The City Council has decided that there are just too many banks on the Upper West Side.
As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might have asked, what’s next? Will the Council tell Starbucks to move some of its stores a little to the east, or north? Will the Council set a limit on the number of greengrocers in the neighborhood?
And why stop at the Upper West Side? Why not regulate for the entire city? Surely the Upper West Side is not so special, not so—dare one say it—elite that it is the only neighborhood deserving of special protections against banks, coffee shops, greengrocers, fast-food joints and other such grievous assaults on urban life.
If Wells Fargo’s shareholders were looking for some positive news—or really, any reason to have fuller faith and confidence in the next quarterly statement—they need look no further than the American heartland, where Wells Fargo is working hard to keep everyone honest, and debtors paying their bills on time.
The Obama administration wants to reach a broad settlement with some of the nation’s banks over some sketchy foreclosure practices they have allegedly engaged in during the past few years. But New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is resisting pressure from Washington to sign on to the proposed settlement. He and several colleagues argue that the settlement would make it more difficult for them to prosecute banks suspected of wrongdoing.
Mr. Schneiderman’s position is admirable. If he believes the settlement is not in the best interests of New York consumers, he should continue to resist.
This Old House
Christmas and New Years are over, and with them went the foreclosure holiday. Banks are back at it, and as the robosigning confusion continues to unwind, they are bound to ramp repossessions up again.
Despite months of moratoriums and the drop in foreclosures that came with them, 2010 still saw more foreclosures than Read More
This Old House
As bank stocks take a plunge amid emerging flaws in the system governing foreclosure paperwork, market observers have started asking the most relevant question: How much is this mess going to cost us?
Bringing his dim view of Congress to bear, John Carney at CNBC says that the big banks don’t stand to lose Read More
On the front page of today’s New York Times, Gretchen Morgenson describes the dizzying heights of incompetence and fraudulence at the core of a rising tide of “improperly handled” foreclosure proceedings initiated by some of the nation’s biggest lenders. JPMorgan Chase, GMAC Mortgage and Bank of America have all launched investigations into crummy paperwork that Read More
Federal and state prosecutors in New York brought charges against a ring of international cyber-criminals who used computer viruses to break into bank accounts. Among them were four New York students, including 21 year Kristina Svechinskaya, who is being groomed as the next Anna Chapman by the NY dailies.
Back in June the feds Read More
Elizabeth Warren said in a speech yesterday that stepped-up bank regulation she’s helping implement will be good for banks and consumers alike. Warren, Barack Obama’s designated advisor to the development of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said that many Americans view banks with extreme suspicion, and that increased transparency will remedy banks’ image. Read More
The Financial Times is reporting that the Italian finance police have seized 23 million euros and begun investigating the Pope’s top two bankers in a money-laundering probe.
The Pope’s bank, called the Institute for Religious Works, is headed up by Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, formerly of Spain’s Banco Santander. Tedeschi is also a professor of Read More