'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 "energy":

"… ed by the Center for Responsive Politics. She also has the support of many energy companies. Capito is not among the top recipients of contributions from th …"

'Zombie' homes haunt Florida neighborhoods

By Alison Fitzgerald and Jared Bennett

Neighborhoods devastated by thousands of abandoned homes as banks fail to follow through on foreclosures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… forming her that her disability payments, those of her daughter, and their Medicare benefits were being cut off. The Social Security Administration said she l …"

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 "Palm Beach County":

"… t want to see your face back here.” At least twice that morning at the Palm Beach County Courthouse she refused to delay foreclosure trials in cases where the bank …"

"… work they were supposed to keep was never kept,” said Thomas Ice, a Palm Beach County lawyer. Banks and their lawyers turned to so-called robo-signers, employe …"

"… ainst every rule of evidence since the beginning of time,” said Ice, the Palm Beach County foreclosure lawyer. Ice said that for someone to authenticate business rec …"

"… faith in Florida’s legal system, among them Carmen and David Abdo. The Palm Beach County couple is facing simultaneous foreclosures on three homes. They got into t …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… gston, R-Ga. and Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Back on Capitol Hill, the Chamber continues to lobby heavily on “criti …"

Fourth case reopened after Center uncovers judicial conflict of interest

By Chris Young

U.S. appeals court reopened foreclosure case after Center uncovered that a judge owned stock in Wells Fargo, court reaches same decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maryland":

"… ountaga and Michelle Johnson Bah, the couple fighting to keep their Bowie, Maryland, home, didn’t get the decision they wanted when a new panel of judges re …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… old are required by law to be identified in candidates’ reports with the Federal Election Commission. Critics contend that bundlers have undue influence over politicians. Con …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… ds’? To save his home, Mountaga Bah needed to win a legal battle with a banking giant. Faced with the threat of foreclosure, Bah and his wife sued Wel …"

"… ah and his wife sued Wells Fargo bank beginning in 2008, claiming that the bank engaged in predatory lending when it added a second mortgage to the Bowie, …"

"… be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments. The complaint alleged the bank’s lax underwriting meant it lacked “clean hands.” In 2010, a three- …"

"… 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Keenan owned stock in the bank.  “I couldn’t believe it,” Bah told the Center after he learne …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… r lending and finance companies, is married to a banker who has worked for Wells Fargo and Citigroup. Himes spent 12 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before joi …"

N.M. bill aims to put judge disclosures back online

By Kytja Weir

Bill calls for posting judge's financial disclosures online in wake of Center for Public Integrity investigation on transparency.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Montana":

"… f Columbia officials are reviewing disclosure requirements there. And Montana’s top court proposed judicial disclosures for the first time.  &nbs …"

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

By Wendell Potter

Conservative group's power has been under-covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Media and Democracy":

"… nce the profits of its sponsors, usually at the expense of consumers. The Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit corporate watchdog organization, sifted through the documents …"

"… er a 2005 NRA presentation to ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force. As The Center for Media and Democracy reported, the corporate co-chair of that task force at the time was Walmar …"

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… Fargo & Co. of predatory lending. One justice, who owned stock in the bank, recused himself from the case. But Justice Kathryn Werdegar, who owned as …"

Lobbying dips overall, but the beat goes on for guns, drugs and agriculture

By Dave Levinthal

But third-quarter expenditures are down for many special interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Medical Association":

"… th care interests, such as the American Chemistry Council ($4.75 million), American Medical Association ($4.27 million) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization ($2.02 million …"

Subprime lending execs back in business five years after crash

By Daniel Wagner

Executives from all of the top 25 subprime lending firms are working in the mortgage business five years later.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history. The move set off a series of dramatic act …"

"… ff a series of dramatic actions in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street as bankers and regulators sought to avoid a shutdown of the global economy. To mar …"

"… rs hastened the downfall of Merrill Lynch after the Wall Street investment bank bought it in 2006 for $1.3 billion. He was still running First Frankl …"

"… t assure the quality of the loans we originate.” The next year, federal banking regulators said First Franklin was among the lenders with the highest f …"

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":

"… Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history. The move set off a series of dramatic act …"

"… ff a series of dramatic actions in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street as bankers and regulators sought to avoid a shutdown of the global economy. To mar …"

"… t consumers and sluggish business investment. Many of the top Wall Street bankers who were largely responsible for the disaster — and whose companies e …"

"… ee time between mansions and golf, skiing and tennis. Meantime, the major banks that survived the crisis, largely because they were saved with taxpayer m …"

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 "Deutsche Bank":

"… owerful banks on Wall Street: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. The fact they were able to emerge unscathed from a financial crisis that …"

"… attorney didn’t respond to requests for comment.  Renee Calabro, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman, declined to comment on his current salary. Mayer owns a $3.7 …"

"… 2008 and awarded a nearly identical position. Two years later he jumped to Deutsche Bank, as head of corporate banking and securities in North America. Feds stay …"

Yellen as Fed chair would be tougher on banks

By Alison Fitzgerald

Janet Yellen, President Obama’s intended nominee for Federal reserve chief, may prove to be tougher on banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… ter’s recent profile of Yellen provides an illuminating road map of what bankers, investors and markets can expect from the academic economist now ascen …"

"… running to become chairwoman of the Federal Reserve and that has many bankers and Wall Street titans worried. The diminutive vice chairwoman of the …"

"… Street titans worried. The diminutive vice chairwoman of the U.S. central bank — an academic economist who is married to a Nobel Prize-winning economis …"

"… n — an area where she’d have tremendous power as leader of the central bank — are less well-known. “Her strengths are as an economist and thinkin …"

Super PAC leader undeterred by criminal conviction

By Adam Wollner

Pennsylvanian convicted of crime, banned from Virginia Tech campus wants to make political waves.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… political campaign before, but volunteered for GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain during the last two elections. Fauber is not the only twe …"

Mel Watt enjoys close ties to financial industries

By Alison Fitzgerald

Bank leaders, PACs made prospective housing agency leader a top recipient of campaign cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "nonprofit research":

"… d insurance industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group that tracks money in politics.  That’s almost a quarter of t …"

After big U.S. Supreme Court win, Montana nonprofit suffers string of losses

By Paul Abowd

Democrat Steve Bullock's gubernatorial win a low point for litigious conservative group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "attorney":

"… s. Bullock ran on his record of defending the state’s spending limits as attorney general, when he faced off with ATP in court.Bullock’s victory was not t …"

"… .”The law firms that establish these nonprofits, he says, “hide behind attorney-client privilege” to deflect questions about the political operations of …"

"… client has instructed me not to reveal that information,” said Hackstaff attorney Mario Nicolais, when the Center inquired about the nonprofit groups’ con …"

"… one of five positions on the state’s land board alongside the governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor. The five-member board votes …"

Corporate cash helps fuel Democratic convention despite pledges

By Michael Beckel

Democrats kick off their convention in Charlotte Tuesday with plenty of corporate support despite grass roots pledge.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tampa":

"… s of the Democratic convention were also sponsors of the host committee in Tampa for last week’s Republican National Convention.“The Coca-Cola Company …"

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 "San Diego":

"… al Telephone & Telegraph offered $400,000 if the GOP would bring it to San Diego. Eight days later, the administration of President Richard Nixon dropped a …"

"… in the press, Republicans tried to save face and moved the convention from San Diego to Miami Beach.The scandal prompted Congress to enact a new law that would …"

Wells Fargo to pay $175M in lending settlement

By The Associated Press

Justice Dept: Wells Fargo to pay $175M to settle allegations of bias against blacks, Hispanics

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… At a news conference, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the bank's discriminatory lending practices resulted in more than 34,000 African-Am …"

"… crisis will have an opportunity to access homeownership. The bank will pay $125 million in compensation for borrowers who were steered into …"

"… ment's civil rights division. Perez said that because of the bank's practices "an African-American wholesale customer in the Chicago area in …"

Wells Fargo hit with $3.1 million fine in mortgage servicing mess

By John Dunbar

A federal judge has ordered Wells Fargo to pay a homeowner $3.1 million for mishandling a loan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… Huffington Post.The opinion was issued by Elizabeth Magner, a federal bankruptcy judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Manger described Wells F …"

New whistleblower cases allege continued bank fraud

By Amy Biegelsen and Emma Schwartz

Mortgage modifications and appraisal processes in question

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… t with five major lenders.  A suit unsealed March 7 alleges that Bank of America fraudulently misled borrowers and regulators in order to keep customers ou …"

"… ted.As a condition of accepting $45 billion from the federal bank bailout, Bank of America promised to help move troubled borrowers into the taxpayer subsidized Home …"

"… gory Mackler, formerly an employee of Urban Lending Solutions, the company Bank of America contracted to manage HAMP complaints.Mackler claims the company developed …"

"… were eligible for federally subsidized loan modifications.The suit claims Bank of America:Told borrowers and regulators that a complaint was “under review” whil …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… regulators also say they have done their part: last year, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and other big servicers agreed to give more than 4 million …"

"… mall home they bought six years previous. On Sept. 12, agents working for Wells Fargo Home Loans generated two “broker price opinions”—estimates, basicall …"

"… estimates, basically, of the value of the Stewart home. As loan servicer, Wells Fargo was in charge of collecting payments and managing a default or foreclosure …"

"… the judge said. The charges were assessed under circumstances contrary to Wells Fargo policy and were “unreasonable under the circumstances,” she ruled, aft …"

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 "Citigroup":

"… ng a growing number of emails and phone messages from people who worked at Citigroup’s subprime lending unit, CitiFinancial. The lender, they told Lee, was u …"

"… e demanded to resolve an employment dispute.”With the pressure building, Citigroup went out of its way to warn other current and former employees to keep qui …"

"… iet about what went on at CitiFinancial, according to Reuters news service.Citigroup, Reuters said, hired a famed litigator “to help fight allegations of ill …"

"… h at least 15 current or former employees, reminding the ex-employees that Citigroup would enforce the “non-disparagement clauses” in their severance agree …"

Bailed-out banks paid no income tax in some years, according to study

By John Dunbar and John Dunbar

New study shows bailed-out banks among those companies that paid no income tax at least one year

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… han 35 percent amounted to “wasted money that could have gone to protect Medicare, create jobs and cut the deficit.” This story has been updated. …"

Investor protections imperiled by Wall Street, GOP assault on financial reform

By John F. Wasik

Wall Street and GOP assault consumer protections in Dodd-Frank reforms

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington Mutual":

"… nded investor shields when she was approached by a broker working inside a Washington Mutual Bank. After inheriting some money from her brother in 2007, the retired Sa …"

"… rbitration award against the bank, JP Morgan Chase & Co., which bought Washington Mutual in 2008 after it failed. "Something about being in a bank made me trust h …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… with the firms — Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. — over allegations of widespread abuse …"

"… es.Four of the five companies under scrutiny—Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — are major donors for state and federal political campaig …"

"… re vital to financial corporations when the Democrats controlled the House.Wells Fargo gave over $1 million to candidates, party committees and other PACs since …"

"… on to candidates, party committees and other PACs since the start of 2009. Wells Fargo has given at least $45,000 each to the NRCC and NRSC and at least $30,000 …"

“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 "Wells Fargo":

"… ractices with 14 big banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. …"