Citigroup had to pay a $285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers - securities that it knew were likely to go bust - and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities - that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust.
One of the Federal Reserve s primary roles is to be the lender of last resort to banks. It played that role to the tune of stunning $1.2 trillion during the financial-system crisis that began in 2007, according to data compiled for the first time by Bloomberg News.
Watching the evolution of economic discussion in Washington over the past couple of years has been a disheartening experience. Month by month, the discourse has gotten more primitive; with stunning speed, the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis regulation is always bad, what s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir have regained their hold.
Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom, indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses.
PRESIDENT Obama, the Rodney Dangerfield of 2010, gets no respect for averting another Great Depression, for saving 3.3 million jobs with stimulus spending, or for salvaging GM and Chrysler from the junkyard. And none of these good deeds, no matter how substantial, will go unpunished if the projected Democratic bloodbath materializes on Election Day. Some are even going unremembered. For Obama, the ultimate indignity is the Times/CBS News poll in September showing that only 8 percent of Americans know that he gave 95 percent of American taxpayers a tax cut.
About a month after Washington Mutual Bank made a multimillion-dollar mortgage loan on a mountain home near Santa Barbara, Calif., a crucial piece of paperwork disappeared. But bank officials were unperturbed. After conducting a "due and diligent search," an assistant vice president simply drew up an affidavit stating that the paperwork - a promissory note committing the borrower to repay the mortgage - could not be found, according to court documents
Horror stories have been proliferating, like the case of the Florida man whose home was taken even though he had no mortgage. More significantly, certain players have been ignoring the law. Courts have been approving foreclosures without requiring that mortgage servicers produce appropriate documentation; instead, they have relied on affidavits asserting that the papers are in order. And these affidavits were often produced by "robo-signers," or low-level employees who had no idea whether their assertions were true.
As Wall Street drags its feet on reining in bonuses, the European Union is forcing its banks by law to show some self-restraint. The European Parliament on Wednesday approved one of the world s strictest crackdowns on exorbitant bank pay, going beyond some of the limits that many banks were pressed to adopt in the wake of the financial crisis.
But this year Chase s political action committee is sending the Democrats a pointed message. While it has contributed to some individual Democrats and state organizations, it has rebuffed solicitations from the national Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. Instead, it gave $30,000 to their Republican counterparts. The shift reflects the hard political edge to the industry s campaign to thwart Mr. Obama s proposals for tighter financial regulations.
Pension funds and insurance companies lost billions of dollars on securities that they believed were solid investments, according to former Goldman employees with direct knowledge of the deals who asked not to be identified because they have confidentiality agreements with the firm.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) Plans from Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup to repay taxpayer funds will put the U.S. government on track to reduce its bailout investments in banks by more than 75 percent, while earning a healthy profit for the U.S., Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Monday.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) U.S. authorities seized nine failed banks on Friday, the most in a single day since the financial crisis began and the latest stark sign that substantial parts of the nation's banking industry are being crippled by bad loans.