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WNYC News

Wall Street Warily Eyes the Protests on Its Doorstep

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have riveted the nation's attention, and are now spreading to other cities, but it's unclear whether the protesters' message is actually reaching financial institutions and the people who work there.

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The Takeaway

Bank Bonus Week Begins

Monday, January 11, 2010

Main Street may be fed up with Wall Street's apparent gluttony, but banks are once again awarding huge bonuses. The nation's biggest banks, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, are expected to pay some employees year-end bonuses reaching into eight-digit sums.  These staggering amounts may irritate the American public, which is still feeling the effects of the recession... but does the public's ire matter? We speak with Eric Dash, who reported on this for The New York Times, and Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Duke University and author of “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.”

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Football, Reforming Derivatives Markets

Friday, November 27, 2009

  • Sports Takeout: Ibrahim Abdul-Matin joins us for a look back at Thanksgiving's football games and those coming up over the weekend.
  • Business Takeout: The New York Times' finance reporter, Louise Story, explains why the risky derivatives market needs reform, and why banks and bankers seem to want to prevent that reform from happening.

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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

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: Assessing the Health of the Global Economy

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The G-20 summit gets underway today in Pittsburgh, and world leaders are hoping this big economic pow-wow will help stabilize a global economy still struggling back to its feet. For an assessment of how the global financial system is faring — and to gauge if bankers have held off an even Greater Depression than the last one — we turn to Liaquat Ahamed, author of "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World."

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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

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

EU Attempts Bank Bonus Reform

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bonuses for bankers aren't just a Wall Street problem. Nations from the European Union — mostly led by France — are hammering out an agreement on reforming structures for giving out bank bonuses. The G20 meetings will take place in Pittsburgh in just a few weeks; the E.U.'s goal is to reach an agreement before then... and they hope to get the United States on board, too. Louise Story, finance reporter for The New York Times, has the details.

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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

One Year On: A Look at the Bailout

Friday, September 11, 2009

A year ago this weekend, the U.S. financial system was teetering on the brink of collapse. As we approach the anniversary of Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy and Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, we take a look back at the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: the $700 billion federal effort to bail out the U.S. banking system. We speak with Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School professor and the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel monitoring the bailout. (Read the full interview transcript, or check out all the stories in this series.)

"He was not only not right, he wasn't right at the moment he said it, and he knew he wasn't right."
—Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, on former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's assertion that there "[was] no reason to believe this [bailout] program will cost taxpayers anything"

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The Takeaway

One Year On: Banks After the Bailout

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All week we are reviewing the year that was — the year that marked the beginning of the financial meltdown and the recession that we continue to live through. Today we’re taking stock of how the nation’s banks are managing, one year after the government spent billions of taxpayers' dollars to bail them out. For a look at what regulations need to be in place to avoid future financial disasters, we talk with Eliot Spitzer. He was New York's attorney general before being elected governor; he first made a name for himself for keeping an eagle eye on the banking industry. We are also joined by Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University and author of the new book, Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World. (click through for the interview transcript.)

"Look, let’s be very clear. The Fed failed. Everyone says the Fed has saved us by printing trillions of dollars. The Fed is the very institution that was supposed to be monitoring this along with the Treasury Department. They utterly failed to do it."
—Former Attorney General of New York Eliot Spitzer

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The Takeaway

Reflecting on the Financial Meltdown

Friday, August 21, 2009

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is in Jackson Hole, Wyoming today at the annual meeting of economists and central bankers. Bernanke will address the group with a speech entitled “Reflections on a Year of Crisis.” We speak with Jesse Eisinger, a senior reporter at ProPublica, asking him to provide his own reflections on Bernanke's actions during this economic "year of crisis."

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The Takeaway

What Recession? A Boom for Big Banks

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bank of America and Citigroup have released their quarterly earnings reports and both have beaten the forecasts by financial analysts. Bank of America reported $2.42 billion in profits, and Citigroup earned $3.1 billion. Bank of America received $45 billion in bailout funds as part of the Treasury Department's $700 billion financial rescue package, but it has yet to repay the government loan. These earnings reports come on the heels of both Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase also posting high profits. How are the banks faring so well despite the gloomy economic climate? The Takeaway talks to Marshall Eckblad, banking reporter for the Dow Jones Newswire Service.

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The Takeaway

JP Morgan Chase: Profiting in a Downturn

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This morning, JP Morgan Chase posted a quarterly profit of $2.7 billion. That's a 36 percent jump from a year ago. It comes just two days after Goldman Sachs announced a quarterly profit of over $3 billion. As the two banks weather a harsh economic climate, they have managed to pay back the huge government loans they took last year and proceed to earn record profits. Joining us to discuss Chase's earnings is Eric Dash, banking reporter for The New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Do Goldman's Numbers Mean the Recession is Over?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Analysts were expecting Goldman Sachs to post around $2 billion in profit in their second quarter. But when the numbers were released they surprised everyone with a profit of $3.4 billion. If Goldman Sachs is doing so well, does this mean America is on its way out of the recession? Dan Gross, columnist for Newsweek and Slate, and author of Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation joins The Takeaway with his analysis of the financial news.

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