Law360, Los Angeles (May 30, 2014, 10:42 PM ET) — A group of financial institutions accused of manipulating foreign exchange rates asked a New York federal judge on Friday to throw out the charges, saying the complaints don’t specifically allege any concerted efforts by the banks to restrain trade.
Nearly a dozen banks teamed up in a bid to dismiss the investor suits, which claim they worked together to manipulate the massive currency market to their own advantage. The banks say the investors haven’t adequately alleged that the banks entered into an agreement in restraint of…
Newark, New Jersey has become the first city in the country to officially approve a controversial plan that uses eminent domain to fight foreclosures and neighborhood blight.
Newark’s new mayor, Ras Baraka, introduced the resolution and the Newark Municipal Council, which passed it unanimously, according to a press release issued today by New Jersey Communities United (unitednj.org), which describes itself as a progressive grassroots community organization committed to building power for low and moderate income people, predominantly in Newark.
According to the release…
“Newark Council Unanimously Approves Resolution Supporting Local Principal Reduction Program for Families Facing Foreclosure Mayor-Elect Ras Baraka Leading Fight Against Foreclosure Crisis in Newark”
The program would allow homeowners trapped in certain type of mortgage, known as a Private Label Security or PLS Loans, to voluntarily participate in a program where the City purchases these mortgages from investors and repackages them at terms homeowners can afford. For most of the estimated 1,200 homeowners with these types of loans in Newark, the policy would save them from losing their homes to foreclosure.
Mayor-Elect Ras Baraka…
“Newark families have been absolutely devastated by the foreclosure crisis. Unless we take decisive action now, the situation will only get worse. As Mayor of Newark, I will aggressively move forward to implement the resolution passed by the Council. It will send a clear message that we will no longer accept the predatory lending and questionable foreclosure practices by banks. More importantly this policy will keep families in their homes and begin to reverse the blight created by vacant and abandoned houses that have already been lost to bank foreclosures.”
FEUER SUES JP MORGAN CHASE, ALLEGING DISCRIMINATORY MORTGAGE LENDING Suit Contends Bank’s Practices Deepened Foreclosure Crisis and Damaged City
Los Angeles–Continuing to tackle the impact of the foreclosure crisis on Los Angeles, City Attorney Mike Feuer today sued another of the nation’s largest banks, JP Morgan Chase. The suit alleges the bank engaged in discriminatory lending, which the City contends led to a wave of foreclosures that continues to diminish the City’s property tax revenues and increase the need for costly City services.
The new litigation against JP Morgan Chase comes on the heels of a federal court ruling on Wednesday that denied a motion by Wells Fargo to dismiss a similar complaint by the City. Feuer sued Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup in December.
“L.A. continues to suffer from the foreclosure crisis–from blight in our neighborhoods to diminished revenue for basic City services,” said Feuer. “We’re fighting to hold those we allege are responsible to account and to help bring back every community in our City.”
The City seeks damages for reduced property tax revenues resulting from the decreased value of foreclosed properties–foreclosures the City claims were caused by allegedly discriminatory mortgage lending. The suit also seeks damages for the increased cost of City services resulting from the foreclosures.
As a member of the California State Assembly Feuer was an author of the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights, along with other legislation to protect homeowners grappling with foreclosure.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating possible insider trading involving billionaire investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William Walters, a source familiar with the matter said.
Federal investigators are looking into whether Mickelson and Walters may have traded illegally on private information provided by Icahn about his investments in public corporations, the source told Reuters, confirming a report by the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Icahn, Mickelson and Walters were not immediately available for comment.