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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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Wealth gap is widest in some affluent US cities

NYCThe gap between the wealthy and the poor is most extreme in several of the United States' most prosperous and largest cities.

The economic divides in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are significantly greater than in the rest of the country, according to a study released Thursday by the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based think tank. It suggests that many sources of both economic growth and income inequality have co-existed near each other for the past 35 years .

These cities may struggle in the future to provide adequate public schooling, basic municipal services because of a narrow tax base and "may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families," the study said.

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Fed orders post-crisis crackdown at big banks

YellinThe Federal Reserve moved Tuesday to correct one of the main causes of the 2008 financial crisis, ordering the nation’s largest domestic banks and foreign ones operating in the United States to hold more capital in case things go bad.

The long-anticipated rule covers banks both domestic and international with assets above $50 billion. It was required as part of the sweeping revamp of financial regulation back in 2010 that followed the most devastating financial crisis since the Great Depression. It aims to reduce system-wide risks.

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Better Markets sues Justice Department over JPMorgan deal

DOJ suedThe non-profit group Better Markets filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department on Monday to block what it called an "unlawful" $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co over bad mortgage loans sold to investors before the financial crisis.

The record settlement, which was reached in November, does not release JPMorgan from potential criminal liability over the mortgages it packaged into bonds. But Better Markets said it was still appalled that the settlement gave the bank "blanket civil immunity" for its conduct without sufficient judicial review.

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The Spectacular Myth of Obama's Part-Time America—in 5 Graphs

Obama's part time AmericaIf you've been paying attention to a certain slice of the financial media—see: Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Fox News—you know for a fact that Obama and his health care law have tag-teamed with global economic trends to drive America inexorably toward a part-time economy.

This is a testable claim. So let's test it.

The first thing you would expect to see from a Part-Time America is that the number of part-time jobs added would rival the number of full-time jobs added. But in the last year, new full-time jobs outnumbered part-time jobs by 1.8 million to 8,000. For every new part-time job, we're creating 225 full-time positions.

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AOL chief reverses changes to 401(k) policy after a week of bad publicity

Tim ArmstrongAOL chief executive Tim Armstrong told employees in an e-mail Saturday evening that he was reversing the company’s 401(k) policy and apologized for his controversial comments last week.

“The leadership team and I listened to your feedback over the last week,” Armstrong wrote in his e-mail to the company. “We heard you on this topic. And as we discussed the matter over several days, with management and employees, we have decided to change the policy back to a per-pay-period matching contribution.”

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A Rash of Deaths and a Missing Reporter – With Ties to Wall Street Investigations

wall street investigationsIn a span of four days last week, two current executives and one recently retired top ranking executive of major financial firms were found dead. Both media and police have been quick to label the deaths as likely suicides. Missing from the reports is the salient fact that all three of the financial firms the executives worked for are under investigation for potentially serious financial fraud.

The deaths began on Sunday, January 26. London police reported that William Broeksmit, a top executive at Deutsche Bank who had retired in 2013, had been found hanged in his home in the South Kensington section of London. The day after Broeksmit was pronounced dead, Eric Ben-Artzi, a former risk analyst turned whistleblower at Deutsche Bank, was scheduled to speak at Auburn University in Alabama on his allegations that Deutsche had hid $12 billion in losses during the financial crisis with the knowledge of senior executives. Two other whistleblowers have brought similar charges against Deutsche Bank.

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SAC Capital ex-trader convicted of insider trading

Mathre Martoma- A former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager was convicted Thursday of helping his company earn more than a quarter billion dollars illegally through trades based on secrets about the testing of a potential breakthrough Alzheimer's drug.

The verdict capped a three-week trial that featured testimony from two prominent doctors who confessed to spilling secrets to Mathew Martoma during lucrative consultations. When prosecutors announced the case in November 2012, they said it may be the most lucrative insider trading scheme of all time.

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