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Tuesday, May 26th

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JPMorgan Chase on track to pay $4b to homeowners as part of settlement

JPMorgan ChaseJPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) is on track to meet its mandate to provide billions of dollars in consumer relief to struggling homeowners as part of a settlement it reached over bad residential mortgage-backed securities it sold before the financial crisis, an independent monitor said on Thursday.

Joseph Smith, the monitor overseeing the settlement the largest U.S. bank reached in 2013 with the federal government and five states, credited Chase $2.2 billion out of the $4 billion goal it is required to provide to consumers by 2017.

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SEC ruling is a major victory for whistleblowers

Whistleblowers muzzledIn what is being called a landmark ruling for whistleblowers, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that one of the nation’s largest government contractors used confidentiality agreements that had the potential to intimidate and “muzzle” workers from reporting allegations of fraud.

The ruling involving Kellogg Brown & Root, also known as KBR, sends a powerful signal to corporations that the improper use of confidentiality agreements will result in civil fines and possible criminal penalties, according to legal experts.

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Feds aim to protect low-income users of ‘payday’ loans

payday loansEach month, more than 200,000 needy U.S. households take out what’s advertised as a brief loan.

Many have run out of money between paychecks. So they obtain a “payday” loan to tide them over. Problem is, such loans can often bury them in fees and debts. Their bank accounts can be closed, their cars repossessed.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules Thursday to protect Americans from stumbling into what it calls a “debt trap.” At the heart of the plan is a requirement that payday lenders verify borrowers’ incomes before approving a loan.

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Exposing America's Billionaire Welfare Ranchers

billionaire welfare ranchersAmericans love ranchers: Gritty ranchers, mom-and-pop ranchers, renegade ranchers — especially those who raise livestock on the vast open prairies of the West through a mixture of hard work and rugged independence.

But there’s another side to the ever-popular rancher mythology— a side the media doesn’t cover and the public never sees. The Koch brothers, Ted Turner, the Hilton family and nine other powerful ranchers share an uncommon privilege: giant public subsidies, unknown to U.S. taxpayers.

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AIG investors' $970.5 million settlement wins U.S. court approval

AIG settlementAmerican International Group Inc (AIG.N) shareholders won approval on Friday of a $970.5 million settlement resolving claims they were misled about its subprime mortgage exposure, leading to a liquidity crisis and $182.3 billion in federal bailouts.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan granted final approval at a hearing to what lawyers for the investors call one of the largest class action settlements to come out of the 2008 financial crisis.

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$10 Million Subsidy Allows Time Inc. To Cut Over 900 Jobs With No Penalty

Time, Inc.Despite being given a $10 million job-creation subsidy by New York State, Time Inc. will still be allowed to cut over 900 jobs -- nearly one third of its positions -- with no repercussions, WNYC reported Friday.

Last year the midtown Manhattan-based media company -- which counts Time magazine, Sports Illustrated and People among its 90 brands -- was mulling a move to a smaller headquarters across the river in New Jersey.

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Obama to announce changes for student loan repayment

Obama to change student loan repaymentsPresident Barack Obama is slated to speak to students at Georgia Tech on Tuesday about how he wants to make the process of repaying student loans easier to understand and manage.

Obama will sign a “student aid bill of rights” and will speak about an assortment of policy tweaks and projects to try to make it easier to help people with student loans pay back their debt.

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