A Parable Comes to Life in Washington DC, Elizabeth Warren Edition

By: Saturday December 13, 2014 10:00 am

There are a lot of members of Congress who say they love a certain old storyteller, but after watching them at work these last few days, they sure don’t act like they love him — or hist stories.


Banks Rake In Profits – Largely From Government Supports

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 6:20 pm

It goes without saying that you should not weep for the banking industry. In the years following a Great Recession they caused, they still manage to churn out record profits. This is the 13th straight quarterly rise in profits for financial institutions.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Greg Basta, Trouble Is The Banks: Letters To Wall Street

By: Saturday November 17, 2012 1:59 pm

A year ago this week, the original Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccotti Park was evicted. The camps served as a focal point for a vibrant protest movement that shook up the country, but they galvanized the anger and fear of working people around the country, struggling to make it through the Great Recession.

The mainstream press often did its best to portray the movement as simply a bunch of unwashed kids without a message, without demands. Yet if one ever doubted that the movement’s message got through, the collection of letters in The Trouble is the Banks, from Occupy the Boardroom and n+1 serves as proof.

Citi Settles for $590 Million With Shareholders Over Misrepresentations During Financial Crisis

By: Thursday August 30, 2012 1:39 pm

Citigroup has settled a class-action lawsuit with shareholders over how Citi managed subprime securities during the financial crisis, a second-order fraud unconnected to the actual fraud of securitization and knowingly selling the bad securities in the first place.

Judge Jed Rakoff Berates SEC for Secret Settlement Deals, in Judicial Filing

By: Wednesday August 15, 2012 1:35 pm

Jed Rakoff is the federal judge who has engaged in a lonely crusade against the SEC’s practice of slap-on-the-wrist settlements against the nation’s largest financial firms. The SEC and Citigroup took Rakoff to court, essentially, to get their settlement on some mortgage-backed securities deals approved. Rakoff has a lawyer now, and he argued before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that he required more information to properly conduct oversight.

Paul Ryan Made Series of Bank Trades in 2008 During Financial Crisis

By: Monday August 13, 2012 12:45 pm

Like everyone else but two members of the House, Paul Ryan voted for the STOCK Act, a watered-down version of a bill that would ban insider trading among members of Congress. Before he did that, however, Ryan spent 2008 wheeling and dealing his bank stock portfolio to match his knowledge gained as a member of Congress during the financial crisis.

SEC Doing Collusion Deals with Big Banks over Dodgy CDO Deals?

By: Friday October 21, 2011 8:42 am

I think Felix Salmon uses the right word – collusion. This is regulatory capture of the first order. It’s different from constructing deliberately complex and confusing rules that will never be administered, or just looking the other way at misconduct. This generates the illusion of regulatory enforcement while letting off the offending parties for next to nothing.

The exact same premise is at work with the Obama Justice Department’s attempted get out of jail free card for foreclosure fraud. It certainly makes the banks happy, but it’s also a primary reason why there are protesters in Zuccotti Park and across the country.

Banks Stopping “Protesters” from Closing Accounts Not New

By: Monday October 17, 2011 10:00 am

Over the weekend, as Occupy Wall Street protests escalated, the video of a woman arrested at a Citibank branch for trying to close her account shot through the blogosphere. It wasn’t even the only example of people being denied the opportunity to close their bank accounts over the weekend. And a similar incident occurred two months ago.

Citi Knew About Madoff Fraud, Tried to Pass Off Exposure in 2008

By: Wednesday February 23, 2011 3:05 pm

We have already heard about JPMorgan’s travails with Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. A recent report identified JPMorgan as complicit in the Madoff scheme, and potentially liable in a civil lawsuit. According to emails and documents, JPMorgan apparently knew something was amiss with Madoff’s performance figures but never reported the crime to the SEC. Some lawsuits have already been filed. In addition, JPMorgan sold certain derivatives links to Madoff’s returns, giving them a major financial incentive not to disrupt the scam, off of which they profited.

Now we’re learning about how Citi was connected to the Madoff scheme as well, from a report by the same trustee who busted JPMorgan Chase.

Portrait of HAMP Failure: The Mother of All HAMP Nightmares

By: Wednesday February 9, 2011 5:45 pm

I attended a Huffington Post Mortgage Madness Meetup in Los Angeles last night, which suffered from some late planning, the buggy nature of the Meetup tool and the general difficulty of self-organizing. Only a half-dozen people showed, and most of them were either media (a guy from NPR’s Marketplace) or interested observers in the foreclosure mess. In fact, the one homeowner with a story to tell arrived late and almost didn’t make it because he went to the wrong location initially. But oh, what a story he had to tell. And while I’ve heard a lot of these HAMP horror stories in the past year, I’ve never heard anything like this.

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