February 17, 2014 |
British authorities on Monday charged three former Barclays Bank employees with fraud for allegedly rigging a key interest rate in the run-up to the financial crisis. The country's Serious Fraud Office said it filed criminal charges against Peter Charles Johnson, Jonathan James Matthew and Stylianos Contogoulas in connection with the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor. The office, which investigates and prosecutes complex fraud cases, said the violations took place between June 2005 and August 2007.
February 13, 2014
Re "Payday lenders can't hide ugly rates," Column, Feb. 11 The payday loan industry can try and dress up its loans to look less abusive, but it's just putting lipstick on a pig. Californians pay $578 million in interest payments on payday loans every year, with interest rates ranging from 175% to 480%. It's no wonder the proposal to have the U.S. Postal Service provide low-interest loans is attracting so much attention. Even after accounting for jobs created by the industry, the Insight Center for Economic Development found that payday lenders are responsible for a net loss of $135 million in economic activity in California every year.
February 3, 2014 |
NEW YORK -- First it was worries over China and other developing countries. Now investors have another reason to question the U.S. economy's growth. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 224.64 points, or 1.4%, to 15,474.21 in mid-day trading in New York. The fall in stocks came after a report showed a slowdown in the U.S. manufacturing sector. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 29.78 points, or 1.7%, to 1,752.81. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index lost 89.63 points, or 2.2%, to 4,014.25.
January 29, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Stocks slumped as worries over growth in the developing world continued to rattle investors ahead of an announcement Wednesday afternoon by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 121.31 points, or 0.8%, to 15,807.25 in midday trading on Wall Street. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 8.48, or 0.5%, to 1,748.02. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index fell 14.01, or 0.3%, to 4,083.96. Investors have become increasingly alarmed this year about the strength of economies in emerging markets as the Fed begins to scale back its massive monetary stimulus.
January 15, 2014 |
Mortgage applications rose nearly 12% last week as interest rates fell, according to an industry survey. Both refinance and purchase applications increased last week, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said Wednesday. The group's refinance index surged 11% from a week earlier, while the seasonally adjusted purchase index jumped 12%. But the increase comes as mortgage activity generally is trending downward and interest rates are expected to rise. On Tuesday, citing those concerns, the association cut forecast for mortgage originations in 2014 by $57 billion to $1.12 trillion.
January 5, 2014 |
With interest rates set to rise, many on Wall Street are wondering if the municipal bond market is in for another pummeling as 2014 gets underway. Investors couldn't get out fast enough last year. Bonds from states, cities and counties suffered their worst annual performance since 2008 and only their fourth losing year since 1990. The nearly $4-trillion market, a favorite of mom-and-pop investors for their relative safety and tax benefits, seemed to get hit from all sides. Wall Street was spooked by talk that the Federal Reserve would put an end to the easy-money policies that helped propel stocks to new heights.