bank rates credit cards insurance finance calculators

« Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Bad Boy Nominee: Brian Moynihan

He helped fuel a populist revolt against big banks in 2011 after he approved a $5 monthly fee that customers who used their debit cards would be charged.

Bad Boy Nominee: John Stumpf

He was one of the first bank CEOs to publicly suggest customers should be penalized over so-called “swipe fee” restrictions. This new rule limits how much a bank can charge a retailer when a consumer uses a debit card.

Bad Boy Nominee: Jamie Dimon

Dimon has been a loud critic of the Volcker Rule, a complex set of banking reforms that would limit risk-taking by U.S. banks. Primarily, it would forbid banks from investing in private equity or hedge funds.

Bad Boy Nominee: Lloyd Blankfein

One of Forbes Magazine’s “Most Outrageous CEOs,” he once famously answered a reporter’s question about Wall Street compensation by saying he’s “doing God’s work.”

Bad Boy Nominee: Ben Bernanke

Bernanke sat at the head of the Federal Reserve — which is supposed to police the nation’s biggest banks — leading up to the financial crisis largely created by those same banks.

Warren Lays Out Her Very Good Plans

We didn’t need another reason to love Elizabeth Warren. But check out this Q&A the White House special adviser for consumer affairs did with Kiplinger Personal Finance. It appears in the magazine’s January 2011 issue. In it, she lays out her very rational and reasonable goals for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she’s helping […]

Fed Pushing Interest Rates Down Again

The QE2 has been christened and set sail. The Federal Reserve announced a second round of what’s called “quantitative easing” today, in a misguided effort to boost the economy by driving interest rates even lower. The government-controlled bank will buy another $600 billion in long-term Treasuries — 2 ½ to 10-year bonds — over the […]

Why Does Jim Cramer Back The Fed?

I was listening to Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money” last night, and for a guy who constantly extols the value of free markets he has sure bought into the Federal Reserve’s radical, market distorting policies. Why? Maybe it’s because the Fed’s campaign to drive interest rates down is intended to force savers out of […]

Can’t Anyone Stop The Fed’s Rate Cutting?

The Federal Reserve seems determined to drive interest rates lower by purchasing another big chunk of government debt. It hopes to make the already rock-bottom rates on Treasury bills and other long-term loans even lower on the questionable assumption that the lure of cheap money will make corporate America more likely to borrow, expand and […]

The Rich Are Even Richer Than We Think

A new study shows the rich control a much larger portion of the nation’s wealth than we think they do – or should. Two psychologists, Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael Norton of Harvard University, asked thousands of Americans how they think wealth in this country is distributed. Respondents estimated that the wealthiest 20% […]

Savers Suffer From New Mortgage Scandal

The banking industry continues to cover itself in glory. Last year I pointed out that efforts to modify unaffordable mortgages were failing because lenders refused to hire enough people to deal with all of their reckless loans. Now it appears they also didn’t hire enough people to legally process all of the foreclosures created by […]

It Could Be Worse. Like In India.

In our endless search for the best returns we stumbled across a story that said banks are offering about 7.90% to 8.10% on 1-year CDs – in India. That sounded pretty good since the average 12-month certificate of deposit is paying 0.56% in the United States. But are the higher rates Indian savers earn being […]

Rates Cuts Come Quickly At Failed Bank

It used to take new owners at least a couple of months to decide whether they would honor the CDs they acquired from failed banks. Now it’s only taking a couple of weeks. A recent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tells the story of Tom and Carol Spidell, who were customers of Maritime Savings […]

Banks Need A Little Skin In The Game

Banks are still whining about the so-called “skin-in-the-game” requirement that was part of the financial reform bill Congress passed last summer. And I’ve got to say that those complaints are soooooo unattractive. What the law does is require banks to maintain at least a 5% interest in the mortgages, credit card debt and auto loans […]

The NYT Says Savers Are Hurting — Finally!

There’s a breakthrough story on the front of today’s New York Times that finally acknowledges two big problems with the economy that we’ve been writing about for months. First, I’ve been complaining about big companies hoarding cash since last summer. Just last week Jen Stryker touched on the same theme, explaining why consumers can’t rescue […]

Washington, Florida Banks Closed Oct. 1

Two more banks in Florida and Washington were seized by regulators yesterday, pushing the total number of failed banks to 129 for the year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. immediately sold their deposits and branches to new owners, which should have those offices reopened no later than Monday. The failed banks are: Wakulla Bank, of […]

‘Stimulus’ Is Not A Four-Letter Word

After Jen mentioned the economic stimulus bill in Tuesday’s post I thought it might be worthwhile to set the record straight about this unpopular effort to pull the country out of the recession. The $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February 2009 divided that money in roughly equal thirds among: Tax cuts for individuals and […]

Consumers Can’t Rescue This Recovery

I find it incredibly ironic that so many economists want to blame the painstakingly slow economic recovery on our refusal to spend more and save less. These are often the same guys who, back during the housing and credit bubble of the early 2000s, were complaining that we should save more and spend less. They […]

Washington, Florida Banks Closed Sept. 24

Two banks, one in Florida and another in Washington, were seized by regulators yesterday, pushing the total number of failed banks to 127 for the year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. immediately sold their deposits and branches to new owners, which should have those offices reopened no later than Monday. The failed banks are: Haven […]

The WSJ Launches The Attack On Warren

Oh great. The Wall Street Journal editorial pages agree with me. The president’s gambit to make Elizabeth Warren the de-facto leader of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without Senate confirmation is a bad idea. Of course the Journal is the financial industry’s ultimate apologist and comes to that conclusion from a completely different point […]

Six More Banks Seized On September 17

Another six banks were seized by regulators yesterday, pushing the total number of failed banks to 125 for the year. The failed banks were in four states – New Jersey, Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin – and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. immediately sold their deposits and branches to other banks. Those branches will reopen no […]

Obama Refuses To Do Right By Warren

No. No. No. President Barack Obama is appointing consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren to be special adviser overseeing the creation of a new consumer protection bureau, but he’s not appointing her to be the bureau’s first director. Why? Because he’s worried the Senate might not confirm the 61-year-old Harvard law professor who has been a smart […]

Robert Reich Warns Fed Off Lower Rates

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is the latest economist to warn the Federal Reserve that continuing to drive interest rates down, down, down won’t boost the economy or create more jobs. That’s a little surprising coming from Reich, who is certainly not a conservative devotee of free-market economics. Reich, who now teaches at the […]

Failed Florida Bank Closed On Sept. 10

After taking a couple of weeks off federal regulators went back to work yesterday, closing one failed Florida bank.

The Ugly, Predatory World Of “Broke, USA”

Pawn shops. Payday loan stores. Check cashing services. Tax preparers hawking refund anticipation loans. In Broke, USA, author Gary Rivlin gets cozy with giants of what he calls Poverty, Inc. — the multi-billion dollar industry of making money off the poor. It’s shocking how open these guys are in discussing their work him. He must […]

One More Chicago Bank Seized Aug. 13

For the second week in a row, regulators seized only a single bank at the close of business on Friday. And once again the lone bank taken down was in the Chicago area. This time the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Illiniois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation closed Palos Bank and Trust Co. in […]

A Tax Deduction For Interest Income?

Lance Dickie, an editorial writer at the Seattle Times, has an idea for how “Congress and the Obama administration can help rebuild household solvency by rewarding savers. “Adjust IRS rules so the first $1,000 of interest income is not subject to taxes. Allow tax filers to deduct a grand from their tally of interest earned. […]

Judge Says Customers Cheated By Fees

Hooray for federal Judge William Alsup of California. At the end of a two-week trial he’s ruled that Wells Fargo secretly and deliberately manipulated the way it processed checking account transactions in order to ding its customers for more overdraft fees. Alsup ordered the bank to pay customers $230 million in restitution – but don’t […]

Just One Bank In Chicago Closed On Aug. 6

Only one bank was seized by regulators on Friday, pushing the total number of failed banks to 109 for the year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Illiniois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation closed Ravenswood Bank in Chicago. Its deposits were transferred to Northbrook Bank and Trust Co., based in Northbrook, Ill., and all […]

We’re Not After An Easy Confirmation

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c