Financial Crisis

The Takeaway

Obama Administration Expands Mortgage Assistance Program

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Obama administration announced Monday that it will try and expand HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, to reach to at least one million more people. HARP was introduced in 2009 to help underwater borrowers refinance their mortgages. At the time the administration predicted HARP would help millions of homeowners. But after two and a half years, less than 900,000 homeowners have refinanced under HARP. New changes to HARP will make it possible for homeowners whose mortgages are severely underwater to participate.

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Taibbi and Prins: Occupying Wall Street Before it Was Cool?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

[Banks are] continuing to overvalue awful assets that they created into the 2008 beginning of the current crash we have, and they're being given a free pass by the Federal Reserve, the government, and everything else, which is exactly what happened in 1929.

Nomi Prins, senior fellow at Demos, former investment banker, and author of the new novel Black Tuesday, on The Brian Lehrer Show

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The Wall Street Take on Occupy Wall Street

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The government is in a real pickle here, if the bank stocks continue to collapse, about what they can do. If the idea were floated that there were going to be another bailout, you would have 50 million Americans march on Washington with torches and pitchforks.

Henry Blodget, editor in chief and CEO of Business Insider, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Michael Lewis on Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Michael Lewis looks at how the tsunami of cheap credit across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering societies—from Iceland to Greece to Ireland—the chance to indulge and take risks. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World investigates of bubbles abroad and here at home in California and Washington, DC.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Matt Taibbi on Griftopia, Wall Street, and the Financial Crisis

Monday, October 03, 2011

Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, talks about the ongoing American financial crisis, the Wall Street protests, and the commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world. His book Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History, newly released in paperback, looks at the biggest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding.

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Van Jones' American Dream

Friday, July 08, 2011

We've already had an austerity program given to us by Wall Street when it destroyed the economy in 2008; to add a public sector austerity program is the height of foolishness.

Van Jones, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former Obama administration green jobs advisor, The Brian Lehrer Show.

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New York’s Frank Rich on Where Obama Went Wrong with Wall Street

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tea Partiers—and to some extent conventional Republicans—exploited this anger by turning the health care plan into another symbol of the big guy screwing you. If Obama had addressed this anger and been more proactive, he might not have been hoisted on petard of health care.

New York Magazine columnist Frank Rich on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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JP Morgan Settles Mortgage-Related Securities Case

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

JP Morgan will pay $153.6 million to settle charges it deceived customers about complex mortgage-related securities it sold to them in 2007 just as the housing market was souring, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.


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Is Bank Regulation Excessive, or Necessary?

Monday, June 20, 2011

If you make these capital standards high enough and burdensome enough, then firms aren't going to grow larger. If you know that you have to hold a lot more capital because you have some risky assets, you might think twice about holding those assets.

Deborah Solomon, financial policy writer for The Wall Street Journal, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

Financial Reform: Dodd-Frank Bill Lags Behind Schedule

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

It's been almost a year after Congress passed the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law and many of the legislation’s rules are behind schedule. Regulators have extended the comment periods on the rules under pressure from Wall Street and Congress. "You have a lot of people on Wall Street who are concerned that they need lots of time to put rules in effect," says Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times. However, "the longer it takes for the regulations to go into effect, the longer the banks have to make money off of the derivatives." She details the need for the bill and the cause of the delays.

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The Takeaway

Fabrice Tourre, Face of Mortgage Securities Fraud

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times investigates the lawsuit against Fabrice Tourre, a young Goldman Sachs employee who is the sole person being sued by the S.E.C. for his role in selling bad mortgage deals. Louise Story and Gretchen Morgenson write, "How Mr. Tourre alone came to be the face of mortgage-securities fraud has raised questions among former prosecutors and Congressional officials about how aggressive and thorough the government’s investigations have been into Wall Street’s role in the mortgage crisis."


The Leonard Lopate Show

Reckless Endangerment

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner discuss how the financial meltdown resulted from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders. Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon reveals how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect us from financial harm were actually complicit in creating the financial crisis. Drawing on previously untapped sources and building on original research from Rosner—who raised early warnings with the public and investors, and kept detailed records—Morgenson connects the dots that led to this fiasco.

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New York vs. Banks?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It was not something that one or two banks was doing, so I think you're going to find that the probe will probably expand to all firms that were large in the area of securitizing mortgage loans and selling them to investors...If prosecutors have been holding back on bringing charges, some of these lawsuits and the discovery and material coming out in them can be very helpful in making a case.

Gretchen Morgenson, business writer for the New York Times, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

NYS vs. Banks?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gretchen Morgenson, business writer for the New York Times and author of the new book Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon, talks about the news that the New York Attorney General is preparing for an investigation into the banks' role in the financial crisis.

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The Takeaway

States Lure Insurance Companies Through Looser Regulations

Monday, May 09, 2011

Insurance companies have traditionally set up subsidiaries in off-shore tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands in part to get around strict state regulations regarding their investment strategies. But according to a report by our partner, The New York Times, a number of states have begun luring insurance giants back by allowing them to establish "captive" subsidiaries — risk management systems that allow companies to invest and reinsure without as much capital backing. Now some state insurance commissioners are warning that captives could put insurance policy holders at risk in the same way that the housing market was endangered by mortgage-backed securities.


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U.S. Debt Outlook: Downgrade to Negative

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

[S&P doesn't] have a lot of credibility left after totally blowing all major calls of the past decade...The chance that the United States would not pay its debts after more than 200 years of being the best creditor in the world, that chance exists. It is quite remote in my assessment. But there's no question that S&P is trying to swing the other way and trying to get some attention from the left and right, and it's obviously working.

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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Why No Financial Crisis Arrests?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cuomo was really one of earliest to start looking at mortgage securities. He subpoenaed all of the banks and rating agencies back in the summer of 2007, before people really realized we were having crisis. There was all this information about how they were packing loans into mortgage bonds, but that's something he never brought a case in. He had all that information showing just how much banks knew about how crummy those loans were.

Louise Story, New York Times Wall Street and Financial reporter, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

No Arrests For Financial Crisis

Friday, April 15, 2011

Louise Story, New York Times Wall Street and Financial reporter, talks about why there haven't been any arrests or prosecutions of major figures as a result of the financial crisis.

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The Takeaway

In Crisis, Federal Reserve Bailed Out Failing Banks

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve got a lot of flack for handing out big bailouts to major banks like Citibank and JP Morgan Chase, which were deemed "too big to fail." But it turns out that many more banks received funds through the Federal Reserve Bank's so-called “discount window” policy, including investment banks and foreign banks. The names of those banks were released last week, after the Supreme Court ruled in February that under the Freedom of Information Act, the Fed had to make the names and amounts known.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Matt Taibbi Asks Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Matt Taibbi talks about his latest article for Rolling Stone magazine, "Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?" He reports on why Wall Street banks—the culprits behind the global financial disaster—weren’t criminally prosecuted for knowingly selling worthless mortgage-backed investments to insurance companies, state pension funds, and foreign banks. 

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