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  Monday, 15 Nov 2010 | 8:56 AM ET

Goldman Delayed in Attempt to Repay Buffet?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Goldman Delayed in Attempt to Repay Buffet?(CNBC via Reuters) Goldman Sachs has apparently hit a snag with the Fed in its bid to repay Berkshire Hathaway's $5 billion investment. The delay may be related to the Fed's unwillingness to allow Goldman to make adjustments to its capital levels before allowing other banks the same opportunity. Goldman Sachs is paying a burdensome 10 percent annually on the debt — and would presumably wish to replace it with funding at a better rate, now that the debt markets have unfrozen and financing costs have dropped dramatically.

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  Saturday, 13 Nov 2010 | 11:37 AM ET

Matt Taibbi’s Devastating Portrait of Florida’s Rocket Docket Foreclosure Courts

Posted By: John Carney

The latest issue of Rolling Stone is out with a devastating portrait by Matt Taibbi of the foreclosure process in Florida . If it pierces the public consciousness the way Taibbi’s articles on AIG and Goldman Sachs did, it could be a game-changer.

foreclosure_chained_200.jpg
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

The set-up is pretty simple. Taibbi goes down to Florida and sits in on one of the make-shift foreclosure courts Florida has set up to deal with the enormous volume of foreclosure cases in the state. It’s really just a small conference room run by a formerly retired judge who has been brought on to speed through foreclosures.

Taibbi discovers far worse than sloppy paperwork on the part of banks—although he discovers plenty of that too. He discovers that the foreclosure process is heavily skewed to favor the banks. If a homeowner doesn’t show up to defend himself or herself, the judge issues the foreclosure order. If the bank fails to send a representative, he just pushes back the date. When a bank submits a trail of ownership of the mortgage note that makes no sense, it just comes back later with a different set of ownership documents.

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 7:04 PM ET

Child Advocates Calling for Jeff Bezos' Head

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The backlash over Amazon selling "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" shows no signs of dying down, even after the company apparently pulled the controversial book from circulation.

CNBC has obtained links from child safety organizations who have searched the website on what would be considered more morally reprehensible content.

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 4:48 PM ET

Fed on Track to Spend the Whole $600 Billion

Posted By: Ash Bennington

General Motors IPO Oversubscribed—By a Six Fold (CNBC via Reuters) There is once again something to feel good about in Detroit: Investors submitted orders for $60 billion of GM common stock—although General Motors only filed with regulators to sell about $10 billion in equity. The article goes on to say: " The robust demand suggests that GM's IPO will likely price around the top end of the $26 to $29 per share range and that the full overallotment option—additional shares underwriters can sell to help stabilize the stock after it begins trading—will be exercised, the sources said." Is it too late to hope that the old adage "What's good for General Motors is good for the country" still holds true?

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 4:15 PM ET

Breaking Down Quantitative Easing, Part Dos

Posted By: Cadie Thompson

Finally, an explanation everyone can understand.

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 1:51 PM ET

"Re-Foreclosure" Hits Massachusetts

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Question: What's worse than having your house foreclosed upon?

Foreclosure
Fuse | Getty Images
Foreclosure

Answer: having your house foreclosed upon twice . Unless, of course, you get it back the second time.

Homeowners in Massachusetts are now facing "back-to-back foreclosures," due to problems with property titles. When lenders are unable to get title insurance for the property on which they have foreclosed, they are now opting to try the whole process again. In Massachusetts, where the issue has affected at least hundreds, and "possibly thousands," of homeowners, it has become common enough to merit its own name: "re-foreclosure."

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 1:16 PM ET

Is The Fed Dividend Warning Killing Wells Fargo And US Bank Today?

Posted By: John Carney

Two of the companies that were on just about everyone's list of banks most likely to hike their dividends are getting absolutely crushed Friday.

wells_fargo_front_AP.jpg
AP

US Bank and Wells Fargo both saw their stocks rise, after news came out late last week that the Federal Reserve was preparing guidelines that would permit healthy banks to raise dividends in the first quarter of 2011. Today, the situation has reversed, with shares of both banks dropping more sharply than most of their rivals.

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 12:50 PM ET

EU Tries To Stop The Emerald Island Meltdown

Posted By: Ash Bennington

The European Union may have managed to stanch the bleeding —for the moment—on Irish bonds.

Ireland and European Union
Phillipe Sion | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Ireland and European Union

Bondholders seem to have been placated by a joint statement from five of Europe's most economically powerful nations: Germany, France, Italy, the U.K., and Spain. The statement said that bonds issued before the middle of 2013 would not be affected by changes to the EU's bailout program.

Earlier this morning, reports had surfaced of the possibility of haircutting Irish bondholders, which sent the Irish debt markets skittering.

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 12:16 PM ET

TARP 'Most Successful US Program Ever': Bove

Posted By: Jeff Cox

The Troubled Asset Relief Program wasn’t really a bank bailout after all, but instead was the “most successful government financial program ever,” banking analyst Dick Bove said.

US_Flag_money_200.jpg
Deborah Harrison | Getty Images

In a research note, Bove noted that the controversial TARP saved the banking industry as well as the broader economy while generating a hefty return for taxpayers.

Former President George W. Bush signed the $700 billion program into law on Oct. 3, 2008 as banks suffered a liquidity crisis brought on by the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. TARP recapitalized banks across the board—even many that didn’t need the extra money.

Bove praised the program for restoring faith in the system even though it has received a largely negative public perception.

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  Friday, 12 Nov 2010 | 12:07 PM ET

Fed Governor Issues Warning on Bank Dividends and Mortgage Put-Backs

Posted By: John Carney

If you were counting on the big U.S. banks to restore or increase dividends that were pared back or ended during the financial crisis, you might want to think again.

Foreclosure Sign
Getty Images
Foreclosure Sign

The final portions of a prepared speech by a top Federal Reserve official seemed aimed at pulling-back market expectations that the central bank would soon authorize a resumption of dividends.

The Fed has been preparing guidelines on how banks will be able to change their dividend policies in the first quarter of next year. When that news was reported last week—the Wall Street Journal’s headline was “Fed to Let Banks Increase Dividend” — the stocks of several banks rose.

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