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Banking

The Takeaway

How Banks Bet Against the Housing Market... and Won

Thursday, December 24, 2009

You might have heard of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and the role they played in the housing crisis, but have you heard of a 'synthetic CDO?'  Gretchen Morgensen and Louise Story report in today's New York Times, ("Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won,") on how banks used this special category of bundled debt to bet against the housing market, and win. Sometimes it meant the banks profited while their clients lost out.

Louise Story joins us to explain synthetic CDOs and the three government investigations that are already underway about the practice. The government wants to know if investment firms may have exacerbated the housing crisis as they tried to hedge their vulnerable mortage positions. We also speak with Sylvain Raynes, a structured finance consultant, to give us details on how firms used synthetic CDOs and how they pitched them to clients.

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The Takeaway

TARP Extended; Banks Try to Leave the Program

Friday, December 11, 2009

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended his extension of TARP on Thursday, saying it will help fight foreclosures and increase lending for small businesses.  But many banks have already paid back the bulk of their TARP money: Bank of America returned the entirety of its bailout funds on Wednesday, and Citigroup is playing catch-up, trying hard to get out from under government ownership by repaying $45 billion of TARP money.  We speak with Andrew Ross Sorkin, chief acquisitions and mergers correspondent for The New York Times and author of "Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System - and Themselves." We also hear from Richard Bove, an analyst with Rochedale Securities in Lutz, Florida, on whether the paybacks mean the economic crisis is over, or just that banks want out of the program's regulation.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Bank Bonuses, Editor & Publisher, Listeners on Nobel

Friday, December 11, 2009

  • Business Takeout: New York Times finance reporter Louise Story explains why Goldman Sachs is paying its 30 top people bonuses entirely in stock, rather than cash.
  • Publishing Takeout: Another blow was dealt to the newspaper industry yesterday when the Nielsen company decided to fold Editor & Publisher magazine. Greg Mitchell, editor of the 125-year-old trade magazine, shares his memories of the paper and his expectations for the industry it leaves behind.
  • Listener Takeout: We hear from our listeners about President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize award in Oslo, yesterday.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: British Banking Bonus Beef, B-Ball, Listeners

Thursday, December 10, 2009

  • Business Takeout: New York Times finance reporter Louise Story says Britain's banking community is in an uproar after the government slapped a 50 percent tax on bankers' bonuses.
  • Sports Takeout: In NCAA basketball, two electric teams met last night at Madison Square Garden. Takeaway Sports Contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin gives us a recap, and explains how a change in NBA rules has improved college ball. 
  • Listener Takeout: We hear from you about our manufacturing, jobs and a suggestion involving anthills.

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The Takeaway

Sen. Dodd's Proposed Bank Regulations

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The financial reform bill introduced Tuesday by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), chair of the Senate Banking Committee, would dramatically change the way U.S. banks are monitored. But with resistance from both Republicans and Democrats, the bill is unlikely to pass through the Senate before the end of the year. Here to tell us more about it is our Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich, along with John Cassidy, New Yorker staff writer and author of the book, "How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities."

 

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The Takeaway

Debate Over Pay Cuts at Bailed-Out Banks

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Obama administration plans to cut executives' pay at companies that received taxpayer money as part of the financial bailout. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve says it will monitor bank pay packages in the hopes of deterring payouts that reward overly-risky behavior. For a look at what this means for recruiters we're joined by Joe Nocera, business columnist for The New York Times.

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The Takeaway

The Dow, the Banks and the State of the Economy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the symbolic threshold of 10,000. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story says the news is interesting, but it doesn't say much about the overall health of the economy. Something that might: the banking sector. Also joining the conversation is New York Times economics correponsdent Edmund Andrews with a look at how the U.S. Treasury wants some bailed-out banks to start paying back their loans.

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The Takeaway

Business Takeout: Should Banks Help Pay for Health Care?

Monday, October 12, 2009

With Wall Street rebounding, some say the bailed-out banks should pony up and help other ailing industries, or directly pay for health care reform through new taxes on the financial sector. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, tells us how soon this is likely to happen.

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The Takeaway

Business Takeout: Boost in Bank Stocks

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

We check in with New York Times finance reporter Louise Story about a rally in bank stocks.

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The Takeaway

New Consumer Protection Agency Proposed

Monday, September 28, 2009

The New York Times finance reporter Louise Story spent the weekend combing through Congressman Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) 291-page plan for a new Consumer Protection Agency, and joins us to give us a Monday-morning book report.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Barney Frank on Banking Reforms

Friday, September 25, 2009

Up on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are talking a good game about the need to regulate banks and enforce limits on executive salaries. But how close are we to real reform on these issues, and what's going to happen at the G-20? For an insider's view of the process of reforming banking, we speak to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), head of the House Financial Services Committee. (click through for the full interview transcript)

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The Takeaway

Finance: Banks Show Consumers Some Love

Friday, September 25, 2009

There's a small revolution in banking, and this time it's good for consumers. Led by Bank of America and Citigroup, an increasing number of banks are reducing or altogether eliminating the dreaded overdraft fee. (Can we get a heck yeah!?) What did consumers do to deserve such kindness? New York Times finance reporter Louise Story explains it all.

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The Takeaway

G-20 Eyes Banking Reform

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New York Times finance reporter Louise Story joins us with a look at how the world's biggest economies will tackle banking regulation at the G20 summit in Pittspurgh. Top of the agenda? Capital requirements, an issue the international community has never been able to agree on.

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The Takeaway

Regulatory Reform Heads to Committee

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This morning the finance committee of the U.S. House of Representatives kicks off a series of hearings on regulatory reform. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will testify before Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank's committee on a proposed revamping of the financial and consumer regulations. New York Times finance reporter Louise Story joins us with a look at the latest.

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The Takeaway

Dodd Wants to Merge Regulators

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) plans to push for a "super-regulator" that would merge the four agencies currently regulating the banking industry. Dodd wants a smaller role for the Federal Reserve; this plan conflicts with President Obama's plans for regulation. Louise Story, reporter for The New York Times, tells us why.

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The Takeaway

Congress Eyes Financial Giants 'Too Big to Fail'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Are you a company that is "too big to fail?" Well, Congress hopes, someday, to have a plan for you. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, joins us with a look at the federal government's latest moves to prepare for failures of the future.

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The Takeaway

New Rules for the SEC?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Louise Story, finance and Wall Street reporter for The New York Times, has been keeping a close eye on the Securities and Exchange Commission as they propose new ways to regulate Wall Street. Federal regulators voted yesteday on new rules designed to stem conflicts of interest, provide more transparency for credit rating groups like Moody's and Standard & Poor's, and ban so-called "flash orders."

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The Takeaway

Cleveland's Plan to Fight Foreclosures

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cities across the U.S. are facing devastating rates of foreclosure. As the numbers of vacant houses increase, another problem has cropped up: banks don't want to keep all those foreclosed properties. In Ohio, Cleveland's Cuyahoga County expects at least 13,000 new foreclosures this year, but state Treasurer Jim Rokakis has a plan – he wants to buy up bad mortgages and sell them back to homeowners in order to keep people in their homes. We ask Rokakis about his plan and speak to Dan Moulthroup, reporter with WCPN in Cleveland, and the host of Sound of Ideas.

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The Takeaway

Changing Wall Street, One Regulation at a Time

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, joins us with a look at the changing banking regulatory regime in Washington. It's been a year since a complicated crisis of credit default swaps and failing banks threw the U.S. economy into a tailspin. Now Congress seems to want to crack down on the way Wall Street does business.

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The Takeaway

Biggest Borrowing Bailed-out Banks Bang Back Bucks

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Our partners at The New York Times reported that profits collected from eight of the biggest bailed-out banks have fully repaid their debts to the U.S. government. Even though the $4 billion paid back still only represents a small percentage of the $700 billion the government doled out to help stabilize wobbly banks, it could point to brighter financial days on the horizon. We talk to New York Times reporter Louise Story about the significance of these quick paybacks and their impact on the economy.

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