The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
SETTLE DOWN The Securities and Exchange Commission is negotiating with some of the biggest banks on Wall Street about settling fraud allegations connected to the financial crisis. Some of the Fortune 500 banks in negotiations with the SEC include JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Citigroup (C).
Even though this marks the most significant attempt made by the SEC to hold banks accountable for selling the subprime mortgages that fueled the crisis, it’s unlikely that any of the banks’ settlements will cost more than the $550 million that Goldman Sachs (GS) paid the SEC last year. [Wall Street Journal]
EARLY WARNING SIGNS AT JPMORGAN regarding Bernie Madoff’s unsavory banking. An updated court filing suggests that a senior official at JPMorgan heard evidence that Madoff may have been running a Ponzi scheme as early as 2007, but ignored it. [Financial Times]
A LITTLE SUGAR for the bank now though, since Dunkin’ Brands asked JPMorgan and Barclay’s capital to lead the initial IPO of Dunkin’ Donuts. The IPO should go down this summer and could exceed $500 million. [New York Times]
BOFA SEEKS ASSISTANCE from former SEC enforcement chief Gary Lynch. The bank called Lynch in to help it navigate through potential legal problems, as well as its broken relationship with the Fed, which recently blocked Bank of America’s (BAC) proposed dividend increase. [Fortune]
SPLIT PLEASE Shareholders and consumer groups are urging CVS Caremark (CVS) to split into two separate entities. The company formed out of a drugstore chain and pharmacy benefit manager four years ago. Now, consumer groups are saying that CVS is sharing classified information between its two arms. Also, some shareholders think the company would generate more value if split into two.
CVS has said it has no plans of dividing. [New York Times]
GM OPTIMISTIC DESPITE PARTS SHORTAGE from the damage caused to auto part factories during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. GM is (GM) prepared to work through it, CEO Dan Akerson assured the audience at the Society of Automotive Engineers conference in Detroit. [Wall Street Journal]