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Wells Fargo settles bid-rigging claims for $148 million

Wells FargoWells Fargo & Co. and regulators announced Thursday a $148 million settlement to resolve accusations that Wachovia, which was purchased by Wells, participated in a bid-rigging scheme that hurt state and local governments.

It's the fourth major bank to settle with the consortium of federal agencies and state attorneys general. Bank of America Corp. settled for $137 million last December.

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Fix was in: Bloomberg mag seconds a scoop

So, now do you believe me? The stock market was rigged.

But now that another news organization has finally gotten off its lazy butt, I’ll tell it again: Under former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, confidential government information was regularly leaked to select people on Wall Street.

By giving confidential information to a roomful of traders, Paulson had to understand he’d influence the price of Fannie and Freddie stock and, by extension, the whole market.

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Ex-Countrywide Exec Blows The Lid Off The Systemic Fraud At The Company

Eileen Foster Eileen Foster, a former senior executive at Countrywide Financial, told CBS's "60 Minutes" Steve Kroft that mortgage fraud was a way of business.

"From what I saw, the types of things I saw, it was — it appeared systemic. It, it wasn't just one individual or two or three individuals, it was branches of individuals, it was regions of individuals," she told Kroft.

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29 Amazing Stats Which Prove That The Rich Are Getting Richer And The Poor Are Getting Poorer

Just take a look at banking.  The "too big to fail" banks just keep getting bigger and bigger. Back in 2002, the top 10 U.S. banks controlled 55 percent of all U.S. banking assets.  Today, the top 10 U.S. banks control 77 percent of all U.S. banking assets.

If you can believe it, the "big six" U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo) now control assets equivalent to approximately 60 percent of America's gross national product.

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Speculators drive cotton price volatility, hurting farmers and consumers

Speculators drive cotton pricesTexas cotton grower Brad Heffington speaks Wall Street's language of hedges, correlation charts and the like as easily as he discusses weevils and pesticides. Yet today his financial knowledge is of limited use.

Heffington's been sidelined from the cotton futures market, thanks to a surge of financial speculators into the market, which originally was designed to protect farmers like him against price shifts.

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Foreclosure Fraud in a Nutshell

Newt Gingrichand How Newt Gingrich Abetted the Theft of Average Joe’s Home


 

The untold story in the foreclosure crisis unfolding across America is that, following a foreclosure perpetrated by one of the October 2008 Bailout Banks (e.g. Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo) Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac suddenly appear as the record owner of Average Joe’s home. These federal government sponsored entities then go into local housing court and get a court order authorizing them to evict Joe. If Joe resists, these supposedly charitable institutions obtain a writ ordering the local sheriff to forcibly remove Joe from his home.

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How Paulson Gave Hedge Funds Advance Word of Financial Crisis

Hank PaulsonTreasury Secretary Henry Paulson stepped off the elevator into the Third Avenue offices of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP in Manhattan. It was July 21, 2008, and market fears were mounting. Four months earlier, Bear Stearns Cos. had sold itself for just $10 a share to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

Now, amid tumbling home prices and near-record foreclosures, attention was focused on a new source of contagion: Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac, which together had more than $5 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and other debt outstanding, Bloomberg Markets reports in its January issue.

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