toxic assets

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Fukushima Running Out of Room for Toxic Water

There's 200K tons of contaminated water and counting

(Newser) - If you thought the environmental crisis that is Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant was last year's news, think again. The plant is still struggling with thousands of tons of contaminated water, which it used to cool down overheated reactors following the 2011 earthquake, says the water treatment manager at... More »

US Selling Off $18B Stake in AIG

With sale, US will be minority shareholder for first time since bailout

(Newser) - The US government is selling another $18 billion in AIG, a move that will make it a minority stakeholder for the first time since bailing out the insurance giant in 2008, reports the Wall Street Journal . Four other sales since March 2011 have reduced the government's stake in AIG... More »

Judge Bars Citigroup Settlement With Feds

Orders trial over toxic mortgage debt sale

(Newser) - A federal judge has halted Citigroup’s proposed $285 million settlement with regulators, calling it “neither reasonable, nor fair, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.” In New York City, Judge Jed Rakoff has ordered a trial over SEC accusations that Citigroup sold toxic mortgage debt it had... More »

NPR's New Pet: A Toxic Asset

Reporters buy a window into the financial crisis

(Newser) - Despite being widely blamed for the financial crisis, the bundled mortgage bonds commonly known as "toxic" assets still exist, and trading is beginning to recover. In hopes of getting a new perspective on the financial crisis, NPR's Planet Money decided to buy a toxic asset. After some searching—the... More »

Bank of America Loses $2.2B as Loans Sour

Investment revenues up, but consumers default on nearly $10B

(Newser) - Bank of America Corp. lost more $2.24 billion in the third quarter, the company announced today, as loan losses kept rising. Those losses amounted to nearly $10 billion, providing further evidence that consumers are still struggling to pay their bills. The bank also added $2.1 billion to its... More »

FDIC May Ditch Public-Private Bad-Assets Plan

Banks in better shape; buyers and sellers remain reluctant

(Newser) - The government may scale back or put on hold parts of its controversial, slow-starting plan to get toxic assets off banks’ books, the Wall Street Journal reports. With both buyers and sellers expressing reluctance, and banks looking healthier, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp will likely delay next month’s scheduled... More »

BlackRock's Multiple Roles in Bailout Draw Scrutiny

Money manager faces conflict of interest calls

(Newser) - Most financial firms have suffered in recent years, but money manager BlackRock is thriving. The firm manages $1.3 trillion for hedge funds, governments, and other big clients, but it's also been tapped to help the Fed with foundering companies like AIG and Freddie Mac. Now, reports the Wall Street ... More »

20 Crime Probes Launched Into Bailout Fraud

Inspector calls TARP 'inherently vulnerable' to insider trading, abuse

(Newser) - Federal authorities have begun 20 separate investigations into possible fraud, tax violations, insider trading, and other criminal activities surrounding Henry Paulson's $750 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, reports the Los Angeles Times. It's only the first round of probes, according to the bailout program's inspector general, who called TARP "... More »

Citing Too-Low Prices, Banks Won't Sell Toxic Assets

Stress test an Obama weapon

(Newser) - Banks are proving so reluctant to part with their so-called “toxic assets” that the Obama administration may have to strong-arm them into doing so, Time reports. Banks are protesting that the prices being offered—about $70 per $100 bond by the magazine’s calculations—are too low. That’s... More »

Bailout Honchos Weigh Toxic-Asset 'War Bonds'

Treasury's new idea would allow private investors to profit from bailouts

(Newser) - Responding to charges the bank bailout privatizes profits while socializing losses, the Obama administration is exploring creating mutual-fund-type instruments that would allow private citizens to invest in toxic assets. The bailout funds, akin to war bonds, would allow the taxpayers who funded the bailout to profit along with Wall Street,... More »

Taxpayers Lose in Treasury's Toxic Asset Plan

Nobelist Stiglitz blasts Obama adminstration for 'perverse' program

(Newser) - The Obama administration's massive public-private investment plan is good news for banks, good news for investors—and bad news for the taxpayer, writes Joseph Stiglitz. In an op-ed for the New York Times, the Nobel Prize-winning economist accuses the Treasury of "replicating the flawed system" that caused this crisis,... More »

Obama Fully Invested as CEO-in-Chief

In Detroit and on Wall St., president decides to run things his way

(Newser) - Though he entered office with relatively little business experience, the past week has seen President Obama assume the role as “the most powerful player in American business today,” Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei write for Politico. “He’s realizing, ‘Hey, the economy’s mine now, and... More »

Don't Listen to Krugman— This Plan Might Work

Pearlstein lays into fellow columnist

(Newser) - Even before the full details were released, critics were bashing the Treasury's public-private asset purchase plan; Paul Krugman predicted it would fail and lead the country into depression (not to speak of the writer into despair). Steven Pearlstein begs to differ, and the markets seem to agree. For the Washington ... More »

Hey Paul Krugman, Your Country Needs You

Why aren't you in the administration?

(Newser) - The latest video to shake up YouTube is a song plea that critical columnist Paul Krugman join the Obama administration and fix the economy. "Hey Paul Krugman, where the hell are you, man? Why aren't you in the administration?" sings songwriter Jonathan Mann. "When I listen to you... More »

Krugman in 'Despair' Over Toxic Asset Plan

Dressing up Paulson's failed solution is no solution at all

(Newser) - Paul Krugman has been downbeat for weeks on the Obama efforts to rescue the economy, but today he hits a new low. “This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair,” writes Krugman in the New York Times of the White House... More »

Stocks Soar 300+ on Geithner Plan

(Newser) - Stocks sprinted out of the gates today, the Wall Street Journal reports, spurred by the Treasury’s long-awaited toxic asset plan. The Dow was up 316 just after noon, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 added 4.1% and 4.5%, respectively. Banking stocks were the biggest winners, with... More »

Krugman on Toxic Assets Plan: 'What an Awful Mess'

(Newser) - The Obama administration’s new plan for dealing with toxic bank assets is “creating massive moral hazard,” Paul Krugman blogs in the New York Times. The idea of providing taxpayer money to insure the purchase of possibly worthless assets is equivalent to the poor practices laid bare in... More »

Toxic Asset Plan to Offer Subsidies to Investors

Plan will offer loans, subsidies to investors willing to suck up bad assets

(Newser) - The Treasury will unveil a plan to take up to $1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and other troubled assets from financial institutions early next week, the Wall Street Journal reports. The plan, the cornerstone of efforts to rescue the banking system, calls for the creation of an entity to buy... More »

Gains Fizzle; Dow Down 7

Tech leads declines, Dow falls from triple-digit gain

(Newser) - Stocks swung back to losses as optimism from last week’s rally faded today, the Wall Street Journal reports. Investors treated last week’s announcements that many troubled financial institutions ran operating profits in the first two months of 2009—ignoring “toxic securities” on their balance sheets—with skepticism.... More »

TARP Manager: Let's Not Micromanage

Banks can't make bad loans for lending's sake, says Kashkari

(Newser) - Neel Kashkari, the man who manages the Troubled Asset Relief Program, doesn’t think the government ought to try to make decisions for the banks it helps, he told lawmakers today. “However well-intended, government officials are not positioned to make better commercial decisions than lenders,” he insisted. He... More »

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