 's "default risk is now being spread to our largest banks and added that spreading the risk of financial contagion to achieve a false sense of confidence in FRB is bad policy.
Bank of America participatedin the consortium of large banks injecting a total of $30 billion into First Republic Bank this week.
Ackman downplayed the efficacy of the $30-billion capital infusion into FRB and stated that "half measures don't work when there is a crisis of confidence."
According to Goldman Sachs equity analyst Ryan Nash, the plan to inject capital into FRBwill allow the firm to manage short-term deposit withdrawals in an orderly fashion, although earnings will likely be negatively impacted.
Bank of America BAC , Citigroup C , JP Morgan Chase & Co. JPM , and Wells Fargo WFC were the main contributors to the FRC deposit injection, each providing $5 billion.
Goldman Sachs GS and Morgan Stanley MS each contributed $2.5 billion, while Bank of New York Mellon Corp BK , State Street Corp STT , PNC Financial Services Group Inc PNC ,
Truist Financial Corp TFC , and UBS Group AG UBS each chipped $1 billion.Each bank provided 3% of its tangible common equity (TCE), Nash said in the note.
BankingStocks Continue Selloff:Friday was another bloodbath for banking stocks. FRC plunged 32%, WFC fell 4%, BAC was down 3.8%, JPM fell 3.7%, MS lost3.4%, GS tumbled3.3%, and C retreated by 3%.
S&P 500 financial companies: price performance on March 17, 2023. Chart: TradingView
The Financial Select Sector SPDR FundXLF lost 3% on Friday, underperforming versus all other sectors, and hitting the lowest level since mid-October 2022.
The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSE:KRE) fell 6% on Friday and has now shed 30% of its value in the last two weeks. KRE is trading at levels not seen since the COVID-19 vaccine was discovered in November 2020.
KRE weekly price chart and RSI. Chart: TradingView
Photo via Shutterstock.
Microsoft Bing now uses OpenAI’s DALL-E A.I. to turn text into images
OpenAI displayed on screen with Microsoft Bing double photo exposure on mobile, seen in this photo illustration.
Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Microsoft on Tuesday added a new artificial intelligence-powered capability to its search slate: AI-generated visuals.
The new tool, powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E, will allow users to generate images using their own words, such as asking for a picture of “an astronaut walking through a galaxy of sunflowers,” the company explained in a press release.
The feature, called “Bing Image Creator,” will be available to Bing and Microsoft Edge users in preview. It will first roll out in the search engine’s “Creative Mode.” Eventually, it’ll become fully integrated into the Bing chat experience, the company added.
On Microsoft Edge, the image generator will become available in the browser’s search bar.
Microsoft has bolstered its AI-assisted search functions in recent months, first announcing AI-powered updates to Bing and Edge in early February.
Last week, the tech giant also announced it would add its generative AI technology to some of its most popular business apps, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
Excitement around the promise of generative AI has been driven in large part by the runaway success of ChatGPT, which was released by Microsoft-backed OpenAI in November.
As Microsoft’s new capabilities became available to users, some beta testers identified issues, including threats, unhelpful advice and other glitches.
Microsoft says it’s taken steps to curb the misuse of Bing Image Creator by working with OpenAI to develop safety measures for the public.
These safety measures include controls “that aim to limit the generation of harmful or unsafe images,” plus a modified Bing icon that will be added to the bottom left corner of images, with the goal of clarifying the images were created using AI, Microsoft said.
Microsoft’s tiered approach to Bing Image Creator’s rollout is also inspired by the iterative approach the company attempted with past releases.
“People used it in some ways we expected and others we didn’t,” Microsoft said of Bing’s new capabilities. “In this spirit of learning and continuing to build new capabilities responsibly, we’re rolling out Bing Image Creator in a phased approach by flighting with a set of preview users before expanding more broadly.”
Russia says it scrambled fighter jet to intercept two US bombers over Baltic Sea
A Russian Su-35 fighter jet was scrambled to intercept two US strategic bombers over the Baltic Sea, Russia’s defence ministry has said.
“Two air targets flying in the direction of the state border of the Russian Federation” were detected by radar on Monday, it said in a statement on the social media platform Telegram.
The aircraft were identified as two US Air Force B-52 strategic bombers “flying in the direction of the Russian Federation’s state border”.
A Su-35 fighter jet took to the air to prevent a border violation, the ministry continued.
“After the foreign military aircraft moved away from the Russian Federation state border, the Russian fighter returned to its base airfield,” it added.
The National Defense Center of the Russian Federation said: “The flight of the Russian fighter was carried out in strict accordance with the international rules for the use of airspace.
“Violations of the state border of the Russian Federation are not allowed.”
The US has not yet responded to the claim.
It comes after the crash of a US military surveillance drone into the Black Sea on 14 March after it was intercepted by Russian jets.
The US Air Force released a video it said showed a Russian jet intercepting the drone and dumping fuel on it over the Black Sea.
I was a fighter pilot – this is how the US drone crash happened
It said two Russian Su-27 jets flew close to the MQ-9 Reaper before one hit its propeller and forced remote operators to crash it into the ocean.
The incident highlighted the increasing risk of direct confrontation between the superpowers as fighting continues in nearby Ukraine.
American officials accused the Russian pilots of flying in a “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner”.
Moscow denied the jets behaved dangerously and said they didn’t come into contact with the drone, claiming it crashed due to “sharp manoeuvring”.
What happens if Donald Trump is arrested?
Donald Trump has claimed he is set to be arrested over an alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
If right in his assertion, the former US president could be charged by authorities in New York within days.
But what will happen if he is indicted – and how will both sides present their case?
What Trump has said
In a post on his Truth Social platform on Saturday, Mr Trump said he expected to be arrested on Tuesday and urged his supporters to protest against the authorities if he is detained and indicted.
He published a long statement describing the investigation as a “political witch-hunt trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party”.
“I did absolutely nothing wrong,” he said, before criticising a “corrupt, depraved and weaponised justice system”.
However, it’s worth noting a spokesperson for Mr Trump said he had not been notified of any pending arrest.
The case – that the Republican made a payment to Ms Daniels towards the end of the 2016 presidential campaign in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair – is one of several related to Mr Trump.
Other ongoing cases include a Georgia election interference probe and two federal investigations into his role in the 6 January insurrection in the US Capitol.
What has happened with Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram pages?
Mike Pence won’t commit to supporting Trump in 2024
What Trump will do
Mr Trump has accused Manhattan’s district attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, of targeting him for political gain, and may try to argue for the dismissal of the charges on those grounds.
He could also challenge whether the statute of limitations – five years in this instance – should have run out.
But in New York, the statute of limitations can be extended if the defendant has been out of state – Trump may argue that serving as US president should not apply.
Politically, how any possible indictment may affect Mr Trump’s chances in the 2024 presidential election is unclear.
Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts
He could be the first former US president to face criminal prosecution – right as polls show him leading other potential rivals for the Republican nomination, including controversial Florida governor Ron DeSantis.
This could lead to the unprecedented situation in which Mr Trump would stand trial as he campaigns in 2024.
If elected, he would not have the power to pardon himself of criminal charges.
In any case, Mr Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina told CNBC on Friday that he would surrender if charged. If he refused to come voluntarily, prosecutors could seek to have him extradited from Florida, where he currently lives.
In an ironic twist, as governor, Mr DeSantis would typically have to give formal approval for an extradition.
Trump arrest ‘would be politically motivated’
What prosecutors will do
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has spent nearly five years investigating Mr Trump.
It has presented evidence to a New York grand jury that relates to a £114,000 ($130,000) payment to Ms Daniels during the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
It is alleged the payment was given in exchange for Ms Daniels’ silence about an affair between her and Mr Trump.
Mr Trump has denied the affair and accused Ms Daniels of extortion.
Any indictment by the district attorney’s office would require Mr Trump to travel to its New York office to surrender.
But Mr Trump’s lawyers will likely arrange a date and time with authorities, as it is a white-collar case. And then his mugshot and fingerprints would be taken before appearing for arraignment in court.
Mr Trump could also be charged with falsifying business records – typically classed as a misdemeanour – after he reimbursed his former attorney Michael Cohen for the payments, falsely recorded as legal services.
To elevate it to a felony, prosecutors would have to show Mr Trump falsified records to cover up a second crime.
In any case, legal experts have estimated that any trial of the former US president would be more than a year away.
That’s why if it happened, it could coincide with the final months of a 2024 election in which Mr Trump seeks a controversial return to the White House.
Technology2 years ago
Game consoles were once banned in China. Now Chinese developers want a slice of the $49 billion pie
Politics1 year ago
Have the last few wobbly weeks seen a turning point for Johnson as PM?
Sports5 months ago
‘Storybook stuff’: Inside the night Bryce Harper sent the Phillies to the World Series
Sports1 year ago
Team Europe easily wins 4th straight Laver Cup
Politics1 year ago
Yvette Cooper promoted and Lisa Nandy to shadow Gove on levelling up brief in Labour reshuffle
Business6 months ago
Liz Truss’s ‘favourite’ economist says chancellor ‘took his eye off ball’ and ‘overstepped the mark’ with mini-budget
Politics1 year ago
Govt minister says she ‘doesn’t believe’ Stanley Johnson inappropriately touched MP
Videos6 months ago
World leaders come together for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral