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Banks

The Leonard Lopate Show

What's Inside America's Banks

Thursday, January 03, 2013

More than four years after the 2008 financial crisis, public trust in banks is as low as ever. Sophisticated investors describe big banks as “black boxes” that may still be concealing enormous risks— the sort that could again take down the economy. Jesse Eisinger's investigation, written with Frank Partnoy, is called  “What’s Inside America’s Banks” and appears in the January/February issue of The Atlantic.

 

 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Spread

Thursday, January 03, 2013

On today’s show: ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger takes a look at why public trust in banks is at an all time low. Then, Charles Morris describes the first industrial revolution in the United States, which started in the 1820s. Also, a history of peanut butter. And, we’ll investigate whether lead in gasoline was a cause of fluctuations in violent crime over the last 50 years.

The Brian Lehrer Show

UBS Admits to Fraud

Thursday, December 20, 2012

UBS has pled guilty to manipulating global interest rates, and will pay $1.5billion in fines. Liam Vaughan, Bloomberg UK finance reporter, discusses the case and the implications for financial regulation.

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WNYC News

Analysis: What a Money-Laundering Settlement Means for HSBC

Monday, December 10, 2012

Federal and New York authorities are expected to announce a record $1.9 billion settlement with HSBC over money-laundering charges on Tuesday, sending a message that banks can't skirt U.S. sanctions law while doing business in the United States.

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New Tech City

New Tech City: Sentiment Analysis and How Banks Use Social Media

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The social media realm can at times seem like a frivolous place full of out-of-focus photos and posts about what your friends ate for breakfast. But for businesses, it can also be a cash cow thanks to the sheer number of people you can reach with something as simple as a tweet.

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New Tech City

Are Americans Ready for Banking via Social Media?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A bank in South Africa announced this summer that its mobile banking customers will now be able to conduct transactions and monitor their accounts through Facebook. This type of cross-pollination between banks and social media does not yet exist in the United States, but it could be coming.

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Money Talking

Money Talking: What Pandit's Exit at Citigroup Says About the Future of Banks

Friday, October 19, 2012

The sudden departure of Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit has sparked a conversation about where the bank is headed under new leadership and what it says about the so-called "too big to fail" banking behemoths.

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WNYC News

NY Regulator Says Bank Settles Iran Money Probe

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New York's financial regulator said Tuesday that his agency has reached a $340 million settlement with Standard Chartered Bank to resolve an investigation into whether the British bank schemed with the Iranian government to launder $250 billion from 2001 to 2007.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Washington Grills the Banks

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Yesterday in Washington, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were talking about the structure and behavior of big banks. Tim Geithner offered testimony about the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal. And comments by a former Citigroup CEO led to buzz about the return of Glass-Steagall, which prevented banks from getting too big. Wall Street Journal economic policy reporter Damian Paletta discusses the latest.

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The Takeaway

Senate Report Exposes Regulatory Failures at HSBC

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HSBC spent ten years failing to comply with regulatory measures, according to a new report from the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. They enabled drug lords to launder money in Mexico, did business with banks linked to Al Qaeda, and bypassed American Sanctions against Iran.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Post-Libor, Romney and Obama Need a Plan to Fix Banking

Monday, July 16, 2012

This is bigger than Obamacare. It's much more significant than Romney continuing as CEO of Bain after 1999. It has a far greater impact on every American this election year than any other issue the candidates have been discussing or will address in presidential debates this fall.

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The Takeaway

JPMorgan and Wells Fargo Release Earnings Reports

Friday, July 13, 2012

It has been a tumultuous year for big banks, and today is turning out to be no different. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo released their earnings reports today.

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The Takeaway

Fixed Rates, Declining Trust

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Royal Bank of Scotland has become the latest bank to get hit with a fine for their role in an interest rate rigging scandal. William Cohan, a former employee at JP Morgan, says this sort of rate fixing undermines the public's faith in capitalism.

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The Takeaway

Barclays Bank Chairman Resigns Amid Scandal

Monday, July 02, 2012

Barclays Bank chairman, Marcus Agius resigned today. This comes a week after Barclays was fined $ 450 million for alleged manipulation of interest rates. The practices of Barclays and a number of other banks are under scrutiny because of a wide-ranging investigation by regulators. Agius has been chairman of Barclays since 2007 and he'll stay with the bank until his successor is found.

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The Takeaway

Nine Big Banks Prepare Their Living Wills for Regulators

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nine of America’s biggest banks are being asked to submit plans for how they could be dismantled by the government if the bank was near default. Will these "living wills" improve regulation and bank functioning?

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The Takeaway

How Washington Mutual Went from Beloved to Bust

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Washington Mutual, or WaMu as it was popularly known, once marketed itself as the bank of the little guy. But WaMu is no longer that bank around the corner. What happened?

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Obama Out of Touch on 'Private Sector Just Fine'

Monday, June 11, 2012

The economy isn't doing well and our president has shown deep enough concern for this fact that he... held a press conference and talked about it a lot.

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Transportation Nation

Report: Transit Fares High and Rising? Blame Bailed-Out Banks

Thursday, June 07, 2012

(New York, NY - WNYC) A transit union says in a report that one cause of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's recent fare hikes and service cuts has been hiding in plain sight: financial arrangements called interest rate swaps. Those are deals the authority made with banks on 10 percent of its $33 billion of debt —deals that have gone against the authority and in favor of the banks.

The deals were made between 1995 and 2007, when banks agreed to cover the fluctuating interest rates on some of the authority's bonds. In exchange, the NY MTA said it would pay the banks a fixed rate, plus a small premium. That agreement would've protected the authority if rates had jumped up. But the Amalgamated Transit Union says the NY MTA has taken a net loss on the deals since the economy crashed in 2008 and interest rates fell to sustained, historic lows.

The union says the authority is now losing almost $114 million a year ― and could continue to lose money on the deals for the next 20 to 30 years.

NY MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg disputed the union's calculations, saying the swaps brought predictability to the authority's budget, which needs to be balanced each year. "To compare transactions we entered into years ago, compared to what you can get in risky variable rate debt right now is either irresponsible or deliberately misleading," he said. "They are simply wrong."

He contended that the swaps allowed the authority to save $248 million. The report says that was true until 2007, when the arrangement allowed the NY MTA to pay off its debt at nearly a full point below interest rates that were relatively high. But that was before the economy tanked. Since then, the authority has lost money on the deal.

The report looked at 12 transit agencies or local governments that entered into interest rate swaps. The report's authors insisted in a conference call that, though the deals may have made sense when they were struck, these 12 agencies ― which includes the NY MTA and NJ Transit ― are now bleeding at least a half a billion dollars a year from the budgets of governments and transit authorities around the United States.

James Parrott, an economist with the Fiscal Policy Institute, called on agencies like the NY MTA to seek concessions from the banks, many of which received massive taxpayer bailouts.

He said he doesn't understand why the NY MTA isn't treating its bankers like any other business partners. “The MTA went to all of its vendors from 2008 to 2010 and got concessions from them to reduce the price of contracts," he said. "The only business they didn’t go to is the banks. Why?”

Parrott also noted that the NY MTA is about to go to market to sell billions in new bonds to refinance its capital construction program. "They could say to the banks, ‘If you’re unwilling to renegotiate these credit swaps, we’re not so sure you’re going to get a piece of these bonds,'” he said.

Lisberg called the idea unrealistic. "We need these major banks to provide financing for us," he said. "We’re constantly in the debt markets, it’s how we and every other large government organization works. If we’re buying equipment to use over 30 years, it makes sense to pay for it over 30 years."

In 2010, the NY MTA plugged a budget gap by laying off 1,000 workers and eliminating 750 positions. It also enacted some of the deepest subway and bus service cuts in decades. Riders absorbed a 7.5 percent fare increase in 2011, and further 7.5 percent increases are scheduled in 2013 and 2015.

The banks that hold interest rates swaps with the NY MTA are JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, AIG, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and Ambac.

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WNYC News

Report: Transit Fares High and Rising? Blame Bailed-Out Banks

Thursday, June 07, 2012

WNYC

A transit union says in a report that one cause of the MTA's recent fare hikes and service cuts has been hiding in plain sight: financial arrangements called interest rate swaps. Those are deals the authority made with banks on 10 percent of its $33 billion of debt —deals that have gone against the authority and in favor of the banks.

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WNYC News

Council to Pass Legislation Aimed at Pressuring Banks to Invest More in Local Neighborhoods

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The City Council is looking to attach some strings to banks that receive city deposits. It’s poised to pass legislation Tuesday that would give the city authority to evaluate a bank’s lending practices in low and moderate income neighborhoods when deciding which banks may be certified to receive city deposits.

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