Wells Fargo chief to forfeit $41m, famine fears in Nigeria and how the West could be lost

John Stumpf forfeits more than $41m in pay as the board investigates the bank’s sales tactics

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John Stumpf, the chief executive and chairman of Wells Fargo, the US’s third-largest bank by assets, will forfeit $41m in pay awards and some of his salary as the board launches an investigation into the bank’s aggressive sales tactics.

The US bank was slapped with a record $185m fine by the US consumer finance watchdog after regulators found that staff, racing to meet sales targets, secretly opened millions of accounts without customers’ knowledge. About 5,300 employees lost their jobs as a result of the misconduct since 2011.

The penalty is a change from the past, when despite scandals at large banks, no CEO had to refund a bonus. Shares of the company have fallen nearly 10 per cent since September 8 when it reached a settlement with regulators. (FT, Reuters)

In the news

Nigeria famine warning A million people are at risk of famine in northeastern Nigeria, according to the UN. The crisis has been fuelled by the Boko Haram militant group, which has laid waste to much of the region in a years-long insurgency. But there has been little aid delivered to the millions still living in the area, with humanitarian groups saying they lack resources to effectively tackle the crisis. The news comes amid clashes in southeastern Nigeria that are being called the country’s “third conflict”. (FT, Economist)

Shimon Peres, 1923-2016 The former Israeli leader and Nobel Prize-winning peacemaker, who coined the phrase “the new Middle East”, has died at the age of 93 with the region still sadly reminiscent of — or arguably worse than — the old one. (FT)

WTO cuts 2016 world trade growth forecast The organisation said it had cut its estimate by more than a third because of the slowdown in China and falling levels of imports into the US, revising the figure down to 1.7 per cent. (Reuters)

Slow progress for women A new survey by S&P shows that there are just 14 women CEOs in Europe’s 350 biggest companies. While this is a doubling of the number of women since 2009, females still only hold 4 per cent of the top roles. (FT)

Gifts just shrank in South Korea A tough new anti-graft law came into effect in South Korea on Wednesday, placing strict limits on the amount that civil servants, teachers and journalists can spend on entertainment. The measure will do more than just fight corruption; it will change how business is done — and the restaurant industry is already preparing for billions of dollars in lost revenue. (NAR)

It's a big day for

Malaysia Airlines A Dutch-led international team of prosecutors investigating the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 will release its findings. (BBC)

UK Labour party After being re-elected leader by a clear margin, Jeremy Corbyn will call on the party to end its “trench warfare” and work together to hold the government to account. (FT)

Food for thought

How the west could be lost Martin Wolf on why a Trump presidency would mean democracy had lost all credibility as a model for civilised political life. (FT)

Elon Musk’s mission to Mars The billionaire founder of SpaceX has laid out details of his plans to establish a colony on Mars. Mr Musk said his spacecraft could take humans to the red planet in about a decade, but it would take 40 years to a century before a city could become self-sufficient. (NYT)

FBI jihadi bungle An attempt by the FBI to use convicted criminal Craig Monteilh to infiltrate what it thought was a jihadi cell went pear-shaped when the alarmed congregation of the California mosque he “infiltrated” became so alarmed at his apparent enthusiasm for terrorism that they reported him to the police. The excesses exposed by the operation has led leading US Muslim organisations to suspend contact with the Bureau. (Independent)

D-Day near miss Newly declassified files show that the world war two D-Day landings were nearly scuppered by a marital spat. The homesick wife of a Spanish MI5 agent threatened to reveal his role as a double agent to the Nazis so that she could return to her homeland. The agent, who had given the Germans false information about the D-Day landings, worked with his handlers to trick his wife into believing that he had been jailed because of her threat. (Guardian)

The city under the ice On the surface, Camp Century — a 3km network of tunnels that housed 200 troops eight metres below the ice in Greenland — was a scientific outpost. In reality, it served as cover for an altogether different project: a feasibility study for a huge nuclear launch site under the ice. And now, the receding caps threaten to expose the abandoned military tomb. (The Guardian)

Video of the day

EM currencies react to US debate Roger Blitz and Michael Metcalfe, head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets, discuss how emerging market currencies behaved after Monday night’s US presidential debate and what could happen in the run-up to November's election. (FT)

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