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Citigroup reports nearly $400m fraud in Mexico unit

Citigroup reports fraudCitigroup Inc (C.N) said on Friday that it has discovered at least $400 million in fraudulent loans in its Mexico subsidiary and said employees may have been in on the crime.

The bank wrote down bogus loans to a company whose assets Mexican law enforcement officials have now seized. Citigroup's 2013 profit fell by $235 million to $13.67 billion after the write-down. Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat called the incident a "despicable crime" and said the bank believes it was an isolated episode.

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Wealth gap is widest in some affluent US cities

NYCThe gap between the wealthy and the poor is most extreme in several of the United States' most prosperous and largest cities.

The economic divides in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are significantly greater than in the rest of the country, according to a study released Thursday by the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based think tank. It suggests that many sources of both economic growth and income inequality have co-existed near each other for the past 35 years .

These cities may struggle in the future to provide adequate public schooling, basic municipal services because of a narrow tax base and "may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families," the study said.

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Nation of Change: More Inequality Shock

inequalityInequality is a cancer on society, here in the U.S. and across the globe. It keeps growing. But humanity seems helpless against it, as if it's an alien force that no one understands, even as the life is being gradually drained from its victims.

The recent Oxfam report on global wealth inequality reveals some of the ugly extremes that have divided our world. It also directs our attention to the Global Wealth Report compiled by Credit Suisse, and the companion Databook, which offer a shocking testament to the severity of U.S. and global inequality.

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85 richest people own 46% of world's wealth

wealthResearch conducted by the British charity Oxfam has concluded that the combined wealth of the world's 85 richest people is equivalent to that owned by the bottom half of the world's population.

Separately, the report, titled "Working for the Few," claims that the richest 1% on the planet — more than the 85 people whose bounty is comparable to the collective wealth of the poorest half — are rich to the tune of $110 trillion. "The top 1% have 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population," the study says.

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Billionaire wealth doubles since financial crisis

Billionaires doubleThe financial crisis didn't put a strain on everyone. The number of billionaires in the world has grown to more than 2,000 since 2009, and their aggregate net worth has more than doubled, reaching a record high.

The Wealth X and UBS Billionaire census report revealed a combined wealth of the world's billionaires to be $6.5 trillion, up from $3.1 trillion in 2009.

Eighty-eight percent of so-called "Ultra High Net Worth" individuals -- worth a minimum of $30 million each -- are men, and the average net worth is $139 million, up $1.8 million up from last year, according to the report.

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Apple creates 2,000 jobs shifting production back to US

Apple jobsNearly a decade after the closure of its last US factory, Apple is to create 2,000 manufacturing, engineering and construction jobs at a new plant in Arizona.

The California technology titan is beginning to shift production back to its home market, with the creation of its second US plant in under a year. It is understood the renewable energy powered facility in Mesa, Arizona, will produce laboratory grown sapphire crystals of the kind used in the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner.

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The Scholars Who Shill for Wall Street

Shilling for wall streetProfessor Todd Zywicki is vying to be the toughest critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new agency set up by the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law to monitor predatory lending practices. In research papers and speeches, Zywicki not only routinely slams the CFPB’s attempts to regulate bank overdraft fees and payday lenders; he depicts the agency as a “parochial” bureaucracy that is “guaranteed to run off the rails.”

He has also become one of the leading detractors of the CFPB’s primary architect, Elizabeth Warren, questioning her seminal research on medical bankruptcies and slamming her for once claiming Native American heritage to gain “an edge in hiring.”

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