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Hacker group Anonymous says it will release Bank of America emails

March 13, 2011 Comments off

heraldsun.com

The loose-knit hacker collective known as “Anonymous” plans to release emails obtained from Bank of America Corp. early today, an Anonymous-related Twitter feed said.

“[S]ee you guy’s Monday Morning 5am…London Time,” a post from the Twitter username OperationLeakS said.

“Meet my demands Release Pfc. Bradley Manning and I will remove every #BoA Employee from the Emails,” the feed said Saturday, referring to the US Army private accused of leaking sensitive US cables to WikiLeaks.

Manning is currently being held at the Quantico Marine base, outside Washington, D.C.

Anonymous is not officially affiliated with WikiLeaks, but members have previously targeted websites including PayPal, Amazon, Visa and the head office of the Swedish Prosecution Authority for hampering WikiLeaks’ activities.

WikiLeaks said in December 2010 that it would soon release information about banks and advised “that all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America,” prompting speculation that the bank would be the next target of a major WikiLeaks document dump.

Debit cards: $50 spending limit coming?

March 11, 2011 Comments off

cnn.com

Debit card limit By Blake Ellis, staff reporterMarch 10, 2011: 10:09 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Declined! Your debit card may soon be denied for purchases greater than $100 — or even as little as $50.

JPMorgan Chase, one of the nation’s largest banks, is considering capping debit card transactions at either $50 or $100, according to a source with knowledge of the proposal.

Why? Because of a tricky thing called interchange fees.

Right now, every time you swipe your debit card, your bank charges the retailer an average fee of 44 cents, which it shares with its partners. Those little fees, however, add up to about $16 billion per year, according to 2009 data from the Federal Reserve.

But as part of the Wall Street reform legislation that was passed last year, these fees are being slashed. The Fed is currently proposing rules that would go into effect in July and would cap interchange fees at 12 cents.

That’s a big enough cut to cost Read more…

After the ecstasy of revolution, the Bankers quietly begin carving up Egypt and North Africa

February 26, 2011 Comments off

21stcenturywire.com

By Richard Eastman
21st Century Wire
Feb 25, 2011

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to lend one billion EUROS a year to Egypt for reconstruction and “free-market reform”- even as Egypt’s Minister of Finance Samir Radwan has gone begging to the City of London bankers and the British Ministry of Trade and Investment  for relief on debt payments that are about to throw Egypt into bankruptcy.

All this, as Egypt has been such a good boy with regards to privatization and austerity, measures which awarded Egypt its celebrated 7 percent growth rate- mostly in investments that will end up in international hands as ventures fail to pay out with ever diminishing Egyptian domestic purchasing power.

FRESH CYCLES OF DEBT

First EBRD will lend at interest and build what they want backed by Egyptian collateral and the value of the projects themselves.  Then when it turns out they can’t make the debt payments because of all the interest we have sucked from them, we take over all of the assets we have developed.  That’s freedom and EBRD is really going to give it to them.  After all EBRD is  experienced at this.  In 1991 the EBRD was organized to financially lead  Russia and Eastern Europe in their transition from paternalistic socialism to sustainable  free-market economies open to international Read more…

Banks spying on your bills, rent payments, paychecks: report

February 25, 2011 Comments off

This article was published a few months ago, however, it is worth re-posting!

www.rawstory.com

The age of the plain old credit score is gone, says a report at the Wall Street Journal, and it’s been replaced by ever more intrusive efforts by banks and credit agencies to gauge exactly what you’re worth, and what you can pay.

To that end, financial firms are now tracking their customers’ bank deposits, rent payments or home values, and even utility bills to figure out who may soon become a financial risk, reports WSJ‘s Karen Blumenthal.

So, for example, if your employer pays you through direct deposits and those deposits stop, financial institutions can now have warning that your money situation is likely to tighten, and may deny you credit on that basis.

But the efforts don’t end there. A new area of research, income estimation, “took off earlier this year,” WSJ reports, and involves financial firms collecting information about mortgages, personal loans and credit history to determine how much an individual makes and how much credit they should be given.

In this new era of deep data-mining, even your utility bills and rent Read more…

German Bank Nears Purchase of NYSE

February 11, 2011 Comments off

Deutsche Boerse AG is in advanced talks to buy NYSE Euronext in an all-stock transaction that would create the world’s biggest exchange operator, accelerating a day of takeovers that began with London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s acquisition of Canada’s TMX Group Inc.

NYSE and Deutsche Boerse said they will produce 300 million euros ($410 million) in cost savings, according to a statement. Duncan Niederauer, New York-based NYSE Euronext’s chief executive officer, will hold the same job at the combined company. Frankfurt-based Reto Francioni, CEO of Deutsche Boerse, will be chairman. Deutsche Boerse will own about 59 percent to 60 percent of the joined corporation.

The combination, following a decade-long wave of mergers among exchange companies, would unite equity and derivatives platforms from the U.S. and Germany to France, the Netherlands and Portugal. Since 2000, there has been at least Read more…

HOW BANKS AND INVESTORS ARE STARVING THE THIRD WORLD

February 5, 2011 Comments off

Ellen Brown

“What for a poor man is a crust, for a rich man is a securitized asset class.”
–Futures trader Ann Berg, quoted in the UK Guardian

Underlying the sudden, volatile uprising in Egypt and Tunisia is a growing global crisis sparked by soaring food prices and unemployment. The Associated Press reports that roughly 40 percent of Egyptians struggle along at the World Bank-set poverty level of under $2 per day. Analysts estimate that food price inflation in Egypt is currently at an unsustainable 17 percent yearly. In poorer countries, as much as 60 to 80 percent of people’s incomes go for food, compared to just 10 to 20 percent in industrial countries. An increase of a dollar or so in the cost of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread for Americans can mean starvation for people in Egypt and other poor countries.

Follow the Money

The cause of the recent jump in global food prices remains a matter of debate. Some analysts blame the Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” program (increasing the money supply with credit created with accounting entries), which they warn is sparking hyperinflation. Too much money chasing too few goods is the classic explanation for Read more…

Bank of America posts loss on mortgage problems

January 23, 2011 4 comments

Joe Rauch
and Maria Aspan

CHARLOTTE, N.C./NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2011 (Reuters) — Bank of America Corp, the largest U.S. bank, reported weaker-than-expected revenue and a second straight quarterly loss after its limping mortgage business triggered writedowns and legal settlements.


Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch businesses — including retail brokerage and investment banking — were profitable but did not make enough money to overcome the bank’s massive losses from mortgages.

As the financial crisis was ramping up, then Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis bought Countrywide Financial Inc for $4.2 billion. Current CEO Brian Moynihan is still coping with the aftermath.

In the fourth quarter, Bank of America took a writedown of $2 billion to recognize the declining value of Countrywide. The bank also set aside $4.1 billion for legal costs linked to home loans it is buying back from investors, or is likely to buy back.

“Countrywide is still hurting them and it will continue to. It’s like a tooth being pulled — it’s only going to feel good when it’s done,” said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Inc in Cincinnati, which does not own Bank of America shares.

It was not clear how Bank of America’s results compared with analysts’ average estimates, given the profusion of special items in the report. Read more…

US banks foreclosed on record 1 million homes in 2010

January 13, 2011 Comments off

US banks repossessed a record one million homes in 2010, and are predicted to surpass that number in 2011. RealtyTrac said about five million homeowners were at least two months behind on their mortgage payments. Among the worst hit states were Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California. Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate for the fourth year in a row, with one in 11 homes receiving a foreclosure notice. RealtyTrac said more than half the nation’s foreclosures occurred in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan. 2.9 million US households were subject to a foreclosure filing last year, up 1.6% from 2009. RealtyTrac’s senior vice-president Rick Sharga said: “2011 is going to be the peak.” Foreclosures slowed toward the end of 2010 amid revelations banks had improperly documented them, but the pace is expected to pick up in the first quarter of 2011.
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