Are Newspapers Stealing a Page From Banks’ Playbook?

Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for the Newspaper Expose I first noticed it when my Wall Street Journal subscription continued — and continued — well past the renewal date (I didn’t). Then, a client whose home I’m listing reported that he couldn’t terminate his New York Times subscription, despite repeated efforts. Are newspapers stealing a...
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"Our" New Paymasters?? Define, "Our"

Confusing “Us” and “Them” Today’s Wall Street Journal is running a house editorial decrying government wage controls on the top 175 executives at seven companies that are still using money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”). The title of the piece? “Our New Paymasters: wage controls are politically easier than genuine reforms.” I can...
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Banks Still Calling the Shots

Worst-Kept Secret: Foreclosure Banks Flaunting MN Disclosure Laws A problem has arisen in Minnesota regarding lenders who have acquired property through foreclosure and then listed those properties for sale to Minnesota consumers. The problem is that lenders are refusing to comply with Minnesota disclosure laws. –Donald D. Smith and Brad J. Boyd, “Seller Disclosure Obligations...
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Verbal abracadabra

Quick: Synonym for “Other-than-Temporary?” Want to get rid of something? Change — or obscure — its name. So, it’s no longer swine flu, it’s an acronym. In finance, all the toxic loans still on too-big-to-fail bank balance sheets are not “toxic loans” — suddenly, they’re “legacy assets.” And how are those to be valued? According...
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"Does This Impress . . Floyd Norris?"

The Quick Way to Bank Profitability If the roots of today’s financial crisis were economic in nature, the vital signs to monitor would be such financial measures as the stock market, unemployment levels, and interest rates. However, a growing chorus of commentators believe that today’s dysfunctional financial system is ultimately a symptom of a political...
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Interest Rates Stable

Banks Not Passing Along Rate Drop? After a dramatic drop late Wednesday, 30-year mortgage rates have leveled off at 4 5/8% at the moment. Given the size of the Fed commitment — up to $1 trillion in new cash aimed at mortgages — you’d expect rates in the low 4’s. Why hasn’t that happened (or...
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