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Sunday, Dec 21st

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The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

Alayne FleischmannShe tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn't take it anymore.

"It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street," she says. "I thought, 'I can't sit by any longer.'"

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She's had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

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85 richest now have as much money as poorest 3.5B

Warren Buffet"There's been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won."

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett made that remark more than three years ago and it still holds true today — only the gap between the richest and the poorest has gotten even wider.

Here's how bad it is: Oxfam now calculates that the 85 richest billionaires on the planet, including the likes of Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people.

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JPMorgan to cut 3,000 more retail banking jobs

JPMorgan to cut 3,000 jobsJPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the largest U.S. bank by assets, said it would cut 3,000 more jobs than previously expected in its retail banking division.

The bank said it would reduce 4,000 jobs in its card, merchant services and auto unit, up from the 2,000 previously announced. The bank is also cutting 7,000 jobs in its mortgage banking unit, up from 6,000.

JPMorgan will have eliminated 27,000 jobs by the year-end from its consumer bank unit over two years, even after additions for more risk controls and regulatory compliance.

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One-Fifth of Detroit's Population Could Lose Their Homes

Detroiters to lose homesEvone Brown, a 55-year-old former machine operator, survives on $850 a month from retirement and disability checks, which wasn't enough to cover the roughly $8,000 she owed in property taxes on her home on the east side of Detroit.

This year, because she was at least three years behind on her tax payments (most of which she inherited when she bought the house in 2011), Wayne County's treasurer foreclosed on her. As a result, her house is up for sale this week in Wayne County’s online foreclosure auction, at a starting bid of just $500. She will most likely be evicted this January.

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Hundreds Give Up U.S. Passports After New Tax Rules Start

New tax lawsThe number of Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship increased 39 percent in the three months through September after rules that make it harder to hide assets from tax authorities came into force.

People giving up their nationality at U.S. embassies increased to 776 in the third quarter, from 560 in the year-earlier period, according to Federal Register data published today.

Tougher asset-disclosure rules that started July 1 under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, prompted more of the estimated 6 million Americans living overseas to give up their passports. The appeal of U.S. citizenship for expatriates faded further as more than 100 Swiss banks began to turn over data on American clients to avoid prosecution for helping tax evaders.

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Yellen says US experiencing widening inequality

Janet YellenFederal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the last several decades have seen the most sustained rise in income inequality in a century.

In a speech to a Boston conference on economic opportunity, Yellen said this problem is of great concern to her and she pointed to increased education and ownership of small businesses as two ways to deal with the problem.

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Banks accept derivatives rule change to end 'too big to fail' scenario

London financial districtThe $700 trillion financial derivatives industry has agreed to a fundamental rule change from January to help regulators to wind down failed banks without destabilising markets.

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and 18 major banks that dominate the market will now allow financial watchdogs to apply temporary stays to prevent a rush to close derivatives contracts if a bank runs into trouble, the ISDA said on Saturday.

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