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Major banks investigated for collusion in precious metals market

Banks investigated for precious metalsThe Swiss competition watchdog has launched an investigation into possible collusion in the precious metals market by several major banks, it said on Monday, the latest in a string of probes into gold, silver, platinum and palladium pricing.

Global precious metals trading has been under regulatory scrutiny since December 2013, when German banking regulator Bafin demanded documents from Deutsche Bank under an inquiry into suspected manipulation of gold and silver benchmarks by banks.


GE to move turbine jobs to Europe, China due to EXIM bank closure

GE sends jobs to Europe, ChinaGeneral Electric Co (GE.N) said on Tuesday it will move 500 U.S. power turbine manufacturing jobs to Europe and China because it can no longer access U.S. Export-Import Bank financing after Congress allowed the agency's charter to lapse in June.

The largest U.S. industrial conglomerate said France's COFACE (COFA.PA) export agency has agreed to support some of GE's global power project bids with a new line of credit in exchange for moving production of heavy-duty gas turbines to Belfort, France, along with 400 jobs.


Was Tom Hayes Running the Biggest Financial Conspiracy in History?

Tom HayesHayes was a phenom at UBS, one of the best the bank had at trading derivatives. All year long, the financial crisis had been good for him. The chaos had let him buy cheaply from those desperate to get out, and sell high to the unlucky few who still needed to trade.

While most dealers closed up shop in fear, Hayes, with his seemingly limitless appetite for risk, stayed in. He was 28 years old and he was up more than $70 million for the year.


How banks hid billions in trades from US regulators

Gary GenslerThis spring, traders and analysts working deep in the global swaps markets began picking up peculiar readings: Hundreds of billions of dollars of trades by U.S. banks had seemingly vanished.

“We saw strange things in the data,” said Chris Barnes, a former swaps trader now with ClarusFT, a London-based data firm.

The vanishing of the trades was little noted outside a circle of specialists. But the implications were big. The missing transactions reflected an effort by some of the largest U.S. banks — including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley — to get around new regulations on derivatives enacted in the wake of the financial crisis, say current and former financial regulators.


Social Security Disability Fund Will Run Dry Next Year

SS funds to run outThe 11 million Americans who receive Social Security disability face steep benefit cuts next year, the government said Wednesday, handing lawmakers a fiscal and political crisis in the middle of a presidential campaign.

The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare said the disability trust fund will run out of money in late 2016. That would trigger an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits, unless Congress acts.


12 percent jump in homelessness in LA County

LA homelessThe number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12 percent in the past two years to more than 44,000 amid a sluggish economic recovery that has left the poorest residents of the second-largest U.S. metropolitan area falling farther behind, a study released on Monday found.

Most of those counted weren't staying in homeless shelters. The study also found that the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles with people living in them jumped by 85 percent to around 9,500.


How Wall Street captured Washington’s effort to rein in banks

Wall StreetIn the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Keith Higgins was certain: Banks weren’t to blame.

Higgins, a top attorney at prominent law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, was chairman of an American Bar Association committee on securities regulation. As such, he lobbied strenuously against a rule U.S. regulators were drafting that would require banks to disclose a lot more about asset-backed securities like those that had just torpedoed the economy.


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