Investment firms have sharply increased the protection they buy to protect against macroeconomic shocks.» Read More
Banks will be accused of employing discriminatory credit standards when making mortgages in a series of fair housing complaints that a national consumer coalition plans to file beginning next week.
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition plans to challenge the widespread practice of requiring borrowers asking for FHA-backed loans to have higher FICO scores than the minimum required by the FHA, according to a report from Ken Harney at New Times .
The FHA requires a minimum FICO score of 500. Borrowers with down-payments as low as 3.5 percent must have a score of at least 580. Borrowers with scores between 500 and 580 must put a minimum of 10 percent down.
Several banks require higher rates. At the start of 2009, many banks moved their minimum FICO score for an FHA backed loan up to 620. Wells Fargo and Bank of America recently raised their required score to 640. FICO scores run from 300 to 850, with higher scores supposedly indicating a lower risk of future defaults.
The trustee seeking to recover funds for the victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is suing JPMorgan Chase for $6.4 billion. He claims that the firm profited from the fraud by acting as the primary banker for Maddoff's investment company.
Here's the official press release from the trustee:
The answer I suspect is this: Yes—but only in very small measure.
\(Let's not be grandiose, after all.\)
Despite the stock market’s relatively robust performance in 2010, this has been a bad year for active managers—in fact, as bad as it’s ever been.
Just one in four beat their benchmarks for the year, according to data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which said this is the “toughest year on record” for active management.
At the same time, the growth guys have mopped up the value guys, no matter what the world’s most famous value investor, Warren Buffett, says.
John Hofmeister has been one of the leading critics of the Obama administration's policies curtaining oil and gas drilling.
I interviewed Hofmeister, the former President and CEO of U.S. Operations for Shell Oil and Founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy, following the announcement that the Obama administration would not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year drilling plan.
When Rupert Murdoch hired Joel Klein—the now former New York City public schools' chancellor —to be an executive vice president at News Corp last month many were scratching their heads.
Why would a top educator join a media company in the middle of an academic year? And what exactly does Murdoch have in store for Klein?
Bank of America is running a big risk with its curt response to speculation earlier this week that it is the "big U.S. bank" that will be the subject of the next "mega leak" from WikiLeaks.
In an interview with Andy Greenberg of Forbes that was published on Monday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that his website would publish documents establishing an "ecosystem of corruption" inside a "big US bank." Immediately, people began trying to figure out which bank would be targeted. For one reason or another, a lot of people suspected that the bank in question was Bank of America.
Things got really serious, however, when an interview Assange did with Computer World magazine in October 2009 was discovered. In that interview, Assange said he had "5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive's hard drives."
The stock of Bank of America seems to have dropped on the news, losing 3.18 percent of its value on Tuesday.
Tuesday evening I spoke briefly with surprisingly terse Bank of America spokesman Scott Silvestri. He sent along a brief email with the bank's official response to the WikiLeaks story. I read the whole statement on the Kudlow Report Tuesday night, without attempting to interpret it. Here's what Silvestri sent:
Markets Await European Central Bank News Conference (CNBC via Reuters) "The European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold on Thursday at a policy meeting expected to see it keep unlimited liquidity operations in place for longer as the euro zone debt crisis rages unabated. But the ECB is unlikely to announce mass new bond purchases at a 1330 GMT news conference, despite growing speculation that it could rush through new anti-crisis measures, including government bond buying on a much larger scale."
Fed May Be ‘Central Bank of the World’ (Business Week via Bloomberg) As analysis of Fed data begins to trickle in, the global ramifications of the Fed's policy actions during the height of the 2008 crisis have been called into question. Particularly the assistance granted to non-U.S. financial institutions: "Federal Reserve data showing UBS AG and Barclays Plc ranked among the top users of $3.3 trillion from emergency programs is stoking debate on whether U.S. regulators bear responsibility for aiding other nations’ banks. UBS was the biggest borrower under the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, with $74.5 billion overall, more than twice as much as Citigroup Inc., the top U.S. bank recipient, according to the data released yesterday.
London-based Barclays Plc took the biggest single amount under another program that made overnight loans, when it got $47.9 billion on Sept. 18, 2008."
The Federal Reserve today released a trove of data on the emergency loans it made under a variety of programs during the financial crisis. The Fed’s data includes details on more than 21,000 transactions with financial companies and foreign central banks.
The data shows an unprecedented level of support for the global financial markets coming from the Fed, implying that the level of financial distress was perhaps even greater than previously understood.
The previously confidential data was required to be made public by a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, pushed for the provision to require greater transparency on the part of the Fed.
During the course of the financial crisis, the Fed launched a host of emergency programs that added $3 trillion of liquidity to the markets. Although many of the programs have been closed, the Fed still holds many of the assets it purchased.
While the Dodd-Frank law requires transparency for the new programs, it doesn’t require that the Fed reveal which financial companies turned to its traditional discount window during the crisis.
The Fed released information on at least eight different programs today. Below is our analysis of the use of the programs, based on our first reading of the data.
The founder of a hedge fund with $21 billion under management provided three investing rules and three favorite stocks.
Twitter account @GSElevator had earned John Lefevre a book deal, but the publisher has killed it after controversy.
The end of another strong week for stocks brings the payrolls report, and Wall Street is braced for another low number.