Daily Archives: February 25, 2016

The Robots Are Coming for Wall Street

Hundreds of financial analysts are being replaced
with software. What office jobs are next?

When Daniel Nadler woke on Nov. 6, he had just enough time to pour himself a glass of orange juice and open his laptop before the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report at 8:30 a.m. He sat at the kitchen table in his one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea, nervously refreshing his web browser — Command-R, Command-R, Command-R — as the software of his company, Kensho, scraped the data from the bureau’s website. Within two minutes, an automated Kensho analysis popped up on his screen: a brief overview, followed by 13 exhibits predicting the performance of investments based on their past response to similar employment reports.

Nadler couldn’t have double-checked all this analysis if he wanted to. It was based on thousands of numbers drawn from dozens of databases. He just wanted to make sure that Kensho had pulled the right number — the overall growth in American payrolls — from the employment report. It was the least he could do, given that within minutes, at 8:35 a.m., Kensho’s analysis would be made available to employees at Goldman Sachs.

Owner Facing Foreclosure Claims Bank, Loan Servicer Screwed Up

A homeowner is countersuing Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and its loan servicer, Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, claiming they misapplied years of mortgage payments before foreclosing on her Coral Springs property.

Wells Fargo filed for foreclosure against Madelyn Grutta in November 2012, alleging she defaulted on a mortgage with a principal balance of more than $286,371.

But Grutta’s attorney said the lender and servicer caused her to default by misapplying payments and incorrectly increasing her mortgage payment by about $2,000 each month following an escrow analysis.

“It’s clear they screwed this one up,” Andres Lopez of the Andres Lopez Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale told the Daily Business Review.

In her affirmative defenses, Grutta claimed she consistently paid her mortgage and missed no payments from 2005 to July 2012. But in 2012, an Ocwen miscalculation reportedly created a $20,000 shortfall in the annual escrow payment for property taxes and homeowner insurance required under the mortgage. The problem seemed to arise in part from a nearly threefold increase in Grutta’s insurance premium, which prompted her to change carriers to reduce costs.

Read more: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202750661231/Owner-Facing-Foreclosure-Claims-Bank-Loan-Servicer-Screwed-Up#ixzz41DWre7Zd

TV Pundits Praise Hillary Clinton On Air, Fail to Disclose Financial Ties to Her Campaign

Tune into television coverage of the presidential campaign and undoubtedly you will hear from various pundits described as “former campaign strategists” and “political contributors” explaining the latest developments of the race. But in many cases, these pundits — though introduced as neutral experts on campaigns or party politics — in fact have financial ties to the candidates they praise on the air.

Several consultants who work at firms retained by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her affiliated Super PACs appear regularly on the major television networks, frequently touting Clinton.

A review of pundits on the major networks and cable news also found one prominent pundit who often praised Jeb Bush without the network revealing her relationship with his campaign.

Journalism 101 teaches that reporters and TV news hosts must properly identify their sources and analysts,” says Jeff Cohen, an associate professor of journalism at Ithaca College. We reached out to NBC, CBS, CNN, and ABC News, but did not hear back.

Stephanie Cutter, for example, has appeared on multiple networks to discuss Clinton, and is typically introduced as a former campaign official for President Barack Obama. What hasn’t been disclosed in any of her appearances reviewed by The Intercept, however, is that the boutique consulting firm she co-founded, Precision Strategies, has been retained by the Clinton campaign for “digital consulting,” according to Federal Election Commission records. Precision Strategies has been paid at least $120,049 from the Clinton campaign since June of last year.

“I think that Hillary Clinton has done everything right. She has run a good campaign. She has outperformed in debates. She’s raised money. She’s got a great ground game,” said Cutter, speaking about the upcoming New Hampshire and Iowa primaries on NBC’s Meet the Press on January 17. She was introduced as “President Obama’s 2012 deputy campaign manager.” Her company’s affiliation with the Clinton campaign was not disclosed.

Read on.

Del. High Court Won’t Revive JPMorgan Investor’s $2B Suit

Law360, New York (February 25, 2016, 2:04 PM ET) — The Delaware Supreme Court rejected a JPMorgan Chase & Co. investor’s bid to revive a suit on behalf of the investment bank claiming its executives allowed the bank to use lax money laundering and sanction controls which cost it more than $2 billion in fines.

JPMorgan has escaped claims brought by the city of Providence, R.I., that certain directors and officers breached their fiduciary duties by presiding over the ineffective controls. (Credit: AP) In a brief order, the court’s five justices upheld a state chancery court’s…

Source: Law360

It’s official: Nationstar will rebrand as Mr. Cooper

It’s official.

Confirming plans that HousingWire brought to light late last year and further revealedearlier this year, Nationstar Mortgage will indeed be launching a massive rebranding later this year and changing its name to Mr. Cooper.

Nationstar CEO Jay Bray confirmed the company’s plan to rebrand as Mr. Cooper during a call with investors to discuss the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2015financial results.

When HousingWire first reported Nationstar’s plans to rebrand as Mr. Cooper, it was unknown, even reportedly to the company’s employees, how extensive the rebranding effort would be, but Bray told investors that Nationstar plans to combine its originations and servicing business under the Mr. Cooper brand umbrella.

In a presentation accompanying the call with investors, Nationstar stated that the plan is to consolidate its Nationstar and Greenlight Loans brands into Mr. Cooper.

According to the investor presentation, the plan behind the Mr. Cooper rebranding effort is to “create the most customer-focused company in the industry….challenging convention and status quo,” a mission statement that Bray echoed throughout the call with investors.

Read on.

New Fed President Kashkari… Gone Rogue on Goldman or Smokescreen?

That is the question…

Interesting times we live in. And we need to ask whether the recent unprecedented comments by Neel Kashkari, the newly appointed President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, to break up the big banks is genuine or too good to be true and a political smokescreen.
Former Goldman Sacks vice president Kashkari is a Republican and a former senior Treasury official under George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, who led the first TARP program. He recently declared that the present rules which are supposed to protect tax payers and the economy from bank failures fall short and the U.S. is very much at risk for another financial crisis.
His unprecedented statements are calling forth potshots and questions from all sides of the political aisle.
Regards,
Richard

Wells Fargo faces ongoing mortgage probes despite recent FHA settlement

Wells Fargo continues to face federal and state mortgage probes, even after the $1.2 billion settlement it reached in early February to resolve claims of misconduct related to mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Wells Fargo, in its annual 10-K filing released on Wednesday, said it continues to face “investigations or examinations of certain mortgage related practices” from “federal and state government agencies, including the United States Department of Justice.”

In the bank’s 10-K filing in 2014, it had referred to “government agencies,” instead of the reference to “federal and state government agencies” in the latest filing. A bank spokesman declined to comment on the change.

Wells Fargo said in a filing earlier this month it had reached an agreement in principle to pay $1.2 billion to resolve a 2012 lawsuit brought by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, an arm of the Justice Department. It said the agreement, which has yet to be finalized, would also resolve claims by the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Read on.