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  Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 | 12:47 PM ET

Homeowner Forecloses on Wells Fargo

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Wells Fargo bank
Paul Sakuma
Wells Fargo bank

You read the headline correctly: A homeowner has begun foreclosure proceedings on a local Wells Fargo office in Pennsylvania.

This is how it happened. A Philadelphia homeowner named Patrick Rodgers, who mortgage banks with Wells Fargo, was told by Wells that he needed to take out a $1 million homeowner's policy on his house. Rodgers bristled at the demand: Because the market value of his house was far below a million bucks—he'd purchased it for $180,000 in 2002—and because the insurance policy cost $2,400. (Wells wanted the house insured for its replacement value—and the 100 year old Victorian would cost a fortune to recreate; hence, the difference in valuation.)

Here's where the stories gets fun, as Susanna Kim reported for ABC News .

» Read More
  Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 | 11:50 AM ET

The Departure of Wells Fargo's CFO Is Still a Mystery

Posted By: John Carney
Howard Atkins, CFO, Wells Fargo
Howard Atkins, CFO, Wells Fargo

What led to the abrupt departure of Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Howard Atkins?

There's a lot of speculation in banking circles right now about what could behind the resignation, which took everyone by surprise.

» Read More
  Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 | 10:46 AM ET

Goldman's Bungled Facebook Deal Irked Clients

Posted By: John Carney
Goldman Sachs
Getty Images
Goldman Sachs

The original private placement dealGoldman Sachs attempted for Facebook angered or annoyed many of the firm's wealth management clients.

The firm initially opened participation in the deal to all of its wealth management clients, requiring only that they contribute a minimum of $2 million. The high level of client interest, however, meant that Goldman would have to turn away many would-be investors—a prospect that wealth management professionals at Goldman dreaded would spur some clients to walk away from the firm altogether.

» Read More
  Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 | 10:01 AM ET

The Quiet Before the Storm? 

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The unrest in the Arab World and in the Middle East continues to spread.

The Egypt-style demonstrations in Bahrain turned deadly and on Thursday in Libya protestors are holding "a day of anger/" Similar protests were also staged in Algeria as well as in Iran, where at least 50 people were reported hurt.

Iran, Algeria and Libya are some of the world’s largest oil producers. I decided to catch back up with Richard Soultanian Co-President of the utility cost management firm, NUS Consulting, to get his outlook on the protests and what it could mean for oil.

» Read More
  Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 | 9:08 AM ET

Budget History 101

Posted By: Nicole Lapin
US Capitol Building with cash
US Capitol Building with cash

It’s time for a little history lesson, boys and girls. I'm feeling inspired by my recent trip to the nation's capital, so the subject of the day is: the federal budget.

» Read More
  Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 | 8:57 AM ET

Inflation Continues to Creep Higher; Jobless Claims Up

Posted By: Ash Bennington

"Inflation Continues to Creep Higher; Jobless Claims Up" [CNBC via Reuters]

Bahrain military storms protest march. [Financial Times]

Iran cancels plans to send ships through Suez Canal. [BBC]

JPMorgan & Madoff: What did Jamie Dimon know and when did he know it? [WSJ]

Ratings cuts ahead for US states? [CNBC via Financial Times]

Former JPMorgan executive sets up shop in London with South African billionaire—post-fallout with Jamie Dimon.[DealBook]

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 4:50 PM ET

Matt Taibbi: Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Matt Taibbi: Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? »Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 3:10 PM ET

Lousy Choices in London

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Economic policy makers in the UK seem to be choosing among bad options.

Today, the pound dropped and gilts rose on an announcement that the Bank of England has no intention of raising interest rates in the near future.

Garth Theunissen of Bloomberg reports:

» Read More
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 1:47 PM ET

Except for Everything Going Up, Inflation is No Worry

Posted By: Jeff Cox

Once the government declares that all new buildings must be made of Nerf and all vehicles will run on Jell-O, we’ll be able to put this inflation nonsense to rest.

Until then…

» Read More
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 12:29 PM ET

AllState Accuses JPMorgan Chase of Fraud

Posted By: John Carney
An Allstate logo is shown in Slidell, La., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006, (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Lm Otero
An Allstate logo is shown in Slidell, La., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006, (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Allstate accused JPMorgan Chase of fraud in a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court yesterday.

The insurance company claims that JPMorgan , Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual sold it over $750 million of mortgage-backed securities under the guise that they were highly rated, safe securities, while knowing that the underlying loan pools were "toxic." JPMorgan acquired Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns in 2008.

The banks "knew the pool was a toxic mix of loans given to borrowers that could not afford the properties, and thus were highly likely to default," according to Allstate's complaint.

The lawsuit also alleges that JPMorgan, Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns misstated the characteristics of the mortgages, such as the loan-to-value ratios. It says the banks lied to the ratings agencies to get higher ratings on the securities than they deserved.

"The systemic (but hidden) abandonment of the disclosed underwriting guidelines has predictably led to soaring default rates" in the underlying mortgages, according to the complaint.

JPMorgan Chase did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

In December, 2010, AllState filed a similar lawsuit against Bank of America.

Click here to read the complaint .

»Read more

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