Monthly Archives: May 2014

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Five states make up nearly half of U.S. foreclosures: CoreLogic

Five states make up nearly half of U.S. foreclosures: CoreLogic

Just five states made up almost half of all U.S. foreclosures completed over the past year, even as the national market showed a marked improvement, with gauges of troubled properties reaching near pre-crisis levels last month, according to data released Thursday.

These usual suspects made up the five states: Florida, Michigan, Texas, California and Georgia. Meanwhile, the national landscape continued to rebound in April, as the number of mortgages per completed foreclosure rose to 65 – the strongest reading since February 2008 – up from 52 a year earlier, according to CoreLogic, an Irvine, Calif.-based analysis firm.

“We have now registered two and a half years of continuous decreases in the number of homeowners who are in some stage of the foreclosure process,” Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s chief executive, said in a statement.

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Mexico Detains Oceanografia CEO Amid Citigroup Fraud Probe

Mexico Detains Oceanografia CEO Amid Citigroup Fraud Probe

Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant for the chief executive officer of Oceanografia SA, the oil services provider seized by the government after Citigroup Inc. (C)’s local unit alleged a $400 million loan fraud.

Amado Yanez, 49, is under police supervision while recovering in a hospital after undergoing emergency surgery last week, Mexico’s attorney general said today in an e-mailed statement. He was accused of participation in crimes including violations of the country’s credit-institutions law.

Mexico took control of Oceanografia in February, putting it under the supervision of the Finance Ministry, after Citigroup said it lost $400 million on loans that were granted to the company based on fraudulent invoices. The Oceanografia case briefly stalled legislative talks this year to open the state-controlled oil industry to private investment, after the main opposition party’s leaders complained that some party members had been wrongly singled out for involvement in the fraud case.

“This may be the government showing that it’s cleaning up the energy sector ahead of the oil opening,” Javier Oliva, a political and security analyst at Mexico’s National Autonomous University said by phone from Mexico City.

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PNC Financial Services : U.S. Has Opened at Least 15 Probes into Bank-Processing Activities — 4th Update

PNC Financial Services : U.S. Has Opened at Least 15 Probes into Bank-Processing Activities — 4th Update

WASHINGTON–U.S. officials have opened at least 15 civil and criminal investigations into whether banks and payment-processing firms helped enable fraudulent activity, according to Justice Department documents made public Thursday.

Archived Financial Crisis Records Kept in the Dark

Courthouse News:

(CN) – The D.C. Circuit rejected a government watchdog’s request for records created by a commission that issued a report on the causes of the 2010 financial crisis.
President Barack Obama established in 2009the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which reported its conclusions on the “causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.” Its report was released to the public in January 2011.
The commission disbanded a month later, and its records were deposited with the National Archives.
Cause of Action, a nonprofit dedicated to government accountability, then sought access to the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The D.C. Circuit ruled Friday, however, that the records were not transformed into an agency record subject to the FOIA when they were transferred to the Archives.
As precedent, the court considered a case that asked whether President John F. Kennedy’s autopsy records, transferred to the National Archives, were subject to an FOIA request.
“We held they were not, in part because they were ‘personal presidential materials when they were first created, and therefore at no time were they ever agency records.’ In other words, the depositing of these materials with the Archives did not convert them into ‘agency records’ subject to FOIA,” Judge Arthur Randolph wrote for the three-judge panel.

Here is the court document. Click here.

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Ex-RBS Banker in Libor Probe Sues for Race Discrimination

Ex-RBS Banker in Libor Probe Sues for Race Discrimination

Jezri Mohideen, a former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) manager who was fired during its investigation into Libor-rigging, sued the lender for racial discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Mohideen, the former head of rates trading for Europe and Asia-Pacific, filed his lawsuit at aLondon employment tribunal, according to court documents that didn’t give any further details about the case. He is at least the second former employee to sue the bank in London over theLibor probe.

Revelations that banks manipulated global interest-rate benchmarks have triggered regulatory fines totaling more than $6 billion, a European competition probe and criminal prosecutions of some of the traders involved. RBS agreed to pay about $600 million to U.S. and U.K. regulators over rigging charges, and was among six companies fined a record 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by the European Union in December.

Santander Bank faces pending lawsuit over lending discrimination

Some banks are still doing redlining..

 According to an articlein The New York Times, the city of Providence plans to files a suit against Santander Bank for just this.

“The attitude is, if we can’t do subprime loans, predatory loans in the black community, we won’t do any loans at all,” said John P. Relman, the lead lawyer on the case. “For us it is a civil rights issue.”

The lawsuit claims that between 2009 and 2012, the number of new mortgages made by Santander in white neighborhoods in Providence was 25 percent higher per year than it was in 2006 and 2007, while the number of new mortgages in minority neighborhoods declined by 63 percent. 

Source: NYT

 

Justice Dept. Seeks More Than $10 Billion Penalty From BNP Paribas

As The WSJ reports,

 
 

The U.S. Justice Department is pushing BNP Paribas SA  to pay more than $10 billion to resolve a criminal probe into allegations it evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries for years, which would represent one of the largest penalties ever imposed on a bank, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

 

A final resolution of the yearslong investigation of the French bank is likely weeks away, and it’s possible the ultimate settlement amount could total far less than $10 billion. BNP is looking to pay less than $8 billion, according to the people familiar with the settlement discussions, although a person close to the bank said its negotiators have never mentioned the $8 billion figure in talks with U.S. authorities.

 

BNP and the U.S. authorities also remain locked in negotiations over whether the bank will temporarily lose the ability to transfer money into and out of the U.S., the people said.

 

Prosecutors are continuing to try and extract a guilty plea from the bank and, in recent negotiations, have pointed to the muted market reaction in the wake of Credit Suisse AG’s admission to conspiring to aid tax evasion as evidence that a guilty plea by BNP would not be disastrous, according to a person familiar with prosecutors’ thinking.