Prison banker cuts fees after Center report

By Daniel Wagner

A prison financial services company cut the fees it charges inmates' families after Center report on high costs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… t funds sent by mail but most offer money order deposits as a free option. Florida, an outlier, charges its own processing fee for money order deposits. Befo …"

"… with Kansas to eliminate the fee for money order deposits in that state. Florida also charges a 50 cent fee for money order deposits, according to the stat …"

Center report spurs investigation of Bank of America, JPMorgan prison deals

By Daniel Wagner

No-bid contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan under government scrutiny after Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… cial agents,” the watchdog's general counsel, Rich Delmar, told The Center for Public Integrity. The Center first reported this month that the banks have exclusive acces …"

"… be. Delmar said the investigation was launched on Oct. 3, a day after The Center for Public Integrity published a report on the contracts. Bank of America’s deal also d …"

Senator questions Bank of America’s no-bid prison deal

By Daniel Wagner

After a Center report, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says Bank of America's no-bid prison banking deal "raises significant questions"

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… xpayers the most bang for the buck,” Grassley said in a statement to the Center for Public Integrity. “Any time the government avoids competitive bidding, the practice needs …"

Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up

By Daniel Wagner

Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. avoid competitive bidding process in contracts serving federal prisoners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "JPMorgan Chase":

"… nders. On Wall Street, Bank of America plays a perpetual second fiddle to JPMorgan Chase & Co., the only U.S. bank that holds more assets. A few blocks north, …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… ment of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private company in Florida, would begin handling all deposits into inmates’ accounts. Sending a mo …"

"… t year, when her son was sentenced to 20 days in jail in St. Lucie County, Florida, for reckless driving, Linda wanted to buy him a second pair of underwear …"

"… r, she was instructed to make the money order out to JPay and send it to a Florida post office box. The company would credit it to Eddie’s account. Under …"

"… e fees related to his business. He said he did not know, for example, that Florida now charges its own fee for money order deposits after JPay processes the …"

Debit cards slam released prisoners with sky-high fees, few protections

By Amirah Al Idrus

Former prisoners say funds earned in prison eaten away by exorbitant debit card fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… hoice: Many consumers who choose to use a prepaid card, often instead of a bank account, can shop around for the least costly option. Released inmates lik …"

"… against fraud, said Marty E. Moore, a Utah-based lawyer who represented a bank that issued prepaid cards given to inmates at Ramsey County Law Enforcemen …"

"… cording to former Ramsey County inmates who last year sued the county, the bank and Keefe Commissary Network, which provides the cards to the jail.   …"

Lawmakers issue dueling Dodd-Frank reports

By Jared Bennett

Republicans say the financial reform law creates a bailout fund. Democrats says the 4-year-old law makes banks safer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… blican administration of George W. Bush, with the blessing of a Democratic Congress, created a $700 billion fund to bail out banks and other financial firms t …"

"… f the financial industry. The "banking caucus" includes Democrats. Former Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., who was co-author of the reform law, will defend …"

Four years after passage, House keeps trying to kill Dodd-Frank

By Jared Bennett

On the fourth anniversary of the passage of landmark financial reform law, opponents still trying to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ted almost $248 million to political campaigns, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, more than any industry. While most of these proposals probably don’t h …"

Congressman defends payday lending industry

By Daniel Wagner

Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., featured in Center investigation on the 'banking caucus.'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… onic payments. Meeks was dubbed a member of the “banking caucus” in a Center for Public Integrity investigation released in April. Just before he spoke, the group heard fro …"

Credit union overseer cozies up to industry execs

By Daniel Wagner

Credit union regulator Rick Metsger cozies up to industry execs at D.C. conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rick Metsger":

"… nancial risks. “In reality we — you and I — are both regulators,” Rick Metsger told an annual meeting convened by the industry’s biggest trade group, t …"

Do senators fear the Internet?

By Rachel Baye

Nearly one-fifth of upper chamber members say they support e-filing campaign finance reports — but won't be this week.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… s and super PACs must file their fourth-quarter financial reports with the Federal Election Commission electronically. Senate campaigns, however, must submit their reports on p …"

New credit union cop tight with industry

By Daniel Wagner

Newest credit union overseer owes political career to industry he regulates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chairman":

"… ica. Among the guests at Metsger’s luncheon was his new boss, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz, a credit union executive between her two stints as a regulato …"

"… take more risks and grow. They often find sympathetic ears at the NCUA. Chairman Matz, for example, has repeatedly urged Congress to allow credit unions to …"

Days after investigation, coal miners' safety net scrutinized

By Bill Buzenberg

Center's 'Breathless and Burdened' series leads U.S. senators to call for changes, major hospital to halt program and review practices.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coal":

"… thing miners and their families in the Coal fields have known for decades. Coal companies, their lawyers and their hand-picked doctors will go to any leng …"

Obama bundlers nominated for diplomatic posts in New Zealand, Iceland

By Michael Beckel

President Obama has named two more of his top campaign fundraisers for plum, overseas diplomatic posts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… o elevate major bundlers and loyalists to top diplomatic jobs. Gilbert, a Florida-based director at the financial services firm Barclays, raised at least $1 …"

Donor profile: Joe Ricketts

By Reity O'Brien

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Major League Baseball":

"… also sit on its board. In addition to a financial services giant and a Major League Baseball team, Ricketts’ ventures include a bison meat distribution company in Wy …"

Visa, MasterCard in $6B settlement over card fees

By The Associated Press

Visa, MasterCard and banks reach $6B settlement over card fees

Excerpts from this story referencing "MasterCard":

"… rCard rose 3.7 percent. …"

"… way Inc. and Walgreen Co. began filing price-fixing lawsuits against Visa, MasterCard and other banks. The retailers claimed the credit card issue …"

"… average about 2 percent of the price of a purchase. Visa and MasterCard make money on the fees that stores pay for each customer that uses credit …"

"… ir costs for accepting the cards. But up until now, Visa and MasterCard have banned stores from charging customers who use credit cards more. Merc …"

Aung San Suu Kyi

US eases sanctions, allowing investment in Myanmar

By The Associated Press

US allows investment in Myanmar, including oil and gas, in biggest rollback yet of sanctions

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… and U.S. corporations, but not by the people of Burma." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce commended the easing of sanctions. Its vice president of international aff …"

Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s conservative media appearances pay off as he raises millions from out-of-state donors

By Kate Golden and Amy Karon

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's national conservative media appearances have helped him to raise millions from out-of-state donors

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… lkercalendars. Coming Sunday, May 20: Who got access to Walker? …"

"… and scores more hours he spent building credentials with conservatives in Wisconsin and across the nation.The governor granted more interview time to the nati …"

"… eeking comment.Walker’s time with media was tallied using a database the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism created from Walker’s calendars.Kath …"

"… s.Katherine Cramer Walsh, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the Center’s findings matched her own assessment of Walker …"

Super PAC cash plays big role in Nebraska Senate race

By Michael Beckel

Super PAC spending again plays major role in Senate contest, this time in Nebraska.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Deb Fischer":

"… mocrat. Instead, two underfunded insurgent candidates — Don Stenberg and Deb Fischer — are giving him a run for his money, thanks in large part to a handful …"

Finance industry makes up nearly half of pro-Romney super PAC’s donations

By Alexandra Duszak and Rachael Marcus

America's wealthiest investors fill coffers of pro-Romney super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rod Aycox":

"… s a very important power, so the payday lenders do not like the CFPB.” Rod Aycox, of Loan Max, and his title loan company Select Management Resources gave …"

Embattled finance committee chairman gets help from credit unions

By Michael Beckel

Credit union industry is sticking with embattled incumbent Rep. Spencer Bachus in Alabama primary

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… upstart super PAC called the “Campaign for Primary Accountability,” a Texas-based group that has been critical of incumbents in several districts acro …"

Chamber spends early, often on GOP congressional candidates

By Peter H. Stone

The nation's largest business lobby taps corporate giants in an attempt to recapture Senate

K Street, Wall Street line up behind Sen. Scott Brown in his race against Elizabeth Warren

By Peter H. Stone

Senate race fundraising stoked by dislike of big bank nemesis Elizabeth Warren

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 …"

Koch-related group is reviewing financial transactions with Cain aide's charity

By Peter H. Stone

Americans for Prosperity ties to Cain aide under review

Excerpts from this story referencing "Supreme Court":

"… nance laws. In 1997 he chaired the victorious Wisconsin campaign for state Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox. The campaign prompted bipartisan charges from members …"

In India, bidi industry's clout trumps health initiatives

By Murali Krishnan and Shantanu Guha Ray

Bidi makers in India adopt Big Tobacco tactics to avoid reforms on smoking and excise taxes

Excerpts from this story referencing "World Health Organization":

"… than from all other forms of tobacco combined, according to studies by the World Health Organization and the Voluntary Health Association of India.Bidis are distributed primar …"

Only 15 of top 100 health information technology firms are lobbying on health IT

By Josh Israel

Many of the top health information technnology firms don't lobby on health IT

One year after reform law passed, Wall Street still spending big on lobbying

By Shirley Gao

Wall Street has spent $100 million so far this year on lobbying, just slightly less than last year

More oversight needed for Myanmar cyclone relief funds, GAO says

By Maya Rhodan

Recent audit shows USAID lacks proper management of relief funding in Myanmar

Financial stability council warns Congress U.S. markets still fragile

By Shirley Gao

Financial Stability Oversight Council tells Congress markets are still vulnerable

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