subprime crisis

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'Zombie' Economics Have Eaten Rubio's Brains

Paul Krugman thinks Republicans need to stop peddling discredited ideas

(Newser) - Marco Rubio is undoubtedly a rising political star—heck, TIME anointed him the "Republican Savior" on a recent cover. "What we learned Tuesday, however, was that zombie economic ideas have eaten his brain," writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times . A "zombie idea" is Krugman'... More »

Goldman Won't Be Charged Over Financial Crisis

Not enough evidence to pursue fraud cases, feds decide

(Newser) - Looks like Goldman Sachs is off the hook for its role in the financial crisis. The Justice Department and Securities Exchange Commission have ended two investigations into the bank's role in the crisis, concluding that "there is not a viable basis to bring a criminal prosecution with respect... More »

Subprime's New Frontier: Auto Loans

Banks jumping back into lucrative market

(Newser) - That whole "subprime crisis" hasn't scared banks away from the lucrative world of subprime lending. The nation's top subprime lenders—like Capital One, GM Financial, HSBC, and JPMorgan Chase—are all trying to woo back less-creditworthy borrowers, who tend to rack up late fees while paying rates... More »

This Woman's Job: to Make You Like BofA

Anne Finucane juggles politicians, shareholders, and customers

(Newser) - Anne Finucane has one of the hardest jobs in the country: to make us like Bank of America. The high-powered image-maker juggles politicians, interest groups, and her own boss—BofA President Brian Moynihan—in an ongoing effort to resuscitate the bank's flailing reputation and lowly stock price since the... More »

Blankfein: Romney's Gonna Win

Goldman Sachs CEO predicts Republican nominee

(Newser) - Prophecy, or wishful thinking? The CEO of Goldman Sachs is apparently predicting Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination and be well positioned to take the presidency, the New York Post reports. Lloyd Blankfein's forecast measures on the Who-Cares-Meter because Goldman Sachs successfully bet against subprime-mortgage debt (while a... More »

Perry Gave Huge Tax Grants to Subprime Lenders

Countrywide, WaMu got $35M as they upped risky loans

(Newser) - Rick Perry handed mortgage lenders millions to draw them to Texas—right when their risky lending practices surged. The governor gave Countrywide $20 million and Washington Mutual $15 million in what he called an exemplary job-creation move; in effect, that $35 million subsidized dangerous subprime lending, an AP analysis of... More »

SEC Poised to Charge Fannie, Freddie Execs

But regulatory agency disagrees, and nothing has yet been filed

(Newser) - The SEC is making moves toward charging current and former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives, sources tell the Washington Post , but the Federal Housing Finance Agency disagrees with the move. The SEC has sent notices to at least four senior executives over the past eight weeks warning them they... More »

US No Longer One of 20 Least Corrupt Nations

Falls to new low in global corruption rankings

(Newser) - For the first time ever, the US has fallen out of the top 20 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, thanks to financial scandals and the growing influence of money in our politics, Reuters reports. The US is now seen as the 22nd-least-corrupt country in the world, down from... More »

Goldman Sachs Screwed Clients as Bubble Burst

Senate panel will scold execs, reveal evidence in hearing today

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs sold investors a mountain of securitized subprime mortgages throughout the housing boom, but when things started to turn sour, they bet against those assets furiously—sometimes while still selling them, according to documents the Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee intends to browbeat the company with today. “They have... More »

WaMu 'Poisoned' Financial System: Senate Report

Senate panel says lender knowingly built 'mortgage time bomb'

(Newser) - Washington Mutual made subprime loans it knew would go bad, then packaged them into risky securities, creating a “mortgage time bomb,” according to a Senate report. The permanent investigations subcommittee is grilling former WaMu execs this morning. The report also says the bank packaged and sold loans it... More »

Goldman Seizes Homes as Securities Sour

Just getting them to admit they hold your mortgage can be an ordeal

(Newser) - Imagine finding yourself in a foreclosure battle and discovering that your opponent isn't the obscure lender who wrote your insane mortgage, but the formidable Goldman Sachs. It seems that after years of buying subprime mortgages and packaging them into bonds, at a handsome profit, Goldman is now in the business... More »

Watchdog: Feds Need to Expand Foreclosure Plan

$50B plan proving ineffective as more mortgage holders lose their jobs

(Newser) - The Treasury's $50 billion loan-modification program is in danger of being swamped as the foreclosure crisis accelerates, the Congressional Oversight Panel said in a report yesterday. The Home Affordable Modification Program has met its target of 500,000 trial mortgage modifications started by November 1, but the watchdog warned that... More »

Subprime Salesmen Now Refinance Experts

(Newser) - The market for subprime mortgages may have dried up, but former salesmen have found a new calling: as loan modification advisers who help clients refinance the high-risk loans they used to sell, reports the New York Times. For a fee of around $3,500—the bulk paid upfront—former subprime... More »

Foreclosure Crisis Wallops Minority Neighborhoods

Lenders accused of 'redlining' black neighborhoods for subprime loans

(Newser) - The national foreclosure crisis is battering minority neighborhoods with disproportionate force, the New York Times reports. Few areas in the New York region have been untouched by the crisis, but 85% of the worst-hit neighborhoods have a majority of black and Latino homeowners. Experts blame the trend on subprime lenders'... More »

US May Avoid More Bailouts by Trading Loans for Equity

Conversion could stretch bailout fund by $100 billion

(Newser) - President Obama’s economic team has figured a way to keep the banks afloat without asking Congress for more money, by converting the government's existing bailout loans to common stock, the New York Times reports. The conversion plan could stretch Treasury’s fund by more than $100 billion, but it... More »

Nukes? Climate Change? Love 'Em to Death

Newsweek scribe lists a few issues pundits may misunderstand

(Newser) - Few so-called experts predicted the subprime meltdown or the September 11 attacks, Jacob Weisberg writes in Newsweek—so what else might the pundits be wrong about?
  • Nukes are bad: An influential political scientist “argues that possessing nukes induces restraint and caution, causing irresponsible regimes to behave more responsibly.”
... More »

AIG's Bailout Cash Flowing to Hedge Funds

$52B has paid off those who bet against the housing market

(Newser) - The government cash flowing steadily into AIG is going in no small part to pay off hedge funds that bet against the housing market, the Wall Street Journal reports. The hedge funds placed credit default swap bets with other banks—Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are specifically named in documents... More »

My 401(k) Proves I Could Do Better Than CNBC

(Newser) - He may have gotten only a B in economics, but James Rainey, in the Los Angeles Times, says he can be the next CNBC personality. “There’s got to be a spot for me on one of those chatter fests,” he says, because “I’ve out-performed the... More »

NAACP Accuses Banks of Loan Discrimination

Blacks were forced into subprime mortgages, group says

(Newser) - The NAACP is accusing Wells Fargo and HSBC of forcing black people into subprime mortgages while whites with identical qualifications got lower rates. Class-action lawsuits were to be filed against the banks today in federal court in Los Angeles. Similar NAACP lawsuits are pending against a dozen other subprime lenders.... More »

No Silver Bullet for Crises Like These: Pearlstein

Complex financial system requires complicated fixes ... and lots of patience

(Newser) - With various factions blaming a single factor—and pushing a single solution—for the financial crisis, Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post cautions that there won’t be a silver bullet. Reducing foreclosures, removing toxic assets, and nationalizing banks will all come into play; meantime, we must “resist the... More »

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