Health insurers watch profits soar as they dump small business customers

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: profits soar while they dump small business customers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… March 2010. Anthem’s is up 238 percent over the same time period.  Aetna’s 290 percent. Cigna’s 305 percent. And Humana’s 309 percent. Meanwh …"

"… Unfortunately, Obamacare does little if anything to stop purging.   Aetna at one point was especially aggressive in dumping unprofitable accounts. T …"

"…  reported in 2004 that as part of an effort to boost the bottom line, Aetna spent more than $20 million to install new technology that enabled it to …"

'Banking Caucus' member aims for Senate

By Alison Fitzgerald

Republican candidate for Senate U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito defends little banks but big banks benefit too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… cal action committees of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Bank of New York Mellon are among the top 20 donors to Capito’s Senate run, according to …"

Homeowners steamrolled as Florida courts clear foreclosure backlog

By Alison Fitzgerald

Why are Florida's courts rushing to clear more than 700 foreclosure cases per day?

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… unty Courthouse she refused to delay foreclosure trials in cases where the banks and homeowners together requested extra time. Lewis’ manner may be bru …"

"… clear the court dockets, largely by awarding tens of thousands of homes to banks. “The state’s entire court system has been compromised,” says Matt …"

"… used on clearing the court system of cases and cutting the time it takes a bank to foreclose. What began as an effort by the Florida Legislature and judi …"

"… ds of families out of houses and turning the foreclosed properties over to banks and mortgage servicers to maintain and sell into an already swamped marke …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… rs served to amplify the messages regulators were receiving from JPMorgan, Bank of America,  the American Bankers Association and dozens of others asking them t …"

"… rett wrote another letter, reiterating their demands and citing reports by Bank of America and Moody’s Analytics that were also cited in at least three bank and tr …"

Ex-Wall Street chieftains living large in post-meltdown world

By Alison Fitzgerald

CEOs of banks that fueled the subprime crisis that led to the economic meltdown largely avoid consequences.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… Stanley O’Neal (Merrill Lynch), Chuck Prince (Citigroup) and Ken Lewis (Bank of America) are also living in quiet luxury. Meltdown primer A quick crisis refresh …"

"… e wanted to buy. As the losses mounted, O’Neal made overtures, first to Bank of America, then to Wachovia, about buying Merrill Lynch — without the approval of …"

"… by John Thain, a former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, who convinced Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch for $50 billion just as Lehman was imploding and taki …"

"… 8 bloodbath and even came out looking like a hero to some when he arranged Bank of America’s hasty purchase of Merrill Lynch — O’Neal’s former employer — f …"

Bear Stearns mortgage executives have plum jobs on Wall Street

By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

Executives from the mortgage finance division that helped sink Bear Stearns have similar jobs at major Wall Street banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "banking":

"… said Chad Dean, managing partner of Integrated Management Resources and a banking recruiter for 11 years. “Nobody should be surprised that Bear Stearns p …"

"… county property records. After Bear’s demise he was scooped up by Swiss banking giant UBS in 2008 and awarded a nearly identical position. Two years later …"

"… position. Two years later he jumped to Deutsche Bank, as head of corporate banking and securities in North America. Feds stay quiet To date there have been …"

Benefit payment change hurts poor

By Daniel Wagner

Move away from paper checks means big money for bank, confusion for some Social Security beneficiaries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dallas":

"… The Treasury Department launched the program in 2008, teaming up with the Dallas-based bank to issue the “Direct Express” debit cards in a deal that la …"

"… bilities, setting up a parallel call center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, about a mile from Comerica’s headquarters. Treasury didn’t reduce Com …"

Lobbying firm PACs start 2013 slow

By Dave Levinthal

Few raising or spending big money early in 2013 — if at all.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Podesta Group":

"… nd candidates. Among the PAC-less government affairs powerhouses are Podesta Group; Ogilvy Government Relations; Peck, Madigan & Jones; Prime Policy …"

"… haps there is no better example of this than No. 3 lobbying firm Podesta Group, whose leader, Tony Podesta, ranks among the most active individual politi …"

JPMorgan Chase’s record highlights doubts about big banks’ devotion to fighting flow of dirty money

By Michael Hudson

JPMorgan Chase’s record highlights doubts about devotion to fighting flow of dirty money

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… cting as magnets for “flight capital” from rich tax dodgers from Latin America and other regions. The bank also played a part, lawsuits alleged, in massi …"

"… g network attracts large deposits to the U.S. from rich customers in Latin America and other regions. Much of this money isn’t reported to tax authorities …"

"… ealth tax-free offshore.” Rich history JPMorgan Chase is an amalgam of America’s two most storied banks. Historian Ron Chernow called the Morgan bankin …"

"… ate scandal, serving as a conduit for an illegal $55,000 contribution that American Airlines laundered through a foreign source and funneled into President N …"

Lobbyist PACs hurting for cash following election

By Dave Levinthal

Political cash machines of many top government affairs shops see a slow start to 2014 election cycle.

Excerpts from this story referencing "General Electric":

"… cent clients include AT&T, Citigroup, Delta Airlines, Facebook, FedEx, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, National Association of Br …"

OPINION: Who wins with Medicare Advantage?

By Wendell Potter

Medicare Advantage plans are profit centers for private insurance companies because of government incentives to participate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "economist":

"… erstandable when you consider the windfall insurers would receive. Harvard economist David Cutler estimates that about $31 billion in Medicare funds would be n …"

Bailed-out banks, Freddie Mac, AIG gave $6 million to 2008 conventions

By John Dunbar and Michael Beckel

Corporate donors to 2008 party conventions included financial institutions bailed out by government.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fannie Mae":

"… the close of the Republican event, the government took it over along with Fannie Mae. Taxpayers ultimately sank $70 billion into the floundering institution.In …"

OPINION: Why insurers want ObamaCare's Medicaid business

By Wendell Potter

Pay no attention to GOP governors; health insurers want that new Medicaid business.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rick Perry":

"… be fooled by Republican governors like Florida’s Rick Scott and Texas’ Rick Perry, who are saying they’ll opt out of the Medicaid expansion now that the S …"

ANALYSIS: Shareholders raising ruckus about CEO pay

By Wendell Potter

Big pay raises and parting bonuses increasingly raising ire of shareholders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Cordani":

"… by several unions, decided to send the letter after seeing that Cigna CEO David Cordani was given a pay raise of more than 25 percent last year, bringing his tota …"

"… e, Cigna’s shareholders just might agree with CtW and Juan Figueroa that David Cordani might not deserve that 25 percent pay hike. …"

FACT CHECK: Obama White House ‘full of Wall Street executives’?

By FactCheck.Org

Conservative super PAC runs ad on 'Obama's Wall Street Inner Circle'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… ve 501(c)(4) exaggerates the number of “Wall Street executives” in the Obama White House. In a major TV ad buy, the American Future Fund lists 27 peopl …"

"… ad buy, the American Future Fund lists 27 people it claims are part of “Obama’s Wall Street Inner Circle.” But the ad is either flat wrong or greatl …"

"… ng the most laughable examples we found of “Wall Street executives” in Obama’s “inner circle”:A “White House fellow,” class of 2009-2010, who …"

"… ho were appointed by President George W. Bush, and who left not long after Obama took office.Two men who never worked in the administration — including t …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

Automated foreclosure process creates errors, stifles modifications and enrages helpless homeowners

Excerpts from this story referencing "mortgage servicer":

"… ed] loan in the country.” So far, the most muscular attempts to rein in mortgage servicer bad practices have come in U.S. bankruptcy courts, where many judges, incl …"

"… start making new, lower payments on a modified loan in September. But the mortgage servicer mistakenly applies the first payment to the August balance. Because the pa …"

"… itle them to collect late fees first.) A recent academic study found that mortgage servicers can make more money from a defaulted loan in some instances than they can …"

"… application. But consumer lawyers say that muddled financial benefits for mortgage servicers help explain why the government’s much-heralded Home Affordable Mortgag …"

Judge in Citigroup case has bucked trend of rubber stamping SEC settlements

SEC has long history of settling cases without requiring companies to admit guilt

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citigroup":

"… w York, the jurisdiction where the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Citigroup for knowingly selling toxic mortgage securities to clients. For most, appr …"

"… w Wall Street’s top regulator does business. The deal would have allowed Citigroup to walk without admitting guilt for its actions — just like every other …"

"… rity nuns in the Bronx. None of these men admitted or denied guilt. In the Citigroup case, the government alleged that the bank had misled investors about the …"

"… tial loans. Investors lost about $700 million, according to the SEC, while Citigroup earned a $160 million profit. This type of boilerplate language protects c …"

Whistleblowers ignored, punished by lenders, dozens of former employees say

By Michael Hudson

Former mortgage company employees say fraud was widespread in industry

Excerpts from this story referencing "Forbes":

"… argued, would Citigroup dispatch a partner from Skadden Arps, described by Forbes magazine as “Wall Street’s most powerful law firm,” to talk with low …"

As housing crisis festers, mortgage servicers spend $8 million on political contributions

By Michael Hudson and Aaron Mehta

Mortgage servicers pony up $8 million in political donations as housing crisis festers

Excerpts from this story referencing "economist":

"… een a negative factor in this recovery — or lack of recovery,” housing economist and consultant Michael Carliner said.Generally, when interest rates go dow …"

"… tion. But that hasn’t happened this time around, said Carliner, a former economist for the National Association of Home Builders. “We have lowest mortgage …"

U.S. stock market plunge followed Financial Stability Oversight Council warning

By Michael Hudson

Financial Stability Oversight Council's warning of fragile markets borne out by stock market plunge

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citigroup":

"… has tumbled more than 10 percent.Shares in some of biggest U.S. banks – Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. -- fel …"

No unemployment worries for bank lobbyists in Washington, where business is booming

By Shirley Gao

Big banks bulking up Washington offices by hiring more lobbyists

Excerpts from this story referencing "staff director":

"… iaison, while TD added Edward Silverman, a former Senate Banking Committee staff director, Roll Call reported.And Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. – a compan …"

“Go tell a Republican,” Rep. Frank says to complaints that Congress has failed to curb foreclosures

By Julie Vorman

Foreclosure complaints? "Go tell a Republican" says Rep. Frank

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… ocrat Barney Frank said at a University of New Haven event on Thursday.The Massachusetts lawmaker and co-author of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law blamed Repub …"

Senior Treasury Dept. official is latest financial regulator to resign

By Julie Vorman

Yet another senior vacancy among banking regulators

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… draising – Big bankers sent their regrets instead of checks to President Barack Obama’s Wall Street fundraising dinner last week.Missing from the $35,800 per …"

International regulators order mega-banks to boost capital to 9.5 percent

By Shirley Gao

International regulators order mega-banks to boost capital to 9.5 percent

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citigroup":

"… ent, bringing their capital up to 10.5 percent.That means Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will need a combined $150 billion of extra c …"

Reform reading: Will Warren aide fill top job at new consumer agency?

By Shirley Gao

Reform reading: Will Warren aide fill top job at new consumer agency?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… Frank financial reform law.Warren aide as CFPB nominee? – President Barack Obama may nominate Raj Date, a former banker with Capital One Financial Corp. an …"

ANALYSIS: Blue Shield of California's refund is peanuts compared to its profits

By Wendell Potter

ANALYSIS: Don't take Blue Shield's $180 million refund offer at face value

Excerpts from this story referencing "News analyst":

"… p inform our reporting by taking a few minutes to fill out this form. News analyst Wendell Potter, a former insurance company executive, is the author o …"

As IRS crusades against Americans hiding money offshore, Latin American tax cheats flock to U.S. banks

By Michael Hudson

U.S. and its banks called "biggest tax haven" in world

Excerpts from this story referencing "IRS headquarters":

"… kers Association and the Cato Institute. The event begins at 10 a.m. ET at IRS headquarters in Washington. A history as a haven Investigations over the past half ce …"

Regulatory brawl over debit cards sidesteps the real fee-setters: card companies

By Amy Biegelsen

Lobbying brawl sidesteps the real fee-setters: card companies

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… so that banks will be willing to issue those cards,” said Trish Wexler, spokeswoman for the Electronic Payments Coalition.The debit processing fee helps pay f …"

Data shows Deutsche Bank was key patron of questionable mortgage lenders

By Michael Hudson

Data shows Deutsche Bank was key patron of questionable mortgage lenders

Excerpts from this story referencing "finance":

"… ushed borrowers into loans they couldn’t afford by misrepresenting their finances on official mortgage paperwork.In early 2006, Ameriquest agreed to pay $3 …"

TARP watchdog sounds alarm about "too big to fail" banks

By Julie Vorman

For U.S. banks, bigger is still better despite the financial reform law’s attempt to rein in “too big to fail” institutions, a government wa

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citigroup":

"… too big to fail” institutions, a government watchdog says.An analysis of Citigroup's $20 billion government rescue in 2008 shows that "unless and until insti …"

"… n government rescue in 2008 shows that "unless and until institutions like Citigroup can be left to suffer the full consequences of their own folly, the prospe …"

"… tutions would adjust and “migrate around them,” the report said.In the Citigroup bailout, the Treasury Department imposed strict terms on the bank and rece …"

"… about 46 percent of all U.S. bank deposits and has $2 trillion in assets. Citigroup and Bank of America Corp. each also have about $2 trillion in assets, foll …"