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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Secret Recordings Expose Cozy Relationship Between Goldman Sachs And The NY Fed

Carmen SegarraThe New York Fed had become too risk-averse and deferential to the banks it supervised. Its examiners feared contradicting bosses, who too often forced their findings into an institutional consensus that watered down much of what they did.

The report didn't only highlight problems. Beim provided a path forward. He urged the New York Fed to hire expert examiners who were unafraid to speak up and then encourage them to do so. It was essential, he said, to preventing the next crisis.

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Treasury to unveil steps to curb tax inversions

Jacob LewTreasury Secretary Jacob Lew says he'll announce new steps on Monday to prevent American companies from reincorporating overseas to shirk U.S. taxes.

Lew says so-called "tax inversions" are an unfair practice and a glaring loophole in the U.S. tax code.

President Barack Obama has denounced inversions as unpatriotic and has urged Congress to stop them. But with quick action in Congress unlikely, the Treasury Department has been reviewing potential actions the administration could take without Congress. Treasury is also examining ways to reduce the tax benefits for companies that pursue inversions.

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Trump Plaza closes its doors, becomes 4th Atlantic City casino to close this year

Trump casino closesThe supervisor drew his finger in a slashing motion moments after the final hand of blackjack had been dealt at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino.

And with that, gambling was done.

The 30-year-old casino at the heart of the Boardwalk shut its doors at 6 a.m. Tuesday, becoming the fourth Atlantic City casino to close this year. Beset by crushing debt, fleeing customers and run-down facilities, Trump Plaza had been the town's worst-performing casino for years. This year, it has won about the same amount from gamblers that the Borgata takes in every two weeks. And at pennies on the dollar, no one wanted to buy it.

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US wealth gap putting the squeeze on state revenue

income inequalityIncome inequality is taking a toll on state governments.

The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has been matched by a slowdown in state tax revenue, according to a report being released Monday by Standard & Poor's.

Even as income for the affluent has accelerated, it's barely kept pace with inflation for most other people. That trend can mean a double-whammy for states: The wealthy often manage to shield much of their income from taxes. And they tend to spend less of it than others do, thereby limiting sales tax revenue.

As the growth of tax revenue has slowed, states have faced tensions over whether to raise taxes or cut spending to balance their budgets as required by law.

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Seniors Forced Into Poverty As Education Department Demands Payment

student loan debtThe Education Department is demanding so much money from seniors with defaulted student loans that it's forcing tens of thousands of them into poverty, according to a government audit.

At least 22,000 Americans aged 65 and older had a part of their Social Security benefits garnished last year to the point that their monthly benefits were below federal poverty thresholds, according to the Government Accountability Office.

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Morgan Stanley to pay $95 million in U.S. mortgage-debt settlement

Morgan stanleyMorgan Stanley (MS.N) has agreed to pay $95 million to resolve a lawsuit accusing the Wall Street bank of misleading investors in mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The settlement, disclosed in court papers filed Monday in New York federal court, follows years of litigation by investors over allegedly false and misleading statements over the soured securities.

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The Cyber-Terror Bank Bailout: They're Already Talking About It, and You May Be on the Hook

Mary GalliganBankers and U.S. officials have warned that cyber-terrorists will try to wreck the financial system’s computer networks. What they aren’t saying publicly is that taxpayers will probably have to cover much of the damage.

Even if customers don’t lose money from a hacking assault on JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the episode is a reminder that banks with the most sophisticated defenses are vulnerable. Treasury Department officials have quietly told bank insurers that in the event of a cataclysmic attack, they would activate a government backstop that doesn’t explicitly cover electronic intrusions, two people briefed on the talks said.

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