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Wall Street Pay Seems to Have Long Forgotten Recession

Average salary for those in the NYC securities industry in NYC: $422,500, highest in a decade

(Newser) - If you've been fretting over how the folks on Wall Street are doing lately, rest easy: The New York state comptroller says they're fine. Better than fine, actually, per Thomas DiNapoli, who notes the average securities-industry salary in New York last year rose 13%, to $422,500 (with... More »

BofA Near $8.5B Deal to Settle Big Investors' Claims

BlackRock, New York Fed lost money on mortgage-backed securities

(Newser) - Bank of America is close to a deal that calls for the lender to pay $8.5 billion to settle claims from a group of heavyweight investors who bought mortgage-backed securities before the housing collapse and lost a ton of money in the process. A person familiar with the discussions... More »

SEC Probing Possible Stock Chaos Shenanigans

Time to crack down on algorithm trading, lawmakers say

(Newser) - The SEC is on the trail of securities traders who might have "accidentally or maliciously" triggered yesterday's stock market see-sawing, insiders tell Bloomberg , or exploited it to profit illegally. The SEC and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission said after markets closed yesterday that they plan a joint probe into... More »

17 Most Corrupt Industries

Want to retain your honor? Don't get into these professions

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs got you convinced Wall Street is the most corrupt place to work? Not quite: The Daily Beast worked with an anti-corruption research organization to determine the 17 most corrupt industries in America. The top five, along with representative examples:
  1. Utilities: FirstEnergy allegedly covered up a reactor head that
... More »

SEC Loses Bid to Help Wall St. Drop Regulation

Judge nixes attempt to loosen rule designed to protect investors

(Newser) - The SEC has lost its bid to scrap a rule established to protect investors after the implosion. The rule, designed to prevent Wall Street abuses, barred research analysts and investment-banking departments at the same firm from communicating without a lawyer or compliance officer present. The regulator's decision to... More »

Meet Wall Street's Most Shameless Failures

'Mulligan Club' keeps hustling disastrous securities

(Newser) - You'd think the men who hyped and traded the financial instruments responsible for the recession wouldn't be allowed to touch another dollar. Instead, they’re “charter members of Wall Street's Mulligan Club,” Steven Pearlstein writes in the Washington Post, buying and trading the same "crappy securities" like... More »

Troubled Securities Threaten to Drown Banks

Feds set to seize Texas' Guaranty

(Newser) - Bad loans have been killing off banks at the fastest rate in 17 years—but now, securities purchased from other banks are a mounting threat, the Wall Street Journal reports. Thousands of banks nabbed securities dependent on mortgages and the financial industry. “Under most scenarios, they were good and... More »

Geithner, Summers Outline New Regulatory System

(Newser) - The current financial regulatory system “is riddled with gaps, weaknesses, and jurisdictional overlaps,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Obama economic guru Larry Summers write in today’s Washington Post. They outline, in broad strokes, their plan to fix it:
  • Capital and liquidity requirements will be raised across the
... More »

Smugglers Caught Sneaking $134B in Bonds Out of Italy

(Newser) - Two Japanese citizens were detained last week after allegedly trying to take $134 billion in undeclared US bonds from Italy to Switzerland, Bloomberg reports. Both countries are investigating the incident. “Italian authorities are in the midst of the investigation, and haven’t yet confirmed the details, including whether they... More »

Ponzi Victims Will Be Tax Nightmare for IRS

Service expects to refund $7-$10 billion in taxes paid on fake income

(Newser) - The work of fraudsters such as Bernie Madoff and R. Allen Stanford will complicate the IRS’ job as tens of the thousands of victims attempt to reclaim taxes paid on income that went up in smoke, Time reports. The IRS estimates that refunds due victims to Madoff alone could total... More »

Madoff Case Likely to Sour Boomers on Stocks

Fraud is final straw after terrible performance, analysts say

(Newser) - With Bernard Madoff’s long, fraudulent story drawing to a close, stock-market analysts look to the larger effect the $50 billion Ponzi scheme will have on equities, Kate Gibson writes for MarketWatch. Combined with the dismal performance in stocks over the last year, experts say Madoff’s deception has probably... More »

Credit Crunch Pinches Entire Lending System

Undercapitalized banks stand to benefit from $1T infusion

(Newser) - Banks aren’t lending, and to change that the government is propping up not just the banks but also the vast, largely unseen financial system that fuels them, the New York Times reports. Banks rarely keep the loans they make anymore; instead, debt is packaged into securities and sold, generating... More »

30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall to Record Low 5.01%

Fed buys $10.2B in agency mortgage bonds

(Newser) - Interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to a record low 5.01% this week, Bloomberg reports. The drop—the 10th weekly fall in a row—comes as the Federal Reserve purchased $10.2 billion of mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae as part of a... More »

Just How Bad Was 2008?

The worst anyone under 70 has seen, Bloomberg reports

(Newser) - If you're under the age of 70, 2008 was probably the worst year you've lived through, reports Bloomberg. Here's why:
  • In housing, which started the downturn, median resale prices saw a 13% decline, the largest since the 1930s.
  • Foreclosure rates reached 2.97%, and mortgage delinquency hit 6.99%, both
... More »

Goldman May See $2B Fourth Quarter Loss

Credit downgrades key catalyst in Wall Street titan's loss of value

(Newser) - After dodging many of the bullets that left its Wall Street peers wounded or dead, Goldman Sachs faces a net loss of up to $2 billion for the fourth quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports. The loss of $5 per share is five times worse than analysts feared as the... More »

Hedge Fund Selloffs Behind Swooning Dow

Investors cashing out in record numbers to meet obligations

(Newser) - Hedge funds are increasingly to blame for the swooning Dow, the Wall Street Journal reports, as demands from investors to withdraw funds have sparked a securities selling frenzy in recent days. The rush to withdraw comes as investors—endowments and  pension funds as well as wealthy individuals—see other investments... More »

For Paulson, Toughest Part Lies Ahead

Treasury has just weeks to create asset-buying behemoth

(Newser) - The real work for the Treasury Department begins now that the bailout bill has passed, the New York Times writes. Secretary Henry Paulson has less than a month to get a massive asset management firm up and running, and to start pricing the toxic securities that have flummoxed experts. The... More »

Even Money Market Funds Are Risky

Even 'safe' money markets show their soft underbellies in today's market

(Newser) - As one safe haven after another disappears—from money market funds to stock investments—financial advisers are telling consumers to take a more active role in their planning, reports the New York Times. But first, do your homework and understand what you’re investing in, experts say. More »

Feds Outline Fannie, Freddie Bailout

Gov't will step in as conservator; Treasury will buy preferred stock

(Newser) - Citing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as "critical to turning the corner on housing," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson this morning announced a bailout of the beleaguered mortgage companies that includes his agency purchasing preferred stock, while the Federal Housing Finance Agency will step in as conservator. Additionally, Treasury... More »

Feds Plan to Allow Foreign Accounting Rules

Critics slam 'outsourcing' of financial protections

(Newser) - Federal officials are proposing to loosen accounting regulations, allowing American companies to shift to international standards that offer more latitude in reporting earnings, the New York Times reports. The move would make businesses more competitive, the administration argues, but it would also effectively exempt them from the investor-protection measures instigated... More »

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