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S&P expects US lawsuit over its mortgage ratings

WASHINGTON | The U.S. government is expected to file civil charges against Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, alleging it improperly gave high ratings to mortgage debt that later plunged in value and helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis.

February 05, 2013 12:00 am

Fewer U.S. banks failing as industry strengthens

WASHINGTON | U.S. banks are ending the year with their best profits since 2006 and fewer failures than at any time since the financial crisis struck in 2008. They're helping support an economy slowed by high unemployment, flat pay, sluggish manufacturing and anxious consumers.

December 29, 2012 12:00 am

SEC official Elisse Walter chosen to lead agency

WASHINGTON | President Barack Obama has chosen Elisse Walter, one of five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to head the agency. Chairman Mary Schapiro will leave next month after a tumultuous tenure in which she helped lead the government's regulatory response to the financi…

November 27, 2012 12:00 am

Large banks earn billions, small banks struggle

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks are making money again, although a split picture of the industry has emerged since the financial crisis.

September 05, 2010 12:00 am
Auto dealers, local banks avoid consumer oversight

Auto dealers, local banks avoid consumer oversight

WASHINGTON | The financial overhaul bill awaiting final action in the Senate includes a new regulator whose aim is to make sure mortgages, credit cards and other products from big banks don't abuse or confuse you.

July 08, 2010 12:00 am Related

SEC: Regulators yet to determine cause of plunge

WASHINGTON | The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission told a congressional panel Tuesday that regulators need more time to figure out what caused last week's stock market plunge.

May 12, 2010 12:00 am

SEC accuses Goldman Sachs of civil fraud

WASHINGTON | The government has accused Goldman Sachs & Co. of defrauding investors by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in mortgage investments it sold as the housing market was collapsing.

April 17, 2010 12:00 am

SEC accuses Goldman Sachs of civil fraud

WASHINGTON | The government has accused Goldman Sachs & Co. of defrauding investors by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in mortgage investments it sold as the housing market was faltering.

April 16, 2010 10:45 am

Regulators: Strict bank rules don't impede lending

WASHINGTON | U.S. regulators fended off complaints Friday from lawmakers and small business owners that overly strict rules for banks have prevented crucial credit from flowing to where it is needed most.

February 27, 2010 12:00 am

Bank pay-insurance plan mulled

WASHINGTON | Federal banking regulators are considering a plan to link the insurance premiums U.S. banks must pay to the degree of risk-taking encouraged by their executive compensation policies.

January 08, 2010 12:00 am

Lawmaker proposes major change for rating agencies

WASHINGTON | A key House lawmaker wants to make credit rating agencies -- which have been widely criticized for failing to give investors adequate warning of the risks in subprime mortgage securities that triggered the financial crisis -- responsible for each other's assessments by holding t…

October 01, 2009 12:00 am

FDIC says bank failures to cost around $100B

WASHINGTON | Regulators expect the cost of bank failures to grow to about $100 billion over the next four years -- up from an earlier estimate of $70 billion. Faced with that sobering news, they voted Tuesday to require banks to prepay $45 billion in premiums to replenish an insurance fund t…

September 30, 2009 12:00 am

Bank insurance fund falls 20 percent in 2Q

WASHINGTON | The agency that guarantees bank deposits said Thursday there are no immediate plans to borrow money from the government to bolster its insurance fund, which has shrunk under the weight of collapsing banks.

August 28, 2009 12:00 am

SEC charges Madoff-linked firm, adviser with fraud

WASHINGTON | Federal regulators on Monday charged a New York brokerage firm said to be secretly controlled by Bernard Madoff and a prominent California investment adviser with securities fraud, accusing them of funneling billions of dollars from investors into Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

June 23, 2009 12:00 am

Feds honing in on auto warranty phone scam companies

WASHINGTON | Federal regulators have been investigating and are close to filing lawsuits against companies believed to be behind a national wave of spam "robocalls" that warn people that their auto warranties are about to expire and they need to sign up for new service plans.

May 12, 2009 12:00 am

SEC mulling new money-market rules

WASHINGTON | The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering how regulation of money-market mutual funds could be tightened to better protect investors, the head of the agency said Monday.

May 04, 2009 12:00 am

FDIC's Bair: 'too big to fail' strategy must end

WASHINGTON | The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Thursday that the government's strategy in the financial crisis of bailing out huge institutions deemed "too big to fail" must be replaced by a new model.

March 19, 2009 12:00 am

Bank economists say home prices yet to bottom

WASHINGTON | U.S. home prices are only about halfway through their decline and most of the further erosion should occur this year, major bank economists said Tuesday.

June 18, 2008 12:00 am

Freddie Mac sets aside $1.2 billion in 3Q for bad home loans; seeking new sources of capital

WASHINGTON | Freddie Mac, the nation's No. 2 buyer and guarantor of home loans, lost $2 billion in the third quarter and said Tuesday it must raise fresh capital to meet regulatory requirements. Its shares fell nearly 30 percent.

November 21, 2007 12:00 am

Investors, policy-makers don't know total number of troubled mortgages and lenders nationwide

WASHINGTON | It's hard to know how scared to be if you don't know the size of the threat. No, not terrorism, housing.

August 29, 2007 12:00 am

Federal Home Loan Bank System opening cash spigots to mortgage lenders in credit squeeze

WASHINGTON | The Federal Home Loan Bank system has increased low-cost lending to financial institutions in an effort to bolster credit stability.

August 21, 2007 12:00 am

Fannie, Freddie tighten policies on subprime mortgages

WASHINGTON | Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have tightened their policies for purchasing high-priced, high-risk home loans from lenders amid stress in the housing market.

July 14, 2007 12:00 am

Freddie Mac buying up to $20 billion in mortgages to help distressed borrowers

WASHINGTON | Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac has committed to buy as much as $20 billion in mortgages to help borrowers with high-priced loans stay in their homes, the company's chief executive said Wednesday.

April 19, 2007 12:00 am

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac developing new home loans to help distressed borrowers

WASHINGTON | The heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said Tuesday the mortgage finance giants are developing new types of loans to help distressed borrowers with high-risk mortgages keep their homes at a time of rising foreclosures.

April 18, 2007 12:00 am

Blame flies for high-risk mortgage meltdown

WASHINGTON | Charges of blame were flying Thursday for the meltdown of the high-risk mortgage market as pressure mounted for Congress to do something about rising foreclosures among homeowners unable to meet high payments.

March 23, 2007 12:00 am

SEC investigating subprime mortgage companies

WASHINGTON | The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a number of companies that operate in the troubled market for subprime mortgage loans, the agency's top enforcement official said Monday.

March 20, 2007 12:00 am

Lawmakers considering new rules for 401(k) plan fees

WASHINGTON | A key House lawmaker said Tuesday that Congress needs to consider making companies that manage 401(k) plans give clearer and more complete information on fees, which can drain thousands of dollars from a worker's retirement savings.

March 07, 2007 12:00 am

Freddie Mac plans to stop buying some high-risk mortgages in roiled subprime market

WASHINGTON | Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Tuesday it will no longer buy high-risk home mortgages that it deems to be highly vulnerable to foreclosure, in a surprise move that came amid a deteriorating market for subprime loans affected by slumping home prices and rising interest rates

February 28, 2007 12:00 am

Bank profits up 8.8 percent in 2006

WASHINGTON | Profits at federally-insured banks and thrifts jumped 8.8 percent last year, to a record $145.7 billion, but slumping home prices and rising interest rates pushed banks' writeoffs of home mortgage loans to a three-year high in the fourth quarter, data released Thursday show.

February 23, 2007 12:00 am

New executive pay disclosures coming as scrutiny of compensation intensifies

Investors will soon have a new scorecard designed to lay out in plain English just how much pay and perks are being lavished on top executives at public companies. If the goals of federal regulators are met, you won't need an MBA to decipher the numbers.

January 10, 2007 12:00 am

Survey: Consumers somewhat more inclined to reduce holiday spending this year

WASHINGTON | Consumers are a bit more inclined to cut back on holiday spending than in recent years, concerned about energy costs and credit card debt.

November 22, 2006 12:00 am

Consumer borrowing down in September by biggest amount since early 1990s

WASHINGTON | Consumer borrowing fell in September by the largest amount since the recession of the early 1990s, weakened by a huge drop in auto loans.

November 08, 2006 12:00 am

Wholesale prices rise in June

WASHINGTON | Wholesale prices rose by 0.5 percent in June, spurred by a big jump in food prices and continuing increases in energy costs.

July 19, 2006 12:00 am

Trade deficit increases as oil prices jump by largest amount in nearly 16 years

WASHINGTON | A record jump in the price of imported oil pushed the trade deficit to $63.8 billion in May, offsetting robust overseas sales gains by American companies.

July 13, 2006 12:00 am

Regulator: Fannie Mae will need years to reform and recover

WASHINGTON | Fannie Mae is in such a mess that it will take years for the mortgage giant to reform its ways and recover from an $11 billion accounting scandal, the top government official overseeing the company told lawmakers Thursday.

June 16, 2006 12:00 am

Little-known special banks are popular financial vehicle for companies

WASHINGTON | Home Depot Inc. calls a natural fit to expand its business. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. bills it as simply a cost saver. You could call it a new-fangled bank.

May 16, 2006 12:00 am

Wal-Mart exec defends move into banking

ARLINGTON, Va. | An executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Monday defended to federal regulators the company's proposed expansion of its empire into banking as a parade of objectors prepared to make the case against the move.

April 11, 2006 12:00 am

Fannie Mae names new finance chief

WASHINGTON | Mortgage giant Fannie Mae, struggling to untangle its accounting in an $11 billion scandal, disclosed Thursday that new errors have been uncovered as it reached outside the company to hire a new finance chief.

November 11, 2005 12:00 am

Pols seek relief for victims from new bankruptcy law

WASHINGTON | Some Democratic lawmakers and consumer advocates are seeking relief for Hurricane Katrina victims from a new, more stringent bankruptcy law that takes effect next month.

September 14, 2005 12:00 am

SEC: Mergers among stock exchanges will help competition

WASHINGTON | The big mergers planned by the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market will give them dominance in stock trading but likely will not hurt competition, the government's top securities regulator said Thursday.

May 20, 2005 12:00 am

Bankruptcy changes making it harder to erase debt

WASHINGTON | Congress neared a final vote Thursday on legislation that would force tens of thousands of people who want to wipe out their debts in bankruptcy court to work out repayment plans instead.

April 15, 2005 12:00 am

Bankruptcy legislation moving forward in senate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate marched Wednesday toward passage of landmark legislation making it harder to erase medical bills, credit card charges and other debts in bankruptcy, rebuffing attempts by Democrats to soften the bill's effect and restrict practices of the credit industry.

March 09, 2005 12:00 am

Fannie Mae CEO criticizes regulatory probe

WASHINGTON -- At turns defiant and emotional, Fannie Mae's top executive denied that the mortgage giant manipulated its earnings and questioned an investigative report as factually deficient regarding a key allegation.

October 08, 2004 12:00 am

Politically savvy Fannie Mae CEO facing storm over accounting lapses

WASHINGTON -- Franklin Raines is renowned for his political connections and his instincts for corporate survival. Those skills will be critical as the head of Fannie Mae fights to keep his job following an accounting scandal at the mortgage giant that finances one of every five home loans in…

October 06, 2004 12:00 am

Fannie Mae agrees to boost reserve capital

WASHINGTON -- Under pressure from federal regulators, mortgage giant Fannie Mae has agreed to boost its reserve cushion against risk by several billion dollars and take other sweeping actions to correct what were cited as serious accounting problems, including recalculating key transactions …

September 28, 2004 12:00 am

SEC inquires about Fannie Mae accounting

WASHINGTON -- Regulators have discovered serious accounting problems at mortgage giant Fannie Mae, prompting an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission and calling into question its financial soundness, the company disclosed Wednesday. Its shares fell nearly 7 percent.

September 23, 2004 12:00 am

Bristol-Myers pays $150 million in fraud charges

WASHINGTON -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is paying $150 million to settle a major alleged accounting fraud as federal regulators accused the company Wednesday of manipulating its inventory of drugs to inflate earnings and meet Wall Street targets.

August 05, 2004 12:00 am

Parmalat agrees to corporate reforms in accord with SEC

WASHINGTON -- Italian dairy giant Parmalat, accused by U.S. regulators of one of the biggest financial frauds in history, on Wednesday agreed to make corporate reforms but was not fined in a settlement accord.

July 29, 2004 12:00 am

Divided SEC proposes new oversight on hedge funds

WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed Wednesday to clamp new oversight on hedge funds, traditionally investment pools for the wealthy that regulators said are growing and largely unregulated.

July 15, 2004 12:00 am

SEC requires independent chairmen for mutual fund boards

WASHINGTON -- Mutual fund boards must have chairmen who are independent from the companies managing the funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered Wednesday in a narrow vote as it addressed an industry scandal.

June 24, 2004 12:00 am
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