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Morning Scan: Yellen's Mixed Signals; Banks to Exit Muni Bonds?

08/25/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Mixed Signals: Fed Chair Janet Yellen went to Wyoming and all she brought back to Washington, D.C., was a lousy T-shirt, with no better sign whatsoever of when short-term interest rates will rise. At the Kansas City Fed's yearly economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Yellen gave a slew of mixed signals on whether she thinks the U.S. job market has improved enough yet to warrant a rise in rates, the Wall...

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Morning Scan: B of A's 'Mortgage Sins'; CFPB Can't Stop Revolving Door

08/22/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ... BofA's 'Mortgage Sins': Documents released as part of Bank of America's $17 billion settlement with the U.S. government "read like a highlight reel of the mortgage sins that fed the 2008 financial crisis," the New York Times reports. The Times and the Wall Street Journal focus on a few particularly striking passages. Former Countrywide Financial chief Angelo Mozilo warned in a 2005 email that a possible condo-market crash would be a "financialÂ...

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Morning Scan: Countrywide's Mozilo May Face U.S. Suit; BofA to Reach $17B Deal

08/21/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ... BofA's $16.7B Settlement: The Justice Department and Bank of America are expected to announce a $16.7 billion deal Thursday to settle charges the bank misrepresented the quality of its mortgage-backed securities. "The settlement amount is the largest ever reached between the U.S. and a single company, and is approximately equal to the bank's total profit for the past three years," the Wall Street Journal reports. Bank of America chief Brian Moynihan hasÂ...

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Morning Scan: Amazon Jumps into Card Readers; New Subprime Mortgage Trend?

08/14/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Amazon's Card Reader: Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos is notorious for his predilection for spending money and his apparent lack of concern with making a profit. So it should come as no surprise when the Journal quotes an Amazon analyst saying the e-commerce giant won't make any money off its new Square-like mobile card reader, Amazon Local Register, which American Banker reported on Wednesday. The Journal notes that while Square has become...

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Morning Scan: Housing Recovery Stalls; Ocwen Financial's Woes

08/13/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

What Housing Rebound? That must have been a dream. Two reports in Wednesday's papers served as ice-cold buckets of water on any hope you may have had that the value of your home was surging. First, the Journal reported on a National Association of Realtors release, which said single-family housing prices rose 4.4% in the 12 month-period that ended in the second quarter; that's the slowest annual pace since 2012. In sum,...

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Morning Scan: JPM Sells Private Equity Stake; Usury Charges for Payday Lender

08/12/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Sold: JPMorgan Chase is selling half of its $4.5 billion in holdings in its One Equity Partners private-equity unit, in part because of the requirement that banks reduce investments made with their own money, and in part because of new capital requirements. The Journal story on the sale also throws in another reason for selling the business unit, by pulling a quote from Jamie Dimon from a recent earnings conference call: "It...

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Morning Scan: Job Market Gains, But Rates to Remain Low; Banks' Enemy

08/11/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ... Recovery and Liftoff: There are signs of an improving economy, yes. Factory orders are up, there are fewer vacancies in apartment buildings. Unemployment is falling, too, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg report. But, until there is more significant improvement in the job market and wage growth, Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other Fed officials in all likelihood are going to lean toward keeping short-term interest rates near zero, the Journal says.Â...

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Morning Scan: Credit Scoring Gets a Shake-Up; Bair Warns on TBTF

08/08/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Credit Where It's Due: Banks may start offering more affordable loans to a broader range of Americans because of changes in the way credit scores are calculated. FICO will place less weight on unpaid medical debt and exclude all overdue bills that have been settled with collection agencies, according to news reports. "The moves follow months of discussions with lenders and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aimed at boosting lending without creating...

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Morning Scan: B of A Nears $16B-$17B Deal; Banks' Living Wills 'Too Sanguine'

08/07/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ... BofA's Very Big Deal: Bank of America has reached a tentative agreement with the Justice Department to pay between $16 billion and $17 billion to settle charges related to the sale of shoddy mortgage-backed securities, according to multiple news reports. The expected deal is a bit of an about-face for BofA, which just a few weeks ago was drawing the line at a $13 billion fine and protesting that it was beingÂ...

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Morning Scan: Regulators Flunk Banks' Living Wills; Hackers Steal 1B Passwords

08/06/14

Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Living Wills Need Do-Over: Eleven big banks remain dangerously unprepared to wind down in the event of a crisis, according to U.S. regulators. "The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said bankruptcy plans submitted by big banks make 'unrealistic or inadequately supported' assumptions and 'fail to make, or even to identify, the kinds of changes in firm structure and practices that would be necessary to enhance the prospects for' an...

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