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Dodd-Frank: Small banks near big win on rollback [Video]

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One of Dodd-Frank's most controversial rules, explained

One of Dodd-Frank’s most controversial rules, explained

Thousands of the country’s smallest banks and dozens of regional lenders may finally get the relief they’ve been aching for.

For the past eight years, banks like State Street, BB&T and SunTrust have fought tougher regulations crafted by Congress in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Banks argue those rules have hurt their ability to lend and help stimulate the economy.

Now those lenders are inching closer to a respite with the most significant changes ever prescribed to the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law.

“Main Street businesses and lenders tell me that they need some regulatory relief if we want jobs in rural America,” Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana said during a hearing to vet the bill in November. “These folks are not wearing slick suits in downtown New York or Boston. They are farmers, they are small business owners, they are first-time homebuyers.”

Backers of the plan argue that smaller financial institutions shouldn’t have to face the same set of strict rules as behemoth Wall Street banks that could endanger the whole financial system if they go under. Top bank regulators all agree fixes should be made for community banks.

Related: Fed official appointed by Trump lays out plan for easing bank rules

The fixes, which have support from both parties in Congress, would raise the threshold at which banks are considered “too big to fail.” That trigger, now set at $50 billion in assets, would rise to $250 billion.

That means more than two dozen midsize U.S. banks would be shielded from some Federal Reserve oversight.

They would no longer have to hold as much capital to cover losses on their balance sheets. They would not be required to have plans in place to be safely dismantled if they failed. And they would have to take the Fed’s bank health test only periodically, not once a year.

The American operations of big foreign banks, like Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Banco Santander, would also be exempt.

Progressive Democrats say the bill goes too far in rolling back necessary financial rules.

“This is a question of whose side are we on,” Senator Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, told CNNMoney in a statement. “It’s despicable for Congress to put Wall Street and foreign megabanks ahead of working families, especially at a time when banks are making record profits and benefiting from a massive tax giveaway.”

Related: Senators block proposed fixes to bill rolling back Dodd-Frank

The bill was crafted by Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, the chairman of the banking committee. It is backed by 12 mostly moderate Democrats and 12 Republicans.

Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell is expected to bring the bill to the Senate floor as early as the last week of February. That timing could slip to as late as mid-March as senators finish their 2017 homework.

Although the bill would be meaningful, it is narrowly focused. It is not nearly as sweeping as a House GOP-backed plan that would gut much of the 2010 law. Nor does it go as far as progressive Democrats would like in strengthening consumer protections.

Republicans want to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, while Democrats want better protections for student loan borrowers and stronger tools for consumers to control their credit reports.

But it is the final deal that Crapo brokered after several years of tough bipartisan negotiations.

What comes next will be a delicate negotiation to get a bipartisan bill across the finish line — an unusual feat in Congress these days.

Related: Trump vows to punish Wells Fargo for ‘bad acts’

Including Democratic support, the bill already has the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate. Republican leaders now have the added challenge of ensuring any changes to the bill won’t sacrifice a single vote.

“The margin of error is pretty small,” said Ian Katz, an analyst with Capital Alpha Partners.

No significant changes are expected, but protections could be strengthened for consumers against credit agencies like Equifax, and provisions could be added to help businesses get access to capital, according to those familiar with the process.

Related: Gary Cohn fears this is how the next crisis will happen

The biggest hurdle will be reconciling the Senate’s vision with demands by House Republican lawmakers, who would prefer to undo the Obama-era law altogether.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this month that he was “cautiously optimistic” that both Crapo and House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling would be able to sign off on a bill.

It remains unclear how much influence Hensarling will want in finalizing the legislation, a hallmark of his legacy before he retires at the end of this year.

He faces at least two immediate constraints. With no plans to run for re-election, Hensarling has limited time to hold up the process and make big changes to the Senate bill. Second, he has to be careful that any changes to the bill won’t alienate Democratic support and torpedo the bill.

Last summer, on a party-line vote, the House passed the Financial Choice Act, which would undo much of the 2010 regulations and give the president the power to fire the director of the consumer bureau.

Since then, Hensarling, a Texas Republican, has worked to advance several bills with strong bipartisan support that would give consumers greater access to credit and cut red tape on businesses and banks.

Related: Too-big-to-fail banks keep getting bigger

Analysts say that legislative strategy could give Hensarling a stronger hand if he wants to change the Senate bill.

But Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at Compass Point Research, said even with the passage of standalone bipartisan bills, the odds are increasing that House lawmakers will have to accept the Senate bill as the clock runs out.

“The House is going to be caught between a rock and a hard place,” Boltansky said.

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The business value of High Availability storage environments from HPE & Veeam [Video]

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MBA boosts commercial/multifamily team with pair of hires [Video]

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The Mortgage Bankers Association recently enhanced its commercial/multifamily team with a pair of experienced hires.

Sharon Walker joined the MBA in late January as the associate vice president of multifamily. Walker will report to Tom Kim, MBA’s senior vice president of commercial/multifamily.

Walker brings many years of experience in commercial and multifamily real estate, particularly in servicing and asset management, to her new role at the MBA. Prior to joining the trade group, Walker was managing director at RED Mortgage Capital.

Earlier in her career, Walker served as vice president of asset management at Walker & Dunlop.

Also joining the MBA is Andrew Foster, who will serve as director, commercial/multifamily.

Foster joined the MBA earlier this month from Fitch Ratings, where he served as director of commercial mortgage. In this role, Foster served as an analyst covering ratings for non-agency and agency commercial mortgage-backed securities.

Earlier in his career, Foster spent time with S&P Global Ratings and C-III Asset Management.

At the MBA, Foster will focus on member engagement and work to increase activities in the capital markets.

Foster will report to Kathy Marquardt, MBA’s vice president of commercial/multifamily.

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Michael B. Jordan added 15 pounds of muscle after 'Creed' to play the villain in… [Video]

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Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan in “Black Panther.”

Disney/Marvel Studios
  • Celebrity trainer Corey Calliet put Michael B. Jordan through a grueling weightlifting regimen to make him look like a convincing superhero bad guy in “Black Panther.”
  • The two worked out six days a week in the months leading up to production. Jordan would eat six meals a day.
  • He gained 15 pounds of muscle for the role.
  • Calliet also worked with Jordan to get him into incredible shape for the movie “Creed.”

Michael B. Jordan was in the best shape of his life when he played the title character in the hit movie “Creed,” but to play a superhero villain in “Black Panther,” he knew he had to be superhero big. And there was only one guy who could get him there.

Celebrity trainer Corey Calliet has been working with Jordan since they connected on the set of 2015’s “Fantastic Four.” At that time Calliet said Jordan could barely lift 25 pounds, but by the end of filming one of the movie’s producers asked Calliet to slow down the training because Jordan could barely fit into his Johnny Storm suit.

Calliet said when Jordan contacted him about playing Erik Killmonger in “Black Panther” the actor only sent him a picture of the character from the comic book.

“He told me, ‘I need to look like this,’ and it’s a picture of Killmonger fighting Black Panther,” Calliet told Business Insider. “He was very big, so I knew I had to make Mike look like a free safety or a Marine. If you want to be a villain you have to have that savage type of demeanor.

To get Jordan to that kind of body type, Calliet would put him through a very different kind of regimen compared to “Creed.”

As Calliet did a lot of cardio work to get Jordan into a boxer look to play Adonis Creed, for Killmonger he needed the actor to put on muscle. That meant doing a weightlifting program to give him intense muscle training.

It was nothing fancy, just basic weight training: bench press, lat pull-downs, and dead lifts — all while eating six meals a day. They went on for six days a week for a few months leading up to production.

The work then intensified to interval training closer to shooting.

Dumbbell curls to lat pull-downs; dips to pull-ups to push-ups; incline bench press to fly presses.

At one point, Jordan was lifting 115-pound dumbbells.

Calliet said Jordan added 15 pounds of muscle from “Creed” to “Black Panther.” The trainer said none of it was fun for Jordan, and that’s just what Calliet intended.

“The way I train, the person never gets used to it,” Calliet said. “I would have him do squats and then move right to burpees — that’s not a good feeling. It was nothing that was enjoyable.”

But it’s the finished product that both men strived for, and they can’t be happier with the result. Calliet said he got chills seeing Jordan on-screen.


Marvel

“When I was bodybuilding competing the saying always was, ‘Shows are won from the back,’ so that scene where Killmonger and Black Panther fight, you can see Mike’s back and the definition and the lat spread, all the work we put in is highlighted in that one scene.”

Yet the work continues today. With shooting for “Creed 2” beginning in April, Calliet and Jordan have been training getting the actor back to looking like a boxer.

“We were in New York City working out at 3 a.m. the other day,” Calliet said. “I promise you, the body I’m bringing to the screen for ‘Creed 2’ is going to be better than any of the work I’ve ever done.”

“Black Panther” is playing in theaters.

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Help out your dad at home #RightNow. Download the Western Union app [Video]

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The Army is testing a replacement for the Hellfire missile — and pilots like what they see [Video]

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A US Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/US Air Force
  • The Army and Navy are testing a missile to replace the vaunted Hellfire.
  • Pilots trying out the missile have spoken highly of its capabilities.
  • More testing is slated before the missile is deployed for combat operations.

US Army aviators have been putting the new Joint Air-to-Ground Missile through its paces, as the program works its way to its next milestone, a low-rate initial production decision.

The JAGM is meant to provide precision standoff-strike capability to target high-value fixed and moving targets, both armored and unarmored, even in poor weather conditions. It will replace several air-launched missiles, including the AGM-114 Hellfire, which has seen extensive use in the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The versatility and simplicity of the new missile won high marks from pilots testing it.

“Before, we had to put a lot of thought into, ‘What do I need?’ As soon as I launch, I don’t get to come back and change out my missiles,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 John Bilton, the first nonexperimental test pilot to fire the missile late last year. “In combat, you don’t want to encounter a target you need to hit and not have on-board the right missile for the job.”

Pilots fire the new Joint Air-to-Ground Missile during testing at Cibola Range, Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in support of deliberate-attack mission against armored-ground-vehicle targets.

US Army/Tad Browning, Army Operational Test Command Public Affairs

The JAGM combines semi-active laser guidance, like that used on the Hellfire II, and millimeter-wave radar, like that used by the Longbow Hellfire, into a single system. Paired with a Hellfire Romeo warhead, motor, and flight-control system, the new missile is designed to hit vehicles and personnel in the open. A programmable delay feature allows it penetrate buildings or vehicles before detonating.

The JAGM is an Army program, but it has joint requirements for the Navy and Marine Corps. Lockheed Martin won the engineering and manufacturing development contract in summer 2015. Army and Marine Corps attack helicopters will be the first to see it, though it could eventually make its way on to any aircraft that fires Hellfires, such as unmanned vehicles like the MQ-9 Reaper drone.

In addition to allowing the aircrew to fire from outside the range of defense systems, the new missile is designed to protect them with a terminal-guidance capability, which allows the aircraft to leave the area after firing. The aircrew can switch the missile’s guidance between the semi-active laser or a radio frequency within seconds.

Hellfire missiles on the rails of a US Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra.
Wikimedia Commons

“Using a SAL missile, the last six seconds of the missile flight is the most critical to keep your laser sight on target,” said Michael Kennedy, an experimental test pilot with the Aviation Flight Test Directorate at Redstone Test Center.

“If you’re getting shot at and your line of sight goes off the target, your missile misses,” Kennedy added. “JAGM can start off using the laser, then transition to the radar portion and still hit the target if the crew has to use evasive maneuvers.”

“The ability to not have to put the laser directly on the target and let the adversary know that you are about to kill him is a tremendous benefit,” said Al Maes, an aviation weapons technical adviser for the Training and Doctrine Command’s Capability Manager Recon Attack.

“Once you have the missile off the rail and encounter smoke or dust or fog, a regular laser missile could lose that target,” Maes said in an Army release. “With JAGM, I have a pretty good guarantee that I am going to kill that target with a single missile instead of multiple missile shots.”

In May 2016, a JAGM was successfully tested from an unmanned aircraft, hitting a truck going roughly 20 mph at a distance of about five miles at testing area in Utah. In December, an Apache successfully tested a JAGM off the coast of Florida, hitting a boat from about 2.5 miles away, using both laser and radar sensors for guidance. The Navy also successfully tested the missile from an AH-1Z attack helicopter in December at a site in Maryland.

TSGT Scott Reed, U.S. Air Force, Wikipedia

Overall, as of September 2017, the Army had done two successful ground launches and 20 successful test launches from an Apache, according to a January report from the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, which covered fiscal year 2017.

Eighteen of those 20 air-launch tests hit their intended targets under test conditions. Four of those launches included a live warhead — one of which failed to detonate. The DOTE report says that failure analysis is currently underway to find the root cause.

The report also said testing showed that Apache targeting systems “occasionally generate erroneous target velocities that are passed to the missile without cueing the gunner of the errors.” Initial cybersecurity testing on the missile found what the DOTE report called a Category 1 vulnerability: “A trained and knowledgeable cyber analyst could gain access to the missile-guidance software.”

The JAGM program plans to test-fire 48 more missiles to support its Milestone C goal in fiscal year 2019, which begins in October 2018. Operational tests are complete, but developmental testing, including new software to support the JAGM’s use on the Apache, will continue at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

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New Penn Financial expands into Nevada with launch of Synergy Home Mortgage [Video]

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New Penn Financial, a mortgage lender that is owned by Shellpoint Partners, announced Monday that it is expanding into Nevada by launching Synergy Home Mortgage.

Synergy Home Mortgage will be based in Reno, and is licensed to operate thought the state of Nevada.

Synergy is also a joint venture between New Penn and local real estate firms Dickson Realty and Ferrari-Lund Real Estate. The company will focus on partnering with local Realtors and real estate agents to “provide a complete line of residential mortgage products” for homebuyers in northern Nevada.

Synergy will operate under New Penn’s Shelter Mortgage subsidiary, which New Penn acquired back in 2014. Shelter now has more than 25 joint venture and partner relationships in more than 30 states.

“New Penn Financial and Shelter Mortgage are excited to grow the JV space and committed to expanding across the US by partnering with real estate offices who want to provide a full-service offering to their local client base,” Corey Caster, CEO of Shelter Mortgage, said. “We’re excited for this partnership with Dickson Realty and Ferrari-Lund, who have the number one and number two market share in Washoe County.”

The new joint venture will be led by Dereck Bowlen, who will serve Synergy Home Mortgage’s branch manager.

“Our loan officers are based right here in Reno, and they are readily available for face-to-face meetings with clients and to answer questions, address issues, and move buyers smoothly through the mortgage process,” Bowlen said. “Through our partnership with New Penn, we’re able to provide competitive pricing and low fees, which means more purchasing power for Realtors and their clients.”

The partnership is the latest move for New Penn, which is set to be acquired by New Residential Investment Corp.

Late last year, New Residential announced that it planned to acquire Shellpoint, which owned in part by Lewis Ranieri’s Ranieri Partners, in a $190 million deal.

Shellpoint is the parent company of several subsidiaries, New Penn, Shellpoint Mortgage ServicingAvenue 365, a title and settlement services provider, and eStreet, an appraisal management company.

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Natural Listing Ads?: Rank Higher On Google & Bing – Marketing 360? [Video]

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Steve Wynn won't get a severance package [Video]

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How Steve Wynn changed the face of Vegas

How Steve Wynn changed the face of Vegas

Steve Wynn will not be getting a severance package.

The Wynn Resorts founder and CEO resigned last month after numerous women accused him of sexual misconduct. He would have been owed hundreds of millions in severance had he been fired.

But Wynn agreed to leave without a golden parachute. No bonus. No severance. No compensation of any sort in connection with his resignation, according to a statement Wynn Resorts filed to the SEC on Friday.

The agreement also says that Wynn has to leave a villa he lives in on the property of the Wynn Las Vegas no later than June 1, and that he will pay rent for the property until he leaves. The agreement also states that he’ll keep his health insurance through the end of the year and administrative support until the end of May. He’ll be barred from competing with Wynn Resorts for two years, and will also be required to “provide reasonable cooperation” in any litigation brought against the company.

Still, Wynn is walking away with 12.1 million shares of the company’s stock, worth about $2 billion. It has lost about $443 million in value since the allegations became public. He cannot sell more than one third of those shares in any one quarter. He has stated he has no intention at this time to sell shares.

Shares got a brief lift upon news of his departure last week, but soon gave back those gains.

Wynn was paid handsomely as CEO. The company has yet to disclose his pay package for last year. But his total compensation for 2016 came to $28.2 million, and over the last five years of reported income his total compensation came to $111.6 million.

Related: Steve Wynn is gone, but his company’s board is still under scrutiny

Wynn had a contract with the company that would have kept him employed as CEO and chairman through October 2022. It would have paid him nearly $250 million had he been dismissed from the company “without cause.”

Other executives have collected large severance packages after losing their jobs because of sexual harassment allegations. For example, former Fox News President Roger Ailes received $47 million in severance when he left 21st Century Fox (FOX), according to court filings. Ailes, who has since passed away, denied the allegations

Laurent Potdevin, who headed athletic clothing company Lululemon (LULU), received a $5 million exit package just this month after he was dismissed for violating a company “conduct policy.” Details of that misconduct have not been disclosed.

Related: Steve Wynn allegations punish his company’s stock

Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO on February 6, following a January 26 story in The Wall Street Journal describing a series of allegations of misconduct by Wynn involving female employees of the company.

Wynn has denied the allegations and called them “preposterous.” But he said in his resignation announcement that given the publicity about the allegations made against him, “I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”

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Some people are exploiting the latest Apple bug to crash your iPhone via Twitter [Video]

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Apple CEO Tim Cook.

AP Images / J. Scott Applewhite

There’s an Apple software bug currently affecting iPhones, iPads, and Macs — and some pranksters are taking advantage of it.

The bug means a keyboard character from the Indian language Telugu can crash applications as soon as it shows up in a text field.

As Mashable first reported, a number of Twitter users are intentionally posting the Telugu character in hope that it will show up in some people’s timelines, and crash their device whether they see it intentionally or by accident.

The bug is huge, not only because it concerns all of Apple’s devices, but also because all versions of current operating systems are at risk.

The only safe version is iOS 11.3, which is currently in beta, and it’s not clear when Apple plans to release it more broadly.

It’s also unclear whether the company will decide to release a dedicated bug-fixing update first, but it has acknowledged the bug and is working to fix it.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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